This is one profession that allows you to enter the healthcare field, with minimal education. Typically, all that is required in order to become a health information technologist is an Associate’s Degree. This is one of the few healthcare fields that do not put you in direct contact with patients, in most cases.
Health information technologists essentially combine health information for patients. That information is gathered from doctors, information that the patient gives, laboratories, and other health professionals. It is extremely important that the health information technologist have an eye for detail and be willing to double check facts, as a patient’s health history and health information is vital to their overall healthcare now and in the future.
Health information technologists work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies, insurance companies, and a variety of other settings where healthcare and health records are important to the care of patients. Many of these professionals also work for federal and state government agencies. The information is gathered and essentially sent to the professional in bits and pieces, where it is compiled with the help of a computer program.
Data entry skills are essential, but it takes more than data entry skills to be employable and successful in this career. You must also know medical terminology, and you must receive certification, or Registered Health Information Technicians Credentials (RHIT).
Because this is a healthcare field that does not require direct contact with or treatment of patients, the education that is required can be obtained in an online environment, through a wide range of accredited online schools, or traditional schools that offer online or distance education. Classroom attendance really isn’t necessary, and this typically lowers the cost of the education significantly.
The salary for health information technologists ranges from $30,000 annually up to about $50,000 annually, and this is usually dependent on the demand for these services where the person lives, although the amount of education the professional has received will also have an impact on salary.
Online Course Resources
Course Title: Health Information Technology
Name of Company: McKinley College
Location: 2001 Lowe Street, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Description: This is a self-paced, online program that can be completed in less than sixteen months.
Course Title: Health Information Technology Degree Program
Name of Company: DeVry University
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, United Kingdom
Description: This program takes approximately four full semesters to complete, and awards the student the Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology.
Course Title: Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology
Name of Company: Rasmussen College
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Description: This program is available online, and takes two or more years to complete, at your own pace.
Course Title: Master of Science in Information Technology
Name of Company: Capella University
Location: 225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Description: This program takes 48 semester hours to complete, and you must be a graduate student to be considered.
Course Title: Health Information Technology Degree
Name of Company: ITT Technical Institute
Location: Carmel, Indiana, United States
Description: This is a two year program, which is available on a number of campuses, or online.