Becoming A Health Information Technician The entry level of educational attainment for health information technicians is the 2-year associate’s degree. And as you continue to gain experience in the field, you might want to consider pursuing a master’s degree to propel your career (and your salary) to management-level status. RHITs need to be familiar with their particular employer or institution’s record-keeping system, including any unique coding information or medical software. You must then register with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to become a registered health information technician. It’s at the center of everything they do. It will prepare you to work as a health information technician. Becoming a Registered Health Information Technician is an excellent option for those looking to get established in this important healthcare focus area, and earning an associate’s degree is a huge part of it. Non-member price: $299 (Learn more about the benefits of AHIMA membership. Other degrees that we often see on health information technician resumes include … Ready to apply now?Apply free using the application waiver NOWFREE. To become a health care technician, also called a 'nursing aide' or 'patient care technician', you must have a high school diploma and complete either a formal education program or … Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) exam. Certified, non-degreed Health information technicians earn around $37,000 annually. Cleveland Clinic’s non-profit academic medical center offers internships and clinical rotations to students from Cuyahoga and Lakeland Community Colleges (see above) with training in various medical fields, including health information technology. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. Completion of this degree qualifies you to sit for the RHIA exam and become a credentialed health information administrator. Successful RHITs must also be knowledgeable about medical procedures in addition to being proficient in using data systems. Your salary level will also be impacted by your years of health information experience and your education level. Certification requirements can depend on … Lastly, there is a variety of CAHIIM-accredited schools around the country to prepare aspiring RHITs for the credentialing, including online and on-campus training programs. Endorsement Preparation, English Language Learning (PreK-12). To stay current and show professional commitment to the field, earning RHIT certification through AHIMA is highly recommended. A registered health information technician is a health information technician who has met certain certification requirements administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in the United States. Data and details go hand in hand. Generally, a successful registered health information technician needs to focus on the big picture along with the fine details. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. Teaching, Mathematics Education (Middle Grades) – M.A. (Some schools call this major health information technology, or HIT). Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Candidates work with patient health information and organize data in a distance-based or on-campus format. Since there may be variations in scale and patient make-up—whether a person works for a medical center, a group of doctors, a mental health facility, or even in a bureaucratic capacity—an ability to be able to adapt to different circumstances and conditions is also crucial. Bachelor’s degrees, by contrast, may offer more of a management focus beyond the basic training requirements, setting a student up for opportunities in leadership, higher salary prospects, or the skills to qualify for AHIMA’s registered health information administrator (RHIA) exam. As a HIT, you are more than likely to work in an environment where you need to constantly communicate and coordinate with medical teams and insurance providers. Quality control is a big part of the job. 5 reasons to get a healthcare management degree. Tuition is $114.54 per credit for county residents, $114.08 for Ohio residents, and $271.19 for out-of-state residents. Overall, health information technology is expected to be an in-demand field into the future, especially as more medical providers pursue digital storage and access options for patient data. The annual maintenance fee is $25 for NCRA members and $105 for non-members. These professionals ensure its accuracy, security, accessibility, and right entry into the clinical database. Your salary level will greatly depend on the location where you work—many health information roles put technicians in large hospitals where they can expect a higher salary. Nursing - Education (BSN-to-MSN Program) – M.S. It’s important to note that candidates have a four-month window after registration to take the exam, which is available online or at a designated testing center. As of December 2020, there are no formal state licensure requirements for RHITs. compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Industry knowledgeable. Rachel Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. These datasets contain sensitive information such as patient symptoms, diagnostic tests ordered, treatments prescribed, and other services. Of course, not everyone who moves patient files around digitally is an RHIT; it’s an official title that must be earned by completing an approved academic program and passing an exam from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the predominant national certification organization in this line of work. In healthcare, even the smallest of details can impact a patient. Additionally, students can choose to continue on to Valencia’s bachelor of applied science in business and organization leadership program to earn an advanced technical certificate in leadership in healthcare. The most common certification is as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), gained by passing an examination administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This includes several health IT certifications that will put you at a competitive advantage. They must have the ability to analyze electronic data, creating a detailed picture of a patient’s medical history and health information. Discover why you should pursue a healthcare management degree to get a career you’ll love. With an emphasis on the AHIMA code of ethics and standards of practice, students use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and other areas to use, build, and manage a healthcare database system. WGU has a 92% pass rate for graduates of this program—a solid indication that the program’s classes will prepare you for a thriving, meaningful career. Find out how different WGU is about personalizing and supporting your education. Which college fits you? Finally, all certified RHITs must maintain their AHIMA credential by completing 20 qualifying continuing education units (CEUs) every two years, including five hours of coding self-reviews. Step 2: Earn a CAHIIM-Accredited Associate Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management or a Related Discipline (Two to Four Years). To become a health information technician, you’ll need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in health information management, or a similar health field, and pass an exam from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the leading national certification organization for this profession. As previously mentioned, some RHIT professionals can specialize in cancer registration which involves specialization in analyzing cancer patient data. Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. Administrative and clinical experience in a healthcare setting will serve you well in this role. To become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), you’ll need to earn an associate degree at minimum in health information management (HIM). According to the BLS (2020), some states require cancer registrars to hold Certified Tumor Registration (CTR) certification through the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) which involves completing an additional educational program, practical experience, and taking an exam. At WGU, your experience is our obsession! Lakeland’s program boasts a 93 percent pass rate on the RHIT exam and aims to prepare its graduates to demonstrate entry-level competencies in health information management. Clinical/Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS), Health Information Technician (Associate's), Health Information Management (Bachelor's), Health Informatics (Post-Master's Certificate), 2020 Health Tech Innovations: IoT & Data Privacy, Accredited Online Health Information Technology Degree Programs, How to Become a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Interview with an Expert: How Patient Data Use and Collection Have Evolved. Find out Medical Records Technician duties, skills and certifications, tips to become a Medical Records Technician, Medical Records Technician lifestyle Toggle navigation. Science Education (Secondary Physics) – B.S. Becoming a Health Information Technician. Health information technology or “health IT” is a broad, exciting, ever-evolving field that spans multiple professional disciplines, including business, project and people management, IT and systems support, and health information management. The Health Information Technicians are dedicated to manging and organizing the medical records of patients in a health care institution. © 2021 Western Governors University – WGU. The primary responsibility of a Medical Records and Health Information Technician (also known as a medical coder) is to maintain patient medical records. To qualify for the exam, candidates need to have completed at least an associate’s degree from a CAHIIM-accredited program, or a foreign program recognized by AHIMA. Science Education (Secondary Chemistry) – B.S. Health Information Technicians: Handle sensitive patient information: health history, … Mathematics Education (Middle Grades) – B.S. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) helps those interested in becoming a health information technician make informed decisions about selecting a school and processional credentials. HITs are trained in analyzing medical records and patient diagnoses, among other situations that require a critical eye. Notably, this is double the average growth anticipated across all occupations during that same decade (4 percent). They also are instructed in health management, the principles of disease, delivery systems, and statistical research. The job outlook for health information technology is also exceptionally good. Data is to health info technicians what patients are to doctors. You can find HIM programs at many universities, community colleges, and career and technical schools. Some work with data to analyze health care costs and identify health data trends. These programs generally provide preparation for the comprehensive RHIT exam. RHITs are key in making sure all patient data remains in the right place where the right people can access it electronically when they need it—and the wrong people can’t. Want to see all the degrees WGU has to offer? You'll need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in a postsecondary … Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Health Information Manager. In order to become a health information technician, you must attend specialized post-secondary education and obtain an associate degree. Work toward a certification. Students in CAHIIM-accredited HIM academic programs may be eligible to apply for and take the RHIA or RHIT certification exam early. Well organized. As of 2020, applying for the exam was $229 for members and $299 for non-members. Good at problem solving. Healthcare management careers are a natural fit for job seekers with business degrees. Find out more about scholarships for new students. Candidates who have an undergraduate degree in a different field, or who completed their training in another country must complete bridging courses to become a health information technician. They need to communicate clearly to coordinate the actions of medical teams and insurance providers, but they also may work solo in healthcare environments. In general, candidates for CCHIIM’s RHIT examination are asked to display accuracy in entering patient info; to analyze patient data to improve care or costs; and to demonstrate familiarity with common coding systems and procedures. Many health information professionals opt for certifications such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), which both require passing a national exam. Most health information technicians work full-time. Following this two-year program, students will be qualified to take the RHIT exam; for those seeking greater challenges and responsibilities; however, the school’s four-year program offers more advanced coursework with a management focus, preparing graduates to take the RHIA certification exam. Get started today! Cancer registrars review pathology reports for accuracy; assign classification codes for treatment and diagnosis; plan annual follow-ups; gather data for research; and maintain appropriate databases of cancer patients. In today’s digital environment, however, registered health information technicians (RHITs) actually manage the information behind all medical decisions, insurance disbursements, and service referrals, ensuring the continuity of care. While not directly involved with patient care, this registered health information technician role is vital to the health care system because RHITs organize and manage valuable health information data—and lots of it. A pply to take the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam.. Non-member price: $299 (Learn more about the benefits of AHIMA membership.Member price: $2 29 ; Eligibility for Early Testing. Detail oriented. So good spoken and written communication is highly essential to perform the job effectively and efficiently. By submitting you will receive emails from WGU and can opt-out at any time. Because with these on your résumé, you’re bound to stand out more to potential employers. Whether it’s managing medical records (paper or electronic), maintaining clinical databases, or recording data for analysis, the role of a health information technician is almost entirely data driven. Recertification of the RHIT and other credentials is required to keep up with changes in the industry. Earn a High School Diploma. