How Valuable is a HIMSS Certification?

by Oct 10, 2018Health Informatics Resources0 comments

We recently spoke with Travis Calhoun, an IT architect currently working with Cerner Millenium Solutions, to uncover an insider perspective about the Certified Professional in Healthcare Informations and Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification. He shares with us his professional background and certification experience to reveal how valuable this credential has been throughout his career, and if any HIMSS certification is worth pursuing for future leaders in healthcare information management.

Can you share your background in health informatics?

Travis Calhoun discusses how a HIMSS Certification affected his career

I have been an information technology professional for twelve years, with the last six years in the healthcare industry. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and also earned a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics, both from the University of South Florida. Additionally, I’ve obtained certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS). Professionals in the health informatics industry are currently faced with several available career options. The direction healthcare is taking has created a large demand for workers who are skilled at helping support this growth.

I’ve personally worked at hospitals, a major EMR vendor, and as a consultant. What I enjoy most about this field is that it allows me an opportunity to improve the quality of care delivered to patients, despite not working directly with patients. Partnering with physicians, nurses, health leaders, and hospital administrations, I’m able to develop policies, workflows, and systems designed to enhance the delivery of care and improve patient outcomes.

What is your current role within the health informatics industry?

I currently work in the industry as an IT architect supporting Cerner Millennium, a solutions company based on the electronic health record platform and designed to improve patient safety and enhance the patient experience.

Additionally, in January 2018 I accepted an adjunct instructor role with UNE Online for the Health Informatics graduate programs. Within the program, I developed and taught HIN 605 Introduction to Health Informatics and HIN 615 Computer Science for Health Informatics Professionals.


What was your impression of a health informatics or HIMSS certification as a M.S. Health Informatics graduate student?

While working toward my degree, my exposure to health informatics certifications was limited. I only learned of CPHIMS after becoming a member of HIMSS. After completing my master’s degree, I decided to take the exam for personal development and to validate my knowledge in the subject.

During my time as a graduate student, certifications were not something that my program instructors mentioned or encouraged their students to receive. Certifications like CPHIMS were made available as a result of achieving a degree, but were not advertised as necessary for industry success.

How did you prepare for and take your CPHIMS exam?

I purchased a study guide. However, I personally found that the study guide was not very beneficial. I already worked in the field when I took the exam, and based off the questions asked in the exam, I feel that my job experiences along with the knowledge I obtained while getting my master’s degree prepared me for the certification far better than the study guide.

UNE Online: HIMSS Approved Education Partner

As a result of meeting the rigorous standards for quality health IT and healthcare education established by HIMSS, UNE Online has been named a HIMSS Approved Education Partner. With the AEP designation, the University of New England establishes itself apart from others.

Do you feel the CPHIMS credential has offered any advantage in your career? If so, how?

Other than listing the credential on my resume, I have never had an employer or coworker ask me about CPHIMS. And in meeting with industry peers through networking or for job consideration, the certification has not been a contributing factor to my success. To my knowledge, the decision to hire or advance has not hinged on earning this certification. I’ve never seen a situation where a hiring manager selected a candidate due to this certification. The candidate’s past work experience, education, personality, and willingness to learn and grow are generally more impactful than this certification.

Given your experience, professional and personal, do you feel health informatics certifications are crucial in finding success in the job market?

“Crucial?” No, certainly not! In fact, I am one of only a few people that I know at my organization that has this credential.

How impactful are certifications to hiring managers when looking for job candidates?

Although having this certification wouldn’t hurt and could potentially give your resume an edge, it is not a determining factor in career success. I’ve been involved in many candidate interviews and I’ve never seen a situation where a hiring manager selected a candidate due to this certification. The candidate’s past work experience, education, personality, and willingness to learn and grow are generally more impactful than this certification.

Certification with UNE Online

As a HIMSS Approved Education Partner, the Health Informatics graduate programs at UNE Online ensure students receive high-quality, rigorous education meeting established requirements set by HIMSS. With this designation, UNE Online sets itself apart from other academic programs for standards of quality in health IT and healthcare education.

Interested in earning a CPHIMS certification? The 100% online accredited courses offered through our Health Informatics program provide students the academic tools, education, and resources to be prepared for this credential.


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