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HIMT 1302 (formerly HIT 1111) Syllabus

Course Syllabus

HIMT 1302 (formerly HIT 1111) - Legal Aspects of Health Information Technology

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course provides an understanding of the legal principles that govern health information and the health record as a legal document. Emphasis is placed on key concepts including: the court system, medical staff, nursing staff, governing board and their functions and responsibilities. Confidentiality, release of information, informed consent, patient rights, record retention, and an in-depth review of HIPAA will be studied and practiced. Course focus includes current trends in health legislation such as healthcare fraud, federal and state required reporting.

Course Outcomes:

The student will be instructed in areas of knowledge, skills, and attributes that will demonstrate the required competencies as documented in the Council for Excellence in Education's (Health Informatics and Health Information Management) document entitled "Associate HIM Level Curriculum Map:  Domains, Subdomains, Entry-Level Competencies and Student Learning Outcomes."  Revised June 9, 2014.

This course explores the professional standards of conduct, privacy, and confidentiality of patient information; in depth review of HIPAA with a focus on the legislative process and the court system, release of information, informed consent, patient rights, risk and ergonomic management, job procurement, and record retention.

Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLO): #2 Information Protection: Access, Disclosure, Archival, Privacy & Security

1. Course Student Learning Outcome (CSLO) 2.A.1 Apply healthcare legal terminology.
2. CSLO 2.A.2 Identify the use of legal documents.
3. CSLO 2.A.3 Apply legal concepts and principles to the practice of HIM.
4. CSLO 2.B.1 Apply confidentiality, privacy, and security measures and policies and procedures for internal and external use and exchange to protect electronic health information.
5. CSLO 2.B.2 Apply retention and destruction policies for health information.
6. CSLO 2.B.3 Apply system security policies according to departmental and organizational data/information standards.
7. CSLO 2.C.1 Apply policies and procedures surrounding issues of access and disclosure of protected health information.

PSLO: #3 Informatics, Analytics and Data Use

1. CSLO 3.A.2 Explain policies and procedures of networks, including intranet and internet to facilitate clinical and administrative applications.
2. CSLO 3.F.1 Explain usability and accessibility of health information by patients, including current trends and future challenges.
PSLO: #5 Compliance
1. CSLO 5.A.1 Analyze policies and procedures to ensure organizational compliance with regulations and standards.
2. CSLO 5.A.2 Collaborate with staff in preparing the organization for accreditation, licensure, and/or certification.
3. CSLO 5.A.3 Adhere to the legal and regulatory requirements related to health information management.
4. CSLO 5.C.1 Identify potential abuse or fraudulent trends through data analysis.

PSLO: #6 Work Design and Process Improvement

1. CSLO 6.C.2 Identify cost-saving and efficient means of achieving work processes and goals.
2. CSLO 6.D.2 Interpret compliance with local, state, and federal labor regulations.
3. CSLO 6.E.1 Explain the methodology of training and development.
4. CSLO 6.F.1 Summarize a collections methodology fro data to guide strategic and organizational management.
5. CSLO 6.H.1 Comply with ethical standards of practice.
6. CSLO 6.H.2 Evaluate the consequences of a breach of healthcare ethics.
7. CSLO 6.H.3 Assess how cultural issues affect health, healthcare quality, cost, and HIM
8. CSLO 6.H.4 Create programs and policies that support a culture of diversity.

Learning Indicators

The student's ability to demonstrate the following will be indicators of the individual's success in achieving the program, and course level student learning outcomes.  Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Explain ethics as it pertains to healthcare and his or her performance in the workplace. 
2. Classify a particular scenario as to whether it is an example of:

a. Criminal negligence as it pertains to healthcare issues 
b. Civil proceedings as it pertains to healthcare issues 
c. Corporate responsibility and liability as it pertains to healthcare issues. 

