Health Information Technology

What will the Health Information Technology Program do for me? 

The Health Information Technology (HIT) curricula provides instruction and professional practice experience to assist students in developing the theoretical and technical skills necessary to maintain components of health information systems consistent with the medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the healthcare delivery system.The college and faculty are committed to providing a learning environment for students. Instructors are health information professionals dedicated to the highest standards of professional excellence. The HIT Program offers an associate of science degree with an Award of Achievement in Health Information Technology. Our Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Information and Informatics Management (CAHIIM). In addition to the degree program we offer Certificate of Completion Programs in Health Information Clerk I, Health Information Clerk II, Health Information Coding Specialist, Medical Transcription, and Health Information Technology. HIT program orientation session(s) are held each semester. You are invited to attend. Please call (415) 561-1900 for specific dates and times. 

Mission Statement:

The City College of San Francisco's Health Information Technology Program provides instruction and professional practice experience that prepare students to write the national qualifying examination for certification as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and for entry-level employment opportunities at various healthcare facilities, government agencies, and other healthcare organizations. 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

Students in the HIT program may enroll and take courses on part-time or full-time basis. The number of semesters to complete the certificate program(s) or degree program will vary. HIT courses are offered in the fall and spring semesters. General education courses are offered in the fall, spring, and a limited number of classes in the summer.The curricula are based on an explicit set of competencies approved by CAHIIM. These competencies have been determined through a job analysis conducted of health information practitioners. The competencies are subdivided into domains, subdomains, and tasks. Tests are structured and developed to measure a student's cognitive level in the areas of recall, application, and analysis.Successful graduates of the program qualify to sit for the national examination and for entry-level employment opportunities in the healthcare arena. 

WHAT ARE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNICIANS? 

A career as a health information professional offers a unique opportunity to be a member of the health care team and combine an interest in health information, business, and computer information systems. This is one of the few health occupations in which there is little or no direct contact with patients.

NATURE OF THE WORK

 Each time a patient receives treatment from healthcare providers, a record is maintained of the observations, medical or surgical interventions, and treatment outcomes. This record includes information that the patient provides concerning his or her symptoms and medical history, the results of examination, reports of x-rays and laboratory tests, diagnoses, and treatment plans. Health information professionals organize and evaluate these records for completeness and accuracy. Because accuracy is essential in their jobs, health information professional must pay close attention to detail. 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND THE FUTURE 

Job Outlook

The U. S. Bureau of Labor predicts a 47% shortage of credentialed Health Information professionals by the year 2010 (>90,000 jobs). Employment for health information professionals is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, due to rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be increasingly scrutinized by third-party payers, regulators, courts, and consumers.Increasing legislation, consumer awareness, and computerization of health information allows more career opportunities for trained health information professionals. Ranks in the top ten in the nation's as most employable career. The American Health Information Management Association projects a 69% shortage of health information professionals by the year 2012 (>216,000 jobs). Although employment growth in hospitals will not keep pace with growth in other healthcare industries, many new jobs will nevertheless be created. The fastest employment growth and a majority of the new jobs are expected in offices of physicians, due to increasing demand for detailed records, especially in large group practices. Rapid growth also is expected in long term care facilities, home healthcare services, and outpatient care centers. Additionally job openings will result from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the occupation permanently.

Earnings

Based on the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition, the median annual earnings of medical records and health information technicians were $23,890 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,550 and 30,640. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,460, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $38, 640. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of medical records and health information technicians in 2002 were as follows:

  • Nursing care facilities    $25,160
  • General medicine and surgical hospitals    $24,910
  • Outpatient care centers    $22,380
  • Offices of physicians    $21,320

Job Outlook and earnings information was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004-2005 Occupational Outlook Handbook.Last modified Date: March 21, 2004

Related Occupations

Medical records and health information technicians need a strong clinical background to analyze the contents of medical records. Other workers who need knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology, but have little or no direct contact with patient, include medical secretaries and medical transcriptionists. 

Sources of Additional Information

Information on careers in medical records and health information technology, including a list of programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is available from: 

The American Health Information Management Association 233 N. Michigan Avenue, Suit 2150 Chicago, IL 60601-5800 Phone: (312) 233-1090 http://www.ahima.org 

Related Links: The California Health Information Association 

1915 N. Fine Avenue, Suite 104 Fresno, CA 93727-1510 Phone: (559) 251-5038 http://www.CaliforniaHIA.org 

The American Association for Medical Transcription

 100 Sycamore Avenue Modesto, CA 95354-0550 http://www.aamt.org

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

 Occupational Outlook Handbook Projections 2 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2135 NE Washington, DC 20212-0001 Phone: (202) 691-5700 http://www.bls.gov/OCO