Health Information Technology

Health Information Technician professionals play a critical role in maintaining, collecting and analyzing the data that doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers rely on to deliver quality healthcare. They are experts in managing patient health information and medical records, administering computer information systems and coding the diagnosis and procedures for healthcare services provided to patients. HIT professionals work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry including hospitals, physician offices and clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance companies, government agencies and home care providers. In fact, employment opportunities exist in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law firms, and health product vendors.

What is a health record?
A health record is a permanent report of one person's injury or illness and treatment. Each record consists of all medical reports describing the patient's progress. The record is of medical, scientific and legal value to the health care institution, patient and physician. Complete and accurate health records are of vital importance for quality patient care.

Health records are used in every aspect of health care planning and delivery. Their primary purpose is to serve as a basis for planning patient care. A health record contains a patient's medical history, physical assessment, test results and notes about the patient's treatment and condition. The medical record serves as a means of communication among all members of the health care team, including physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, therapists, and many others. Such documentation assists in ensuring the continuity of care and protects the financial and legal interests of the patient, the health care facility, and the responsible practitioner caring for the patient.

Program Overview:
The student choosing the Health Information Technology (HIT) Program will be trained in the skills needed to be effective in maintaining health information. Upon completion of an approved Health Information Technology Program, the student receives an Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.). After graduation from the program, the graduate is qualified to take the National Accreditation Examination for Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).

Employment Opportunities:
In the health care field, advances in medical science, legislative reform, computerization, and the need to manage health care delivery systems and health care costs, have created a growing demand for information professionals-professionals with the knowledge and skills to process, analyze and distribute health care informtion.

According to the Uinted States Bureau of Labor, HIM and health information technology (HIT) jobs are expected to grow an awesome 47 percent through 2012. On top of strong job prospects, competitive salaries also await HIT graduates. New graduates with an associate degree can earn $20,000 to $30,000 annually.

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