How to Choose Schools with Medical Records Technician Programs

Dec 07, 2019

Most medical records technician schools offer associate and bachelor's degree programs as well as certificate programs. Choosing a school with a medical records technician program requires consideration of the program's accreditation and preparation of students for credentialing exams.

Medical records technicians learn how to manage patient records, typically through the use of technology. Certificates of completion and associate degrees in health information technology are the most common programs offered to prospective technicians; bachelor's degree programs in health information management are available, but less common.

Schools with Medical Information Technology Programs

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer medical information technology programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
Albany Technical College Albany, GA 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $2,712; Out-of-state $4,848
American Career College Anaheim, CA 2-year, Private Associate's $18,200
Blue Ridge Community College Martinsburg, WV 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $4,128; Out-of-state $4,128
Franklin University Columbus, OH 4-year, Private Bachelor's $12,649
Keiser University - Ft. Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private Associate's, Bachelor's $20,208
Resurrection University Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's $25,810

*Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

There are some important considerations when selecting a medical records technician school:

  • An important consideration is whether the student would like to earn a certificate or a degree in the field, keeping in mind that bachelor's degree programs typically focus more on the business aspects of the field, such as the design, implementation and managerial aspects of software and technological devices.
  • Prior to choosing a school, students may also want to identify the type, variety and length of hands-on experience that a program requires. Certificate programs typically include no internships and only a few associate degree programs require hands-on clinics.
  • Also important when choosing a medical records technician school is whether the electronics and software available for student use is up-to-date.
  • Students might want to ensure their program is approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), since this accrediting body also administrates the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam.

Medical Records Technician Certificate

Medical records technician certificate programs usually require 1-2 years of study. These programs introduce students to the basics of medical record keeping, including privacy concerns and quality assurance methods. In addition to core courses, students are usually required to complete an average of 15-course credit hours on general education studies.

Associate of Science in Health Information Technology

Offered as an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science, these degree programs require 60-70 credit hours, half of which are dedicated to general education classes. Upon completion of an accredited program, students may be able to sit for the RHIT certification exam.

Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management

Requiring an average of four years of study, bachelor's degree programs are typically offered as health information management degrees. Students in these programs must complete extensive general education coursework. Bachelor degree programs focus on the design, implementation and management of health information rather than data collection.

There are a number of 2-year colleges and 4-year universities that offer programs in health information technology for those interested in working with medical records. Students can earn a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree to prepare to enter this career field.

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