Health information technology programs cover a wide range of subjects in computer science, medicine and business. Students in Tennessee who wish to pursue entry-level positions in the health information management field may consider earning an associate's degree, a diploma or a certificate at one of six Tennessee technology centers and community colleges that offer these programs.
Some students can take advantage of online study options. The programs might feature full- or part- time scheduling. In addition to providing career education in health information technology, medical office assistance and health information management, many of these programs provide the necessary preparation for various professional certification examinations.
Chattanooga State Community College
Based in Chattanooga, this community college operates with the mission to provide occupational and technical education programs. Two such career-training programs are the associate's degree programs in health information technology and health information management. These associate's degree programs train students in the technical and administrative skills necessary to become health information technicians. The core curriculum includes English composition, human anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, medical data content and clinical coding. These programs are offered by the Nursing and Allied Health Division and may be pursued on either a part-time or full-time basis. Graduates of the programs are considered eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) examination. Chattanooga State Community College also offers learning support, mentoring and study groups through its Student Academic Services office.
Dyersburg State Community College
Established in 1967 in Dyersburg, this community college offers a 66-credit associate's degree program in health information technology. Coursework required by this online degree program includes medical terminology, healthcare quality management, legal aspects of health information and various coding systems. After graduation, students are sufficiently prepared to complete the RHIT examination and gain positions in the healthcare industry such as clinical coder or health information management department director.
Roane State Community College
Roane State Community College's main campus is located in Harriman, Tennessee; the school also features eight additional campus locations in the state. Students enrolled in the associate's degree program in health information technology may take day classes at the main campus or evening classes at the school's West Knoxville campus. The program is offered by the Allied Health Sciences Division and requires students to complete coursework in CPT coding, coding for reimbursement, medical office procedures, health data systems and pathology. Classes are also available in an online format.
Tennessee Technology Center at Crump
Crump's Tennessee Technology Center is a smaller school that enrolls only about 200 students. The school's health information technology program is a 1-year program in which students earn two certificates and a diploma in the subject. During the first trimester, students earn a health information support certificate after successfully completing courses in ethics, medical insurance and basic anatomy. Students take courses in medical office procedures, health information management systems and electronic health records during their second trimester and earn a health information technology certificate. Finally, students learn about medical transcription, advanced coding and inpatient billing in their last trimester, leading to a health information specialist diploma. After graduation, students may earn various National Healthcareer Association certifications including Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant and Certified Billing and Coding Specialist credentials.
Volunteer State Community College
Located in Gallatin, 30 miles northwest of Nashville, Volunteer State Community College offers more than 70 programs in five divisions, including an associate's degree program in health information technology. Students enrolled in the health information technology program learn how to organize, evaluate and statistically analyze medical information through coursework in computer applications, composition, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, legal aspects of medical records and clinical classification systems. Some coursework is provided in an online format. Students are also responsible for completing professional practice experience in local medical facilities. In order to enroll in the program, individuals are required to submit to a background check and drug screening, as well as provide proof of vaccinations, take a TB test and purchase professional liability insurance.
Walters State Community College
Morristown's Walters State Community College provides associate's degree and certificate programs for students in the East Tennessee area. The 2-year program in health information technology teaches students how to manage and code health and medical data and analyze reimbursement information. Students are required to complete 66 credits of coursework such as fundamentals of medical science, basic, intermediate and advanced coding, health statistics, quality improvement and assessment and a seminar in health information technology. Students also learn computer skills and how to use the common software in the field.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Health Information Technology Programs Available||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Chattanooga State Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management
| $4,063 in-state
|Dyersburg State Community College||2-year, public; remote town||Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology|| $4,235 in-state
|Roane State Community College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate in Applied Science in Health Information Technology|| $4,443 in-state
|Tennessee Technology Center at Crump||2-year, public; distant rural|| Health Information Coordinator Certificate,
Health Information Support Certificate,
Health Information Specialist Diploma
|Volunteer State Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology|| $4,522 in-state
|Walters State Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology|| $4,224 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator