Online health information technology programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. While some programs may be completed entirely online, some hybrid programs require an in-person clinical rotation or internship to graduate.
Online courses may be offered on more intensive time constraints when compared to traditional campus-based ones, specifically seven or eight weeks at a time. In addition, some programs, particularly at the master's level, may only start once a year.
To participate via distance learning, online health information technology students log into a class delivery system, such as Blackboard, in order to complete coursework and class discussions. There is often no scheduled time for classes, and students may log in at their convenience from anywhere with Internet access.
Online health information technology programs at this level often prepare students for exams, such as the National Certified Insurance & Coding Specialist Exam or Registered Health Information Technician Exam.
Many online associate degree programs require clinical rotations, which are set up by schools in order to give students professional practice experience. The students generally complete clinical rotations at sites near their workplaces or homes.
A typical health information technology program at the associate's degree level features coursework in the topics listed below:
- Anatomy & physiology
- Health information management fundamentals
- Insurance processing and reimbursement
- Health records management
- Medical terminology
Most health information technology bachelor's degree programs that are offered through distance education are available as degree completion programs for students who have a related associate's degree. These programs can often be completed entirely online, with no on-campus requirements.
In a bachelor's degree program, students might be required to complete a capstone project in which they propose a solution to a common health information technology problem. Additionally, students take classes in the following topics:
- Coding and classifications
- Health data systems
- Privacy in health care
- Systems security
- Information systems analysis
- Project management
- Technical writing
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Health Care Administration
- Health Information and Records Admin
- Health Information Technology
- Health Management and Clinical Administration
- Health Unit Coordinator
- Health Ward Supervisor
- Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
- Medical Claims Examiner
- Medical Facilities Management
- Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
- Medical Insurance Services
- Medical Office Computer Technologies
- Medical Office Management
- Medical Office Specialist
- Medical Receptionist
- Medical Staff Services
- Medical Transcriptionist
IT professionals working in health care as well as public health and health care policy professionals who would like advanced knowledge in health information technology might consider earning a master's degree. Master's degree programs may be designed for aspiring supervisors or managers.
While many master's degree programs are offered entirely online, some may integrate an internship component. Such experiences are designed to strengthen students' real-world knowledge of developing project plans, solving problems and making decisions in this specialized IT field.
Master's-level students might need to complete a final project prior to earning their degree. In addition, throughout the program they often take courses in the following:
- Health administration
- Health care financing
- Health management information systems
- Health information exchange
- Health information technology leadership
- Planning and management
Health information technology careers may be found in many different environments, such as hospitals, insurance companies, law firms, family practice, medical clinics, rehabilitation centers and other health care facilities.
Undergraduate Degree Employment Options
Graduates of an online undergraduate degree program in health information technology can work in entry-level positions as:
- Insurance claims analysts
- Patient information coordinators
- Physician practice managers
- Medical coders
- Health data analysts
- Records technicians
Graduate Degree Employment Options
Those who complete a master's degree in health information technology and have some experience in the field may seek work as the following:
- Health care IT directors
- Project managers
- Health care systems managers
- Medical records directors
Undergraduate and graduate level degree programs in health information technology are available through distance learning. While some programs are available fully online, other programs may have some in-person requirements, such as clinical rotations or internships.