Ramblings: So I just took the CPHIMS exam

So I just took the CPHIMS exam and I must admit, I did not expect to ‘almost run out of time’.

Only 4 people took the CPHIMS this round (first time it’s offered in Singapore), there’s me, an IT Project Manager and a Medical Doctor involved in health informatics plus a gentleman whom I didn’t manage to speak to.

First thing first, we were given a paper based exam and the time allocated remained the same at 2 hours (a computer based exam is also 2 hours), I personally feel that they should allocated more time for a paper based exam as the ‘workflow’ of a paper-based exam is different from a computer based exam (time is taken when we look at another piece of paper located in a different area, locate the correct area to shade and then back to the question booklet, locate the next question etc).

Another few attributes that irk me (slightly) was poor lighting and that the environment was quite noisy. The examination took place in a classroom (with no sound proofing) of an institute of higher learning for 16-19 year old kids. One of the proctor had to leave the room several times to request the kids next door to keep the noise level down. For me, I sat next to the door and ‘enjoyed’ footsteps and conversations of students walking by – constantly.

One interesting part of the exam is that the questions seems to be geared towards the healthcare context of the US (2 other candidates who took the exam agreed with me) so I hope HIMSS will take that into consideration during grading and also fine-tune future exams for this region (HIMSS, if you are reading this, I can help you guys review the questions, I am designing curriculum for institutes of higher learning on health informatics in Asia).

Having said all these, I think the CPHIMS exam does cover a very interesting scope (see my previous post on the CBOK) and it’s well worth the time to take the preparation course even if one is not interested in taking the exam as it serves as a good recap on the various domain of knowledge one would need to navigate the complicated world of health informatics.

The results of the exam will be made known in about 2 6 weeks time so lets see if I ‘make the grade’.

Till then~


  1. Sherry says:

    I’m sure you’ll do well! All the best.

  2. Didier Thizy says:

    Since 2008 I’ve been hearing about the CPHIMS certification. Since then, a search on LinkedIn suggests the number of CPHIMS certified professionals has grown significantly. I have the manual, the material is quite straightforward, so I was a bit surprised when you indicated the test to be more challenging (at least in terms of time) than you thought.

    Do you have any data (anecdotal or formal) on how much weight this certification actually carries with potential employers?

    I have done my own investigations in a blog post:

    But in the end as with any certification, it’s difficult to figure out which ones will really help you achieve your goal (typically, distinguishing yourself enough to get a job) and which ones are really just clutter on your business card. As someone who attained the certification, how has it helped you since?


  3. Adam Chee says:

    Hi Didier,

    I think its important to highlight that the ‘manual’ ( I assume you refer to the applicants handbook) is in no way reflective of the actual exam (I do know of a few experience health IT professional who failed the CPHIMS).

    In terms of time, yes – I had problem but do refer to the actual post on details why (its all written up there).

    Now to answer the important parts of your question.
    My personal take is that the CPHIMS should be a reflective symbol rather than an enabler, I have quite a few certifications (and academic achievements) but in the world of Health Informatics, it is your experience and proven expertise that helps land you a job, not a certification (I hope its that easy but sorry).

    There is a thread in ClubPACS discussing the CPHIMS certification, do feel free to post your queries there


  4. zahra says:

    iam planing to take CPHIMS and do not from where to start. i hard about Himss. do you have any suggestioh that help.

  5. Deep says:

    I am planning to take this exam. A fren of mine suggested to go through “The CPHIMS Review Guide” by HIMSS for the prep. Here is the link of the book http://bit.ly/10BIDHk ANyone ve any idea how good is this book ??

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s