Health Information Technology
The Health Information Technology Program offers an Associates of Science Degree in:
- Health Information Technology
Students can also earn a Certificate of Achievement in:
- Health Information Clerk I
- Health Information Clerk II
- Health Information Coding Specialist
- Health Information Technology
Students must complete English 86 or 88A or place into a higher level
OR complete ESL 150 or place in ESL 160 or higher level
Students must complete Math E1 or Math E3 or place in Math 40 or higher level
Health Information Technicians play a critical role in maintaining, collecting, analyzing, integrating, protecting, securing and managing healthcare information that doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers rely on to deliver quality healthcare.
Health Information Technology prepares individuals with a desire to work in health care settings where health information is used. A career as a health information management professional offers a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of the healthcare industry where healthcare meets the cutting edge of technology and a member of the healthcare team. The increasing use of electronic health records will continue to broaden and will result in more career opportunities for trained health information technicians. This is one of the few health occupations in which there is little or no direct contact with patients.
Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who:
- Tabulate and analyze medical data for administrative, regulatory, and legislative requirements.
- Abstract health data for reporting, medical reviews, administration, and legal proceedings.
- Assure patient privacy, confidentiality, and security of health information.
- Assign a numeric code to each diagnosis and procedure using coding classification schemes for billing, reimbursement, and reporting purposes.
- Perform clinical quality assessment and improvement activities.
- Participate in design and transition to the electronic health record.
- Supervise health information management and related staff.
- Support patient safety and quality improvement efforts and requirements in all healthcare settings.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health Information Technology is one of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the United States. Health information management professionals are in high demand across the nation in a variety of work settings.
Although most RHITs work in hospitals and outpatient care centers, employment opportunities may be found in public health facilities, consulting firms, long term and rehabilitation care facilities, physician offices, medical billing firms, home health and hospice agencies, behavioral health facilities, correctional facilities, state and federal health agencies, private industry, pharmaceutical companies, cancer registries, law and insurance firms, quality management and research, peer review organizations, and health product vendors. RHIT’s can also work in sales and marketing positions for companies that design and supply information systems and materials for health information departments.
It is projected that health information technicians will hold 207,600 jobs by 2018. This is an expected increase of 20 percent and faster than the average because of rapid growth in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be increasingly scrutinized by third-party payers, regulators, courts, and consumers.
The groundbreaking American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act which is part of ARRA offers the healthcare sector exceptional opportunities for job prospects associated with the delivery of healthcare, health information systems, and in the use, management, and analysis of patient-related information. Job growth will result from the core of information management and health information technology (health IT), which is the EHR.
The healthcare industry has a shortage of health care workers qualified to create and maintain electronic records systems, build health information exchanges, deal with HIPAA privacy and security standards and regulations, personal health records, workforce initiatives, and provide training for ICD-10. In addition, numerous job openings will result from the need to replace health information technicians who retire or leave the occupation permanently.