What is a Health Information Technologist?

Managing health information has always been an important role for health care providers. However with the transformation from paper records to electronic health records, and new laws impacting data reporting and reimbursement changes, health information management (HIM) has become a vital role in health care operations.

Health Information Technologists helps ensure health information (patient data/ electronic health records) is accurate, available and accessible as needed for patient care while adhering to patient privacy and confidentiality laws. Some Health Information Technologists will work on medical records by verifying their completeness and accuracy and others will specialize in areas such as medical coding or cancer tumor registry.

Health Information Technologists can work in any place that has health data such as hospitals, long-term care, doctor’s offices, surgery centers, insurance companies, home health and public health agencies.

Other roles for Health Information Technologists include:

  • Medical Coding
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Data Integrity
  • Billing and Reimbursement
  • Release of Information
  • System Analyst
  • RAC Audits
  • Medical Records
  • Quality Analyst
  • HIM Technicians
  • Registries (Vital Statistics, trauma, etc)
  • Informatics

Note: Some jobs require additional experience and would not be considered entry level.

Education and National Certification – RHIT

Health Information Technologists can take the national Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam after completing a CAHIIM certified Health Information Technology (HIT) Associates degree program. There are a variety of HIT programs such as at Front Range Community College (FRCC) in Westminster.  After passing the exam, you would become a newly credentialed RHIT. Refer to www.AHIMA.org for additional information.

Medical Coding Certification – CCA, CPCA

Coding courses along with medical terminology, A&P and disease processes is a subset of the HIT curriculum. In the FRCC program, these courses represent 40% of the total curriculum. Some HIT students in the FRCC program, are interested in obtaining their coding credential. They are prepared to take the specific national credential exams for coding. For example, coding credentials for new coders include the CCA and CPCA. Additional information may be obtained from the AHIMA or AAPPC professional organizations respectively.

Selecting the right HIT program for you

When exploring options for HIT programs consider these questions:

  • Is the program accredited with CAHIIM?
  • What is the pass rate of the RHIT exam?
  • Consider your learning style – Is the program online only or classroom-based or both?
  • What type of hands on experience is there?
  • If you are interested in coding – how many credits of coding? Will you be prepared to take a coding credential exam?
  • What is the cost of the program?

At FRCC we are very proud of our unique HIT Program. Here are a few highlights:

  • Accredited with CAHIIM
  • 100% Pass rate on the RHIT and CCA exams
  • Hybrid courses that combine classroom and online learning
  • Extensive use of HIM Applications using AHIMA VLAB (Coding, ROI, EHR, EDMS etc) and Microsoft products including Visio and Office.
  • Taught by credentialed professionals
  • Cost effective
  • Based in Westminster, Colorado

What do you think? Does this type of work interest you? If so, please get in touch!

Related Posts

Avatar for Debra Charles

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debra Charles was the HIT Program Director at Front Range Community College in Westminster, CO and holds the following AHIMA credentials: RHIA, CCS, CCS-P and ICD-10 AHIMA Approved Trainer.