Programs such as the Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology may include an emphasis on computer programs and information systems. To be admitted to an associate's degree program, applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Recommended high school subjects for the health information technology degree program include anatomy and physiology, laboratory-based biology, computer keyboarding, English and math. Programs often require enrolled students to participate in internships or other professional experience.
Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology
In an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology program, students learn about coding and organizing medical information for billing purposes, abstracting data to meet regulatory requirements and responding to medical or legal inquiries. Students learn how to organize patients' medical records to ensure that all health information is complete and accurate. Business fundamentals such as professional ethics are also stressed. The curriculum emphasizes three areas: computer technology, medical science fundamentals and business management. Course subjects include:
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Pathology and disease
- Insurance coding
- Business communication
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) projected that medical records and health information technician jobs would increase by 15% between 2014 and 2024. In May of 2015, the national average salary for this position was $40,430.
Graduates who have associate's degrees can take the exam to become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT). This credential is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The certification is not mandatory but reflects a degree of professionalism that is sought by many employers. Those who are interested in continuing their education can go on to a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program in health information technology. The Ph.D. program is largely geared toward individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching or research.
An Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology prepares students for higher education or to work as a registered medical records or health information technician. Students gain skills in handling medical information and managing the business side of the medical field.