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Business Administration, Accounting – B.S. Accredited by CAHIIM, this associate’s degree program prepares students to compile and process healthcare info through coursework in ethics, coding, and current regulatory health requirements, among other subjects. With America’s aging Baby Boomers reaching the age where they require increasing amounts of medical care and new health care laws that provide access to health insurance to more people, the need for trained professionals is skyrocketing across practically every facet of the health care field. To perform their jobs well, HITs need to know the terminology and processes that come with the territory. Wisconsin and Minnesota residents pay $152.08 per credit; Michigan residents pay $157.80 per credit; and residents from other states pay $222.25 per credit. Science Education (Secondary Chemistry) – M.A. The Basics. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @oregon_yogini). The earning potential for health information technicians varies by setting, job function, location, and experience. Special Education (Mild-to-Moderate) – B.A. In an industry that has countless procedure codes and abbreviations, getting a number wrong or leaving a detail incomplete could have negative consequences, minor or major. Health information technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate to enter the occupation, although some may need an associate’s degree. And particularly for introverts and others who aren’t interested in patient-facing roles in healthcare, this administrative position is invaluable to the team while requiring minimal interactions with clientele. Official transcripts from one’s high school or proof of a GED, Domain 1: Data content, structure, and information governance: (24-28 percent of questions), Domain 2: Access, disclosure, privacy, and security (12-16 percent), Domain 3: Data analytics and use (14-18 percent), Domain 4: Revenue cycle management (14-18 percent). Nursing – Nursing Informatics (RN-to-MSN Program) – M.S. Attributing a steadily increasing demand for health services as the general population ages, the BLS projected an 8% growth rate for health information technology job from 2019 to 2029—notably higher than the average growth rate of 4% for all other occupations. When we researched the most common majors for a health information technician, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. It may also be advisable to volunteer at a hospital or another healthcare facility to get a feel for the future work environment. You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Medical Records and Health Information Technician. Track patient outcomes for quality assessment purposes. A health information management associate’s degree is sufficient for entry-level positions. The program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, and students must perform clinical rotations in their third or fourth semester. To become a health information technician, you’ll need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in health information management, or a similar health field, and pass an exam from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the leading national certification organization for … There are both two-year associate and four-year bachelor’s degrees in the discipline; to qualify for credentialing through AHIMA, however, an aspiring RHIT must have graduated from a health information management (HIM) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), or a foreign association with a reciprocity agreement. If you’re ready to take the first step toward becoming an RHIT, visit the Rasmussen College Health Information Technician program page. This exam costs about $300 to apply for, and you can gain membership in the American Health Information Management Association upon completion of certification. The BLS (2020) adds that RHITs can specialize their skills, joining one of two subfields of the discipline: While the pathway to becoming an RHIT varies by region and experience, here is one possible way to join this growing profession: Aspiring RHITs are strongly encouraged to excel in computer science, health, biology, math, and English courses, which will be the most relevant to their future occupation. Nursing – Education (RN-to-MSN Program) – M.S. Successful RHITs must have a firm knowledge of medical procedures along with proficiency in data systems. Educational and training requirements can vary—some lower-level health information and medical records roles only require a high school diploma, while others prefer an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Use classification software to code and categorize health information and medical records for insurance reimbursement and data analysis purposes. Maintain confidentiality, security, and accessibility of medical records, including prescriptions and treatment histories. Nurses may say that they’re actually the ones who get the job done, putting in more time with patients than physicians and recording medical information. To become a health information technician, you must obtain at least an associate degree in a health information technology program, although bachelor’s degree programs are also available. Nursing – Nursing Informatics (BSN-to-MSN Program) – M.S. Most employers prefer to hire registered or certified medical records technicians. Health IT is a fast-paced field that often requires you to think on your feet. Find out how WGU can help you take the first step on this meaningful, promising career path. As stated above, to qualify for professional credentialing, all aspiring RHITs must graduate from a recognized two- to four-year program in health information management or a related discipline. Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting. The specifics and best practices are continually evolving. Stay up-to-date with the latest articles, tips, and insights from the team at WGU. You will need an associate degree from a community college or online distance learning program in order to pursue this career path. Ambitious technicians may want to earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree. As well, Cuyahoga Community College offers a National Cancer Registrars Association-accredited cancer registration post-degree professional certificate which is recommended for graduates of health information management degree programs. Are you investigating how to become a Health Information Technician and want to know more about the career? Teaching, English Education (Secondary) – M.A. Nursing – Leadership and Management (BSN-to-MSN Program) – M.S. You're in charge of your college education—but you're never alone. Nursing – Leadership and Management (RN to-MSN Program) – M.S. Apply to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam. This information must be recorded accurately not only to keep insurance companies happy but also to ensure that patients are given appropriate treatments and referrals. College of Business Admissions Requirements, College of Health Professions Admissions Requirements, registered health information technician (RHIT), bachelor’s degree in health information management, American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), bachelor’s in health information management. Would you like to become a health information technician? These professionals must also be adept at keeping up with the fast-changing healthcare industry, especially in regards to legislation such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which mandates that patient records need to be kept confidential. You’ll be constantly challenged to come up with solutions, which initially might sound daunting, but it’s actually a big part of what makes this career so exciting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), here are some of the general responsibilities of this important behind-the-scenes role in health care: Review patient data and medical records to ensure all data is accurate, complete, timely, and appropriate. All Rights Reserved. In fact, the BLS reported that there were 341,600 medical records and health information technicians around the country; between 2019 and 2029, however, there was expected to be an 8 percent explosion of openings in this field, adding 29,000 fresh opportunities. You must then register with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to become a registered health information technician. Offering full-and part-time enrollment, graduates from this 64-credit program are prepared to work in healthcare fields on health information management teams. Not surprisingly, clear written and verbal communication skills are also strong assets, along with accuracy and attention to detail. Science Education (Secondary Physics) – M.A. The pathway to becoming a health information manager includes a variety of options, ranging from college graduates fresh from an HIM degree program to experienced clinical providers who want to pivot into healthcare management. Certification is often required. Starting each fall semester over a period of five semesters, students in this CAHIIM-accredited program learn to collect, report on, and analyze data. Organizational skills are a must in health IT because of the high volume of data, record-keeping, and other information you’ll be juggling on a daily basis. Learn what daily life looks like for health service coordinators, and how WGU prepares you for this career. Health information technicians secure employment in private offices and hospitals. Based in Orlando, Florida, Valencia College’s two-year, fully online associate of science program in health information technology prepares students to enter the workforce with training in coding and reimbursement, including how to keep patient data private and secure. Medical coders look at patient information for pre-existing conditions; assign proper codes for care, population, and billing; and liaise with clinicians and billing teams. What you’ll do as a Health Information Technician: You’ll manage, analyze and organize patient medical records and databases for statistical reports and studies.You’ll design and manage health information systems to ensure they meet medical, legal and ethical standards and see that each patient’s medical record is complete, confidential and safeguarded. View all degrees. Doctors may believe they’re the top dogs; after at least a decade studying the science of healing, their names adorn doors and parking places, and they’re the ones with whom patients make appointments. Only 30 students are accepted each year to this competitive program which requires a 3.0 high school GPA, grades of B or higher in math, biology, computer applications, and English as well as a criminal background check. Other requirements to become certified with the AHIMA include: Completion of an accredited program Also, students currently in a recognized academic program can enroll to take the exam early if they’re in their final term. Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN-to-MSN Program) – M.S. Business Administration, Healthcare Management – B.S. A registered health information technician holds a professional credential through the American Health Information Management Association, and they must have at least a bachelor's degree and pass … The exam takes three-and-a-half hours and includes a range of 130 to 160 questions across five domains: As of December 31, 2019, there were 32,714 certified RHIT professionals through AHIMA, and in the same year, 76 percent of the 2,160 first-time testers passed the RHIT exam with a score of 300 or higher. Pass the appropriate AHIMA certification exam and … WGU’s program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM-accredited). If you’ve got the following attributes, chances are you’ve found the perfect career fit. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job. Special Education and Elementary Education (Dual Licensure) – B.A. Analytically adept. Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic stated that some of the most commonly requested skills for RHITs include competency in ICD-09 and ICD-10 coding, CPT coding, and inpatient and outpatient coding. Business Administration. Science Education (Secondary Biological Science) – M.A. A bachelor’s in health information management prepares you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to become an outstanding health informatics professional. English Language Learning (PreK–12) – M.A. This can include electronic health records, software, and more. Science Education (Secondary Earth Science) – M.A. Employers may prefer medical records technicians to have a Registered … Health services coordination: a day in the life. You can become a student member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for only $35. Courses that you take will cover the tech side, such as database security, data analysis, coding and classification sys… The healthcare information technician is an increasingly critical role that’s expected to grow significantly within the next decade. In health care facilities that are open 24/7, such as hospitals or nursing care facilities, technicians may need to work evenings or overnight shifts. Health information technicians need a wide range of complementary skills to help them land their first job, perform well in their current job, and qualify for advancement. As a healthcare information technician, you’ll feel good knowing that you are helping deliver the crucial data healthcare providers need to function optimally. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – B.S. Science Education (Secondary Biological Science) – B.S. Per-credit tuition rates are $117.75 for residents of Lake County, $146.05 for out-of-county residents, and $324.05 for out-of-state residents. 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