SIIM sets sights on expanding certified imaging informatics prep audience

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SEATTLE—The certified imaging informatics professional (CIIP) designation celebrated its first birthday in the Emerald City on Wednesday, with a full-day symposium prior to the start of the 2008 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) Annual Meeting. More than 200 attendees from the United States, Europe, Canada and the Pacific Rim heard a luminary panel of the Imaging Informatics Professional Subcommittee of the SIIM Education Committee provide a thorough overview of the IIP learning objectives developed by SIIM’s education advisory network (EAN).

There are 10 domains of knowledge that a competent imaging informatics professional (IIP) should be able to accomplish:

1. Procurement
2. Project Management
3. Operations
4. Communications
5. Training and Education
6. Image Management
7. Information Technology
8. Systems Management
9. Clinical Engineering
10. Medical Informatics

The CIIP designation is awarded and administered by the American Board of Imaging Informatics (ABII), a non-profit organization founded by SIIM and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). The CIIP, according to the ABII, is a national certification program that establishes a standard for demonstrated knowledge and competence in imaging informatics.

The IIP certification exam evaluates a candidate’s experience, education, and acquired knowledge. Although a variety of educational programs have been developed in the past year to assist CIIP candidates, SIIM stated that it does not recommend or endorse any particular IIP education program.

“Everybody is looking for the one definitive text or program to prepare themselves for the exam,” said Anna Marie Mason, SIIM executive director. “As with all high-level professional certifications, there is no one book or course that covers it all.”

Although more than 270 candidates have achieved the CIIP designation to date, a non-disclosure agreement regarding specific exam questions has led to much speculation among those interested in pursuing the certification. In late January this year, SIIM chair Curtis P. Langlotz, MD, PhD, addressed 10 CIIP myths he has seen in web postings and media coverage.

In an effort to reach interested IIPs who were not able to attend the Seattle symposium, SIIM videotaped Wednesday’s presentations and plans on making the material available as a web seminar via its Web site later this summer, Mason said.

The organization is scrupulous in maintaining the independence of the ABII from SIIM and its EAN. In a position statement published in the symposium course syllabus, it stated that “IIP educational programs offered by SIIM and its EAN participants are independent of the ABII certification program.”

According to George H. Bowers, principal of Health Care Information Consultants and chair of the SIIM education IIP subcommittee, SIIM’s education goals are to develop a curriculum around imaging informatics administration; develop education materials; and to encourage learning and critical thinking within the knowledge domains to build the profession.