An online Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Technology program in health information technology prepares students for careers in medical records management and medical coding. Courses typically synthesize concepts and content from medicine and computer science. Because programs are completed entirely online, students need sufficient technology to access a virtual classroom.
Bachelor's Degree in Health Information Technology
Health information technology programs usually lead to a Bachelor of Science, though in some cases, it may be a Bachelor of Technology. In these online programs, students learn to work with traditional paper-based information management systems and emerging electronic systems. Students explore both legacy systems of information management and new approaches that sit at the intersection of medical technology and computer technology.
Information and Requirements
Most distance learning bachelor's programs in health information technology can be completed totally online. Students usually have access to course materials 24 hours a day through their school's virtual classrooms. These sites contain assignments, communication tools, lectures and assessments. Discussion forums and chat rooms are commonly available to allow classmates to engage with each other as well as their instructors.
Students enrolled in an online program will have the same breadth and depth of coursework as those who attend classes in a classroom. Distance learning courses may include the following:
- Healthcare terminology
- Human-computer interaction
- Information systems architecture
- Data collection and records
- Healthcare database management
- Information systems security
- IT organization and alignment
- Future technology trends
Students who complete a health information technology bachelor's degree program acquire the specialized skill set required to work with medical records. In addition to working as health information technicians, they can become medical record coders. Settings where they might find employment include:
- General medical and surgical hospitals
- Nursing care facilities
- Psychiatric facilities
- Outpatient care centers
- Private physicians' offices
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of medical records and health information technicians to grow 15% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Those who obtain professional certification in the field should have good prospects. According to BLS data from 2015, health information techs earned a median annual salary of $37,110.
After completing an online bachelor's degree program in healthcare information technology, graduates have the general medical knowledge and technological skills needed to manage records or code medical data within the offices of healthcare institutions.