UC Clermont Alum helps teach next generation of Health Information Technicians


Health Information Systems Associate Degree Program completely online

BATAVIA, OH (November 10, 2015) –  Polly Giardina’s journey to the forefront of health information education began in a decidedly different place — banking compliance. Giardina first strayed from her original path when she paused her career to stay home with her children, but when she re-entered the workforce, she found that privacy and compliance issues related to health information — a result of new HIPAA regulations and the rise of electronic medical records — now dominated her old role. Giardina saw an opportunity.

“I became socially and personally aware of the industry, and protecting health information was becoming a big part of the culture and a more prominent issue for everyone,” she says. “So I started searching for possible positions in the field.”

Her search led her to UC Clermont, where she eventually enrolled in the college’s online Health Information Systems Technology associate degree program. Giardina knew she needed specific credentials to land a job in the growing field and the ability to complete the degree in one year — completely online — appealed to her. “I have a bachelor’s degree but I didn’t have any formal education in health information,” says Giardina. “And being a non-traditional student, I had no desire to go back into a classroom. It was very intimidating, quite frankly.”

Giardina graduated in May 2014, but earning her degree didn’t end her quest to be as qualified as possible for her new career. She has since earned her Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification and completed a graduate certificate in leadership for online education. Her credentials helped her land her most recent role as a HIM (Health Information Management) innovator with HealthPort Technologies, where Giardina worked to grow industry education programs; provided interactive education tools focusing on privacy and security; educated state component associations on industry topics; and performed site audits to insure policy and procedures were carried out effectively. She also returned to UC Clermont — this time as an adjunct instructor in health information systems technology.

“This program inspired me not only to advance in my career, and enabled me to do that, but I felt so strongly after the program that it served an important niche for students like me,” Giardina says. “I wanted to be a part of the new generation of students.”

As an instructor and proponent of health information management education, Giardina has one piece of advice for those either thinking about joining the field or already working in it: keep learning.

“You have to continue your education,” she says “There are so many moving parts of this field that it’s important to expand your knowledge base and get the credentials that can take your career to the next level. Don’t wait.”

For more information about Health Information Systems, please contact Assistant Professor of Health Information Systems Technology Darline Foltz at darline.folz@uc.edu

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