16 Jan A Health Information Technology Degree Is Closer Than You Think
Do your friends ever tire of your meticulous attention to detail? What if that very quality could be your ticket to a great new career as a Health Information Technician?
Health Information Technicians interact with people in a medical environment without having to give shots or draw blood. If you’re ready to work in a professional healthcare setting and are good with numbers and organization, then you might just be the perfect candidate for a career in Health Information Technology (HIT).
Are you ready to take that first step to a rewarding career? This article will help you find the right HIT degree program that can give you valuable hands-on skills to become a Health Information Technician.
What Does a Health Information Technician Do?
These technicians handle a variety of information. They keep records of office visits, diagnoses, procedures, treatments and patient histories. They are versed in the language of medical coding and can analyze data to help improve medical care and control costs.
On a daily basis, technicians will…
- Manage and update patient medical records.
- Handle medical billing and coding.
- Supervise information clerks and medical transcriptionists in large offices or hospitals.
- Consult with doctors to investigate diagnoses.
- Use computer software to determine how much insurance companies and Medicare will pay.
HIT Career Outlook
Health Information Technology is a great field to get into right now. A widespread transition from paper to electronic medical records will require newly trained technicians to organize and manage them. Not only are technicians in high demand, but it doesn’t take long to complete your education and become an expert in your field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, (2012-13):
“Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020.”
What Makes a Good Health Information Technician Degree Program?
Many technical colleges offer a type of HIT program resulting in an Associate degree. These degree programs are typically designed to take less than two years to complete.
A quality HIT program will…
- Prepare you to take exams to receive in-demand professional certifications.
- Give you hands-on training in a real medical office environment. This is critical. Search for a program that provides clinical externships.
- Offer classes to fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you have a family or a will be working while attending school.
- Provide career placement services to help you find your new job after you graduate.
Many employers may require professional certification for employment; others may pay more for those who are certified in addition to holding a Health Information Technology Degree. Either way, having one or more professional certification can only expand your career opportunities.
Your training should prepare you to sit for a number of professional certification exams, such as:
- Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (AMBA)
- Certified Medical Coding Associate (AHIMA)
- Certified Medical Administrative Specialist (AMT)
- Certified Healthcare Access Associate (NAHAM)
If you can find a program that provides you with a clinical externship in a real medical office, you are in a very good place. An experience like this is incredibly valuable as it gives you real-world, hands-on training in a professional setting. Sometimes, the office where a student will complete their externship will end up hiring them on full-time.
Get Started Today on Your New Career in Healthcare!
If you’re ready to be proud of what you do, find a Health Information Technology degree program today and get started! You’ll never know what you are capable of accomplishing until you do it.