Online Schools for Registered Health Information Technicians

Read about hybrid degree programs for aspiring registered health information technicians, which combine online and on-campus coursework. Learn how to locate and choose a school for your studies. Explore the typical curriculum in a health information technology associate's degree program, and review the requirements for becoming registered. Find out how practical medical office experiences are incorporated into a hybrid program. Schools offering Health Information Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Associate's degree programs in health information technology are available in both fully and partially online formats and will set you on track to become a health information technician. Several schools offer programs that will prepare you for licensing exams by focusing on a range of medical topics, such as pharmacology, anatomy and healthcare ethics.

How Do I Become a Registered Health Information Technician?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an associate's degree is generally required for entry-level medical records technician or health information technician jobs (www.bls.gov). Employers usually prefer individuals who hold credentials as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). There are a number of schools that offer hybrid Associate of Science (A.S.) in Health Information Technology programs. In this format, a portion of your courses will be available online, while other requirements may be completed in-person. You may wish to fine tune your training and specialize as a medical coder or cancer registrar.

Admission to some programs can be quite competitive. You could prepare yourself by following a high school curriculum that includes courses in biology, chemistry, health, mathematics and computer science.

How Should I Choose a School?

The best way to select a school is to access the website of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The CAHIIM website has a database of accredited schools that offer online and on-campus associate's degrees in health information technology. The CAHIIM also offers information on bachelor's and master's programs.

Which Schools Offer Hybrid Associate's Degree Programs in Health Information Technology?

There are a number of schools with associate's degree programs in health information technology available either online or in a hybrid format. These schools include:

  • University of Northwestern Ohio hosts an online Associate of Applied Business in Health Information Technology program
  • Alfred State University has a hybrid format Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology program
  • Remington College has an online associate degree in Health Information Technology program

What Will I Learn?

You'll acquire technical skills that enable you to develop and manage medical information within the healthcare delivery system. You'll accomplish these tasks under the medical, legal and accreditation requirements of the profession. As an A.S. graduate, you'll learn to collect, analyze, record, retain and relate data by various manual and electronic methods, then communicate your findings to practitioners. You'll learn to act as a conduit between insurance providers, patients and healthcare providers.

Upon satisfactory completion of the program, you'll sit for the RHIT credentialing examination administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Some programs may require you to join the AHIMA as a student member (www.ahima.org).

What Courses Will I Take?

You'll be required to take a number of general education courses that can include English composition, communication, humanities, mathematics, natural science and social science. Other courses might include:

  • Medical billing
  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Ethics in Healthcare

There will be a number of courses in medical coding, in which you'll learn about the International Classification of Diseases. At least one coding course will usually take place at an approved healthcare facility. You'll have another on-site practicum working as a health information technician, emphasizing medical office and records management. An A.S. program typically takes two years to complete.

Pursuing a career in health information technology will require an associate's degree in the field, which will prepare you for the RHIT examination. You have a number of options to choose from, including online and hybrid degree programs that will allow you flexibility during your education.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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