Programs that cover concepts related to the management of medical records are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Education in this field is offered by two-year community colleges and four-year universities.
Schools with Medical Records Programs
Medical records programs can be found at a variety of four- and two-year schools, including the following nine institutions:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public|| Associate's
| $2,834 in-state,
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's|| $10,037 in-state,
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public|| Bachelor's
| $6,368 in-state,
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public|| Undergraduate Certificate
| $1,632 in-district,
|Northern Virginia Community College||Annandale, VA||2-year, Public|| Undergraduate Certificate
| $5,138 in-state,
|Lone Star College System||The Woodlands, TX||2-year, Public|| Undergraduate Certificate
| $1,504 in-district,
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, Public||Associate's|| $2,805 in-state,
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public|| Bachelor's
| $11,839 in-state,
|Tarrant County College District||Fort Worth, TX||2-year, Public|| Undergraduate Certificate
| $1,320 in-district,
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Applicants may want to consider the following when looking for medical records schools:
- Students may want to look into the school's computer lab facilities in order to ensure that they will gain experience with industry-standard equipment and software.
- Students who are considering undergraduate certificate or associate's degree programs may want to find out if the credits are transferable to bachelor's degree programs in the future.
- Students who work or have other scheduling constraints may want to look for programs that are offered online or in part-time formats.
- It can be helpful to find out what the pass rate is for graduates on relevant credential exams, such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam or the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam.
Associate's Degree Programs
Students who are interested in medical records management can earn an associate's degree in health information technology. These programs prepare students to organize and analyze health information, compile key statistics, regulate information release and code diseases and treatments. Some programs prepare students for specific credentialing exams, such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam, which is preferred or required by many employers. Over the course of these two-year programs, students must also fulfill general education requirements.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in health information management are highly interdisciplinary, combining education in information technology, data management, health sciences, business and general liberal arts studies. Prior to graduation, students may be required to complete an internship or cooperative work experience. These programs typically take four years to complete, but they may also be offered as two-year degree completion programs for students who already hold associate's degrees. Upon graduation, students may be eligible for a higher-level certification exam, such as the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) exam.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in health information technology are designed for experienced IT professionals who want to direct their careers toward the management of medical records. Students take advanced courses in both information technology and healthcare management to prepare for work in the design, implementation and maintenance of large-scale medical records storage networks. An emphasis is placed on the development of efficient systems that are easy to use and improve health care delivery in the United States. An internship may be required.
Certificate programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate certificate programs typically introduce students to the basics of health informatics. They may be offered in standalone formats, either online or on campus, or they may be available as part of broader bachelor's degree programs. Graduate certificate programs provide advanced coursework similar to master's programs, but students can enroll without committing to a full degree program; these certificates may be available for part-time study and take one year or less to complete.
Health information management programs can be found at many schools across the country, teaching students how to manage medical databases and record systems. Prospective students may want to consider scheduling options and credit transfer opportunities when choosing between programs.