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Health Information Technology (HIT) Certification

Health information technology workers are responsible for organizing and maintaining medical records and data, primarily for hospitals and doctor's offices, though some are employed at nursing homes, public health agencies and mental health facilities.

Health information technology workers play a critical role linking patients' medical records and histories with insurance companies. They review and examine medical records to ensure they are completely and accurately filled out and use classification software to assign codes to medical procedures provided to patients for billing purposes. Most work "behind-the-scenes" in medical facilities, but they do interact regularly with registered nurses and other medical staff to compile and record patient data.

Although some health information technology workers have earned associate degrees, others hold certificates or diplomas, and many go on to earn professional certification as well -- often a requirement for employment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) reports.

Health information technology education and certification requirements

Students interested in health information technology careers typically must complete a certificate- or diploma-based program from an accredited vocational or technical school or an associate-level degree program from an accredited community college, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Programs routinely focus on the following courses:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Methods of Financial Reimbursement by Health Care Providers
  • Statistics of Health Care
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Computer Systems
  • Medical Classification and Coding Systems

Certificate and diploma programs typically last from six months to one year and are either campus-based, online or a hybrid of both. Upon completion of an educational program accredited through the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management, students can apply for licensing in the field through the one of several different organizations.

One of the most widely recognized certifications is the Registered Health Information Administrator and Registered Health Information Technician, both of which are administered by the American Health Information Management Association. Other important certifications include Certified Coding Associate, Certified Coding Specialist and Certified Coding Specialist-Physician based. There are a number of specialty coding certifications as well for different segments of the healthcare industry.

Benefits of certification in health information technology

According to the BLS, most employers prefer to hire workers who have obtained professional certifications in their particular field of allied health.

For instance, the Registered Health Information Administrator certification provided by the American Health Information Management Association demonstrates to employers that key employees are experts in the field of health information and medical recording, computer information systems, and methods of collecting and analyzing patient data. The certification also ensures that administrators have comprehensive knowledge of ancillary health care functions, such as their employers' ethical and legal obligations to patients, health care delivery standards and patient privacy.

The Registered Health Information Technician certification is for health information technology professionals who most often spend their workdays gathering and analyzing patient data and using computers to compile and sift through that data. It also shows they possess comprehensive knowledge of medical coding diagnoses and data recording practices. Certification can allow talented health information technicians to move ahead in the field and into management positions, especially if they possess a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, the AHIMA reports.

Sources:

Certifications, American Health Information Management Association, www.ahima.org/certification#

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm

Planning Your Education, American Health Information Management Association, www.ahima.org/careers/plan?tabid=cert

Health Information Technology Schools

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            Health Information Technology
            Fortis Institute , Cuyahoga Falls

            Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

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            Please call on  844-252-4552 to talk to a respresentative.

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            Certificate in Patient Care Technician
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in 2015 by the U.S. News & World Report.
            • Admits students throughout the year with quarterly start dates in January, April, July, and September.
            • Provides faculty-monitored internships or job-related assignments.
            • Offers associate and bachelor degree programs in business, design, health, plus certificate programs in practical nurse, medical assistant, and more.
            • Preparing students for professional and personal success since 1931.
            • More than $64 million in Berkeley College grants and scholarships provided during the 2015-2016 award year
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            Dialysis Technician - Diploma

            Blue Cliff College was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1987 with the goal of becoming one of the most respected and innovative Massage Therapy training centers in the nation. In June of 1989, the College in Louisiana received its Proprietary School License from the state. In 1998, the Continuing Education College was proud to receive accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is a recognized accrediting agency by the US Department of Education.

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            A.S. - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
            • 5 campus locations across Florida.
            • The place for students who want quality career training in the growing fields of allied health, business, design, education, information technology, legal studies, nursing and technical trades. 
            • Member of the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC).
            • FAPSC includes over 1,000 licensed, private career colleges all over the state of Florida, and prepares students in over 200 fields.
            • FAPSC members experience several benefits, including exclusive resources and discounts for FAPSC hosted events and programs.
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            Health Information Technology

            About Brightwood College

            Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

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