Only three not-for-profit schools in Alabama offer Health Information Technology (HIT) programs. Although few schools in this state offer certificate programs in the field, students can find associate's programs that prepare them for careers in health information. Curriculum requirements include classroom instruction, laboratory training, and clinical experiences or rotations. Associate's degree programs include general education classes; the single certificate program concentrates on HIT coursework.
Bishop State Community College
Located in Mobile, Bishop State Community College offers an HIT associate's degree program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Courses include medical terminology, health data content, medical coding systems, healthcare statistics, healthcare computer applications and healthcare delivery systems. Laboratory components and a preceptorship provide students with hands-on experience. This program prepares students to become RHIT certified.
Enterprise State Community College
Enterprise-based Enterprise State Community College has HIT certificate and associate's degree programs. Both programs require courses in health data content and structure, HIT ethics and law, HIT reimbursement and classification, medical terminology, medical coding systems and HIT computer applications. The associate's degree program also covers general education requirements, supervision principles, medical transcription and keyboarding. Students apply HIT theory and concepts by participating in professional practice experience and workplace skills development. The certificate program requires 27 credit hours, and the associate's degree program consists of 68 credit hours.
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
Prospective students can find an HIT associate's degree program at Hanceville's Wallace State Community College. This program is accredited by the CAHIIM and covers topics in medical coding, HIT computer applications, HIT supervision principles, HIT classification and reimbursement, pharmacology, HIT pathophysiology and health data structures. Before graduation, students must complete professional practice, laboratory and HIT clinical practice components.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information technicians typically need some postsecondary training, and they are more likely to find a job after earning a professional certification. Most of the following programs help students prepare to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). In order to qualify for RHIT certification, applicants must have completed a postsecondary associate's program that's approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) or one that meets the AHIMA requirements.
The following are more detailed profiles of each of the schools in Alabama to offer programs related to health information technology.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Health Information Technology Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Bishop State Community College||2-year; public; midsize city||Associate in Applied Science in Health Information Technology|| $4,740 in-state
|Enterprise State Community College||2-year; public; distant town|| Health Information Technology Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Office Administration with a concentration in health information technology
| $4,740 in-state
|George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville||2-year; public; distant town||Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology|| $4,740 in-state
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.