Test sheds light on upcoming imaging informatics certification exam

September 13, 2007

Ninety-six percent of the radiology and information technologists seeking certification as imaging informatics professionals passed an exam presented by the American Board of Imaging Informatics at the 2007 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting. Experience from the preliminary test will influence the final version, which will be presented Sept. 28.

Ninety-six percent of the radiology and information technologists seeking certification as imaging informatics professionals passed an exam presented by the American Board of Imaging Informatics at the 2007 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting. Experience from the preliminary test will influence the final version, which will be presented Sept. 28.

The test results enabled the board to evaluate the type of questions appropriate for the first examination and to gauge their degree of difficulty, said Mark Raymond, senior psychometrician for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The ABII was formed by the SIIM and the ARRT.

"Results from the pilot test will ensure that those who take the first 'real' test have a very high-quality exam to take," Raymond said.

Ninety-nine of 103 test candidates passed the draft examination, which involved 10 RT- and IT-related sections covering image and systems management, medical informatics, clinical engineering, operations, communications, and other topics.

Using an exit survey, test designers found that most participants were satisfied with the balance of IT and RT questions. Only 20% said the test drew too many questions from one of the two specialties.

Discussion whether the certification exam should be weighted more highly one way or the other will probably continue until both the exam and the profession establish themselves. The board published the specifications for each section on its website

so that applicants will know well in advance what they should be studying for, Raymond said.

"The exam committee and the board will continue to monitor that issue over time and look for input from the professional community to see whether, when we do future revisions of the exam, we should change that balance or emphasis. Right now, most people seem generally happy with it," he said.

The Certified Imaging Informatics Professional (CIIP) examination will include 150 multiple-choice questions. The test fee is $400, and the retake fee is $200. SIIM offers materials to help beginners and advanced students prepare for the exam. The board does not endorse courses offered by third parties.

The candidates who sat for the pilot test were a small group of people who frequently attend and are actively involved in SIIM activities. They also displayed a high level of achievement in imaging informatics, said Julie Hammons, CIIP program manager for the ABII.

This select group helps explain the high passing rate for the pilot exam and may not reflect results for the upcoming examination.

"These people were the most interested, the most knowledgeable. It will be interesting to see the results of the next test," she said.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Residents risk missing the informatics boat

Test addresses need for both RT and IT expertise

IT certification program signals a maturing field

SIIM, ARRT plan shared PACS certification