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Health Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Health Information Professional do?
Health Information Professionals care for patients by caring for their medical data. They ensure that all of a patient's health information is complete, accurate, and protected. They ensure the information is readily available for healthcare providers when needed. Health Information Management is the practice of acquiring, analyzing and protecting digital and traditional medical information that is vital to providing quality patient care.

What is a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and what type of work do they perform?
The credentials of RHIT indicate that you have graduated with an associate degree from a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
The RHIT ensures the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems. They use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data to improve patient care or control costs. They can specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research.The RHIT protects patient privacy and provides information security. They can administer health information computer systems, and ensure compliance with standards and regulations regarding health information.

What do I need to become a RHIT?
In order to take the Registered Health Information Technician certification examination, you must graduate with an associate degree from an accredited college program. The Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredits programs based on their ability to comply with program standards. The program at Owens Community College is accredited by CAHIIM.
Once you have completed your program, you are eligible to sit for the national certification examination to earn the RHIT Credentials. Earning a credential validates your competence as an HIM professional to employers and the public.

How long is the associate degree program?
Full time students can complete the program in two years (5 semesters). Part-time students are required to complete the program in four years from when they enter the program.

What do I have to do to get into the program?
Apply for admission to Owens Community College
Submit official high school transcript or GED certificate
Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including Owens Community College
Request evaluation for admission in to the HIT Program through the selective admission process. You will receive notification that your file is complete and if you have been admitted into the program, based on the selective admission criteria.

Will I be able to work while attending the program? Is the program offered in the evenings or weekends?
Students in the program have found having a part-time or full time job is manageable, but does require excellent time management skills. The student must consider that during the second year of the program, a professional practice experience (PPE) of 160 hours is required. The PPE is usually conducted on Monday & Wednesdays from 8 am - 1 pm, so it is important to take that into consideration when making a decision about working.
Courses are offered during the day and evening if only offered in the classroom setting. 75% of the courses in this program are offered on-line. There are no weekend course offerings.

Where does a RHIT find employment?
RHIT's find employment in a variety of settings including: acute care hospitals, office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, public health agencies. An RHIT may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms and health product vendors.

What type of salary can a RHIT expect to receive?
Most new health information graduates with associate degrees earn from $25,000 to $30,000. These figures are just averages with many professionals reporting higher salaries.

What is the job market outlook?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites health information technology as one of the top 20 fastest growing occupations in the US. As health information technology (HIT) becomes more prevalent, health information practitioners will continue to be critical components of the electronic health record (EHR) workforce.According to the US Department of Labor, HIT will grow to encompass new support positions, including mobile support adoption positions, public health informatics, implementation support specialists, and information management redesign specialists.

If I decide to continue my education, are there bachelor degree programs available in this field?
Yes, there are bachelor degree programs in Health Information Management. Many are offered totally online. In Ohio, there is the University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, and The Ohio State University.


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