What Skills Will I Learn in an Online Health Information Technology Course?

Online health information technology courses typically cover skills like medical billing, coding and terminology. Most of the courses are offered as part of Web-based associate's degree programs in health information technology. Read on for more details about what you can learn in health information technology courses. Schools offering Health Information Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Health Information Technology Skills

As a health information technician, your main job will be to collect medical data, ensure it is complete and enter it into health information systems, often electronically. To learn the skills necessary for the job, you may consider completing a health information technology (HIT) degree program. HIT programs typically offer courses that teach you skills in areas such as medical terminology, pharmacology, medical coding and billing procedures.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED, as well as high school biology
Degrees Certificate, associate's degree
Concentrations Medical coding & reimbursement, health information technology
Continuing Education Continuing education is required to maintain professional certification through AHIMA
Median Salary (2018)$40,350 (Medical Records and Health Information Technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)13% (Medical Records and Health Information Technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Medical Terminology

As a health information technician, you will deal with medical records containing highly technical language. This requires you to have a solid understanding of medical terminology. Online associate's degree programs in HIT usually require you to take a course in medical terminology or anatomy and physiology so that you can detect errors in patient records and properly code medical information for statistical analysis.


Some of the medical data you might encounter involves drugs or other pharmaceuticals prescribed to patients. Many HIT degree programs require you to take an introductory pharmacology class to provide you with knowledge of the different classifications, effects, side-effects and dosage instructions of various medications. You'll also learn about the rules and regulations governing responsible drug administration.

Medical Coding

If you want to become a medical coding specialist, you must learn to code health records. Coding allows health records to be entered into health information systems and analyzed by third parties like insurance companies, hospitals and researchers. In an online HIT degree program, you'll take courses involving various types of procedural and diagnostics coding systems, such as the ICD-9, ICD-10, CPT and HCPCS.

Billing and Insurance Reimbursement

Health information technicians who work for hospitals, doctors' offices or insurance companies may be responsible for billing patients or insurers for services rendered. To prepare you for this responsibility, online HIT degree programs usually offer courses that cover insurance company reimbursement procedures and federal guidelines for compliance and reporting. You may also learn how to detect cases of insurance fraud and abuse.

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:

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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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