3. Compare examples of healthcare fraud, the agencies responsible for follow-up and enforcement, and possible penalties. 
4. Judge the role of the Medical Staff, and interpret specific responsibilities. 
5. Assess the various roles that Nursing Staff occupy and the responsibilities associated with these roles. 
6. Appraise the roles of healthcare staff and their responsibilities. 
7. Apply basic Health Information Management concepts with respect to:

a. medical record contents 
b. ownership of the medical record 
c. retention of records 
d. illegible entries 
e. charting and reimbursement 
f. legal proceedings and the medical record 

8. Critique the components required for a valid patient consent for release of PHI, and choose the appropriate course of action when the required components are missing. 
9. Differentiate between the agencies involved with required reporting. Choose what is required reporting. Compose a protocol to comply with required reporting. 
10. Interpret Patient Rights, and design a methodology to comply with this notification.
11. Interpret Health Care Ethics as they apply to healthcare facilities, including Advance Directives, and Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders. Develop forms that educate patients, and combine this education with the required compliance.
12. Compare and contrast Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Guidelines and various agencies (such as Leapfrog) and initiatives devoted to promoting quality healthcare. 
13. Participate in interdisciplinary committees and collaborate with inter-disciplinary staff in a facility to address their needs with respect to data and/or medical record documentation issues.
14. Comply with local state and federal regulations regarding labor relations.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Students must be at college level.

Course Topics:
  • Legal Basics
  • Contracts, Consents and the Legal Health Record
  • HIPAA (Privacy and Security) 
  • Patient Rights and Responsibilities, Access to PHI
  • Required Reporting, Risk Management, Corporate Compliance
  • Medical Staff, Workplace Laws
Specific Course Requirements:

Course module units must be completed in a linear manner and follow the prescribed schedule or submission. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

There are no required supplementary materials needed for the course.  Students should feel free to use the textbook purchased for HIMT 1301 Introduction to Health Information Management for clarification of basic HIM concepts.  HIMT 1301 may be taken concurrently with HIMT 1302 HIM Legal Aspects.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:


Grading Procedures:

 Letter grades for this course will be assigned based on the following scale.

Assigned Grade

Percent EarnedPoints EarnedAssigned Grade
93 - 100 points1283 - 1380A
85 - 92 points1173 - 1269B
77 - 84 points1049 - 1159C
70 - 76 points966 - 1048D
under 70 points952F

Graded Items

7 Work Ethic Assignments @ 10 points each5%70
7 Discussions @ 20 points each5%140
7 Assignments @ 100 points each20%700
7 Quizzes @ 10 points each10%70
1 Guided Paper @ 100 points each20%100
1 Exam @ 150 points20%150
1 Final Exam @ 150 points each20%150
Total Points100%1380


Grading Scale:
Assignments and Projects:
Assignments and Projects:
Students may not 'opt out' of completing a particular element such as the Guided Paper.  There are no exemptions in the course due to course GPA, OR points earned.  All assignments and elements of the course have been carefully selected to meet, or exceed required accrediting body standards and competencies.  These assignments and assessments must be attempted.  Students who 'opt out' of completing a particular category of work may be subject to a grade deduction for failure to attempt a required element, or possibly failing the course.
Students are expected to respond to the discussion topics in a timely manner, and to leave enough time for peers to respond to posts.  Please check the due date on the discussion topic, in the Checklist tool, and in the course Calendar located under Course Tools. 
Dropbox Assignments:
All dropbox assignments contain detailed instructions as to what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  Please read each assignment carefully as it is posed within each module Assignments list. 
Each module has a quiz.  Quizzes are graded, but not proctored.  Quizzes are a useful gauge to assist the student in determining module learning to date.  Questions are comparable to what may be expected on the Mid-Term and Final Tests. 
Guided Paper:
The Guided Paper is designed as a real-world application of many of the concepts learned in the course.  Students read about a current events scenario, and answer specific legal concept questions.  Students are also asked to assess the scenario, and identify what should have been handled differently, and propose an alternative action, from a legally appropriate standpoint, as the recommended action for the original party.  
There are two tests given in the course, a Mid-Term and a Final.  Each is cumulative up through the modules that precede it.  These tests are proctored. 
Class Participation:

Students are expected to participate in the course, and submit assignments in a timely, and professional manner. 

Late Policy:

All course readings and assignments have been carefully selected, and designed to reflect either required competencies. or employer expectations for HIM professional skills.  Meeting deadlines is an essential element of employer expectations for HIM professionals.  All assignments are to be completed, and submitted by the due dates identified.  As a general rule, no late work is accepted.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on December 15, 2017