Associate's degree programs in health information technology are typically offered through vocational schools and community colleges. Such degree programs are designed primarily to teach students how to use the electronic systems and information resource technologies necessary to keep track of medical records.
Students may be required to pass a certification exam. Common prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED and the completion of biology, laboratory sciences, communication and computer science courses.
Associate's Degree Programs in Medical Information Technology
The courses in an associate's degree program in medical information technology should provide students with the training to perform the basic tasks of the profession. Students first learn basic office administration and computer science skills. They learn medical terminology, coding, reimbursement procedures and insurance company regulations. A list of potential course topics includes:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology and coding
- Health data content
- Healthcare and computers
- Legal requirements in health information management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The growing use of electronic recording systems in healthcare information technology has greatly impacted the health information technician profession. Between 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicted that available positions in the industry were expected to grow by 15%, which is higher than average. According to the BLS, there were about 189,930 medical records and health information technicians employed in the country in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The mean wage for the position was $40,430 in 2015, as reported by the BLS.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers certification via examination for health information technicians in the form of a Registered Health Information Technician credential. Individuals interested in advancing to management or administration positions might consider enrolling in a bachelor's or master's degree program in health information management.
Degree programs in the medical information technology fields are available to students at the associate's level. Courses in human anatomy and physiology prepare graduates for a career within the field.