Health information technology certificate programs show students how to maintain accurate medical records and properly bill insurance companies. Graduates may find themselves working in hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics or anywhere patient information is tracked for insurance and reference purposes. In addition to computer skills, students also acquire a general knowledge of patient care and medical terminology.
This certificate program requires a high school diploma or GED. Upon graduation, students can find positions in locations such as a doctor's office, dentist office, hospitals, clinics. Those who are interested in growing in the field can go on to earn an associate's degree and voluntary certification.
Certificate in Health Information Technology
Topics in these programs include how to document diagnoses and treatments and how to file insurance claims. Coding for the international classification of diseases and current procedural terminology may also be discussed. Other courses may include:
- Computer technology
- Medical terminology
- Coding and billing
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), job growth for health information technicians is projected to grow, faster than average, at a rate of 15%, from 2014 to 2024. As of May 2015, the mean annual income of health information technicians was $40,430.
Continuing Education Information
Students may wish to continue their studies in a 2-year program. Graduates with an associate's degree in health information technology are often qualified for management positions. These programs include additional topics of study in health information law, data analysis and transcription.
Graduates of a certificate program can qualify to pass the Certified Coding Associate examination. This exam is administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and is offered to entry-level job applicants who wish to add professional credentials to their resume.
To become certified as a registered health information technician, students must complete an associate's degree program in health information technology and pass a written exam also offered by AHIMA. While certification is not required for employment, it does relay students' professionalism to potential or current employers.
For health information technicians looking to specialize as a cancer tumor registrar, certification is available after completing program requirements at a school accredited by the National Cancer Registrars Association. These are typically 2-year programs whose course objectives include a mastery of the procedures used for reporting patient procedures and their outcomes to the national cancer registry.
Students who want to earn a hospital information technician certificate will learn about proper medical records and how to handle insurance company claims over the course of 2 years. When students graduate they can take the certification exam and then work in locations such as hospitals, doctors' offices and clinics.