Health information technology is an exciting and in-demand career that you can train for as little as eight months at ATA College in El Cajon, California. The demand for skilled health information technicians is so high that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 17 percent growth rate each year from now until 2031.
Understanding Health Information Technology as a Discipline
The Health and Human Services (HHS) division of the federal government describes health information technology as an electronic environment that exists for the purpose of storing, processing, and sharing healthcare information. 46% of people employed as a health information technician (HIT) work in hospitals, while 11% work in medical clinics. Skilled nursing facilities are the third most common place for HITs to work.
The benefits of health information technology are many, according to the HHS. Some of the top ones include:
- Bring down healthcare costs for providers and patients
- Improve the efficiency of healthcare administration and delivery
- Improve healthcare quality and delivery
- Make affordable healthcare accessible to more people
- Prevent medical errors
- Reduce administrative burden, including paperwork
Previous graduates of our Health Information Technician (HIT) diploma or associate degree program have stated that the ability to offer these benefits and more to patients and employers is personally rewarding to them.
What Do Health Information Technicians Do?
This career requires you to use your knowledge and skills about healthcare and technology to assist doctors and other medical providers improve patient care while also lowering cost. You will spend much of your shift working on a computer. Here are several specific duties you can expect to complete:
- Assign clinical codes to patient procedures
- Confirm the integrity of patient data
- Determine the best way to operate the healthcare facility’s computerized information systems
- Follow established procedures to ensure confidentiality and security of each patient’s health data
- Gather and organize patient data in registries or clinical databases
- Generate reports from data you have entered to create such things as a disease registry or treatment options
- Track patient outcomes to assist with quality assessment
No healthcare facility could serve patients successfully without the hard work and dedication of HITs. Doctors and nurses may be on the front lines, but your work behind the scenes helps them provide patients with the best possible care.
How Much Can You Earn as a Health Information Technician?
The BLS reports that the median income for HITs is $55,560 per year. Median income refers to the 50th percentile of earnings and often represents someone at the midpoint of their career. HITs at the 10th earnings percentile report an average annual income of $29,680, while those at the 90th percentile earn an average yearly salary of $98,490. HITs who work in professional, technical, or scientific services report the highest median incomes, while those who work in medical clinics report the lowest median incomes.
Choose Our HIT Diploma Program or Associate of Applied Science to Meet Your Career Goals
ATA College offers two programs that prepare you for entry-level work in the field of health information technology. With the diploma program, you earn 36 semester credits over a period of 34 weeks. You will learn various classification systems to categorize and code information from patient visits. This type of specialized coding is necessary so your employer can submit a claim to each patient’s insurance company for reimbursement.
The diploma program includes 16 courses and an offsite externship. Here are several examples of courses you will complete in the HIT diploma program:
- Anatomy and Physiology, beginning and advanced levels
- Collection and Reimbursement Procedures
- Electronic Health Records, beginning and advanced levels
- Medical Bookkeeping
- Medical Insurance and Coding
- Medical Terminology
The Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science degree takes an additional six months to complete. You will take more general education courses along with advanced coding and billing courses to help you command a higher starting wage. The associate degree program requires the completion of 64 semester hours over a period of 60 weeks. You will complete the same courses as the diploma program with the addition of the following:
- Business Computer Applications
- Business Ethics
- College Math
- Earth Science
- Introduction to Psychology
- United States History
The associate degree program also includes a coding externship and two courses to prepare you for certification with the National Center for Competency Testing.
Are You Ready to Train for This Fun and Rewarding Career?
If you know that a career as a HIT is right for you and you don’t have any additional questions, feel free to apply for admission to ATA College at this link. We also welcome your inquiries about the diploma program, associate degree, or general admission and financial aid questions. You may reach out to us by phone at 6