Health Information Technology

Health information technology (HIT) refers to the framework used to manage health information, and the exchange of health information in a digital format. Professionals who work in HIT are focused on the technical side of managing health information, working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient data. HIT professionals are usually from information technology backgrounds, and provide support for EHRs and other systems HIM professionals use to secure health information. As technology advances, HIT professionals are necessary to ensure the electronic data HIM professionals manage is maintained and exchanged accurately and efficiently.

Why Choose a Career in Health Information?

Versatile Education

By studying health information, students will acquire a versatile yet focused skill set incorporating clinical, information technology, leadership, and management skills. Health information professionals use their knowledge of information technology and records management to form the link between clinicians, administrators, technology designers, and information technology professionals.

A career in HIT is right for you if you:

  • See yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities.
  • Would like to work in health care, but not directly with patients.
  • Have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law, and computers.
  • Enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
  • Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both.

Curriculum Information

Richland’s HIT curriculum covers the most relevant and up-to-date healthcare industry standards for entry level positions in the HIT field. Our HIT students participate in a professional practicum and also use the AHIMA Virtual Lab, which is designed to provide first-hand experience working in real-world scenarios, helping them develop the high level of competency needed to successfully protect patient health information.

Training includes courses in general education, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, legal aspects of health care, ICD and CPT coding, health information technology, law and ethics, and practical experience in health care facilities.

Cahiim accredited seal

The Health Information Technology AAS degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Richland’s accreditation for the AAS degree in Health Information Technology has been reaffirmed through 2023-2024.  All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, IL 60601; by phone at (312) 235-3255; or by email at info@cahiim.org.

Graduates are eligible to take the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam.

A coding certificate is offered for those students who do not wish to complete the AAS degree. The coding certificate prepares students to take the national CCA or CCS/CCS-P exams administered through (AHIMA), but does not allow them to sit for the RHIT exam.

Richland Community College’s pass rate on the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) Examination from Jan. 2021 through Dec. 2021 was 86% (national average 73%). Graduation rate is 62%.  Employment rate of 96% within 6 months of graduation. Student satisfaction rate 96%.

Health Information Management is one of nine hot majors identified by U.S. News and World Report! As stated in a recent article from U.S.News & World Report, “the need is huge for professionals who can help acquire, manage, and use information to improve health and manage payments.” (September 19, 2011)

Program Mission and Goals

The Health Information Technology Program Mission reflects Richland’s Mission. The mission of the Health Information Technology Program is to provide students with the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and skills to become employed as entry level health information technologists in a variety of healthcare settings.

The purpose of the Health Information Technology program is to prepare competent entry-level health information technologists with the necessary knowledge and skills gained through meeting curriculum competencies outlined by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The program will provide students with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to gain employment as health information technologists. This will be accomplished by meeting or exceeding the criteria set forth in the current Standards and Curriculum Requirements for an accredited program in Health Information Technology.

Projected Program Costs

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