If you’re wondering what it takes to become an expert in this field, you have less to worry about.
This guide will focus on how to become a health information technician. We’ll highlight the different steps you can take to enter this profession.
In addition, we’ll talk about the duration of studies, salary structure, and other vital details. But before hitting the nail on the head, we’d like to review the roles of these experts.
Health Information Technician Requirements
Do you want to work in a multidisciplinary sector where technology is used to handle healthcare information?
Then, developing into a health IT will be ideal for you. You’ll be in charge of the information flow while giving the clinical sector’s most important support.
Additionally, you’ll guarantee that patient data is correct and safe, following regional and federal requirements.
What Does a Health Information Technician Do?
Other titles for a health IT professional include medical registrar, medical records specialist, and health information software specialist.
They have expertise in managing responsibilities like assessing, keeping track of, and organizing medical records. They also ensure the accuracy and confidentiality of medical data for patients and hospital employees.
Another task these experts perform is analyzing the quality of care their workplace provides. They also assess data to determine ways to improve patient care, lower costs, and increase efficiency.
RHITs are skilled with data systems and have a solid understanding of medical procedures. They oversee all medical choices, insurance payments, and service recommendations.
These experts can be found in hospitals, nursing homes, insurance firms, medical offices, and governmental organizations.
Below are the steps on how to become a RHIT.
Becoming a Health Information Technologist
You must pass through some processes to become an expert in this field. These include formal training in certified facilities, hands-on experience, and certifications.
After satisfying these conditions, you can seek employment. Do you need an explanation? Keep reading this article.
Earn a High School Diploma or GED
A high school diploma or GED is enough for you to get started in this profession. During your studies, you’ll cover courses in technology, business, English, math, biology, and other sciences.
These classes will help you develop foundational knowledge relevant to RHITs’ duties. For instance, business courses could teach you applicable office and admin skills.
A secondary school education can be an easy way to secure entry into associate or certificate RHIT programs. Such qualifications are also critical to starting a career in this field.
Associate Degree or Certificate in HIT
Most employers or job chances may consider certificate programs or an associate degree.
While learning, you’ll discover how to organize, maintain, and retrieve paper and digital documents. You’ll also learn how to comprehend data and maintain security records.
You’ll take classes in clinical information technology, medical coding, reimbursement policies, and health statistics.
Others include pharmacology, medical coding, regulation and compliance, disease and diagnosis, and more. It typically takes two years to complete an associate’s degree in health information technology.
Bachelor’s Degree in HIT
Earning a bachelor’s degree or higher is optional to enter this career route.
When you enter the job market, these certifications will increase your attractiveness to employers. Additionally, you’ll be eligible to sit for the certification and licensing tests.
During your undergraduate education, you’ll take classes like pathophysiology, medical terminology, and Intro to Health IT Systems.
Other courses include Clinical Compliance, Intro to Pharmacology, Classification Systems, Healthcare Ecosystems, and more.
An average bachelor’s degree in this profession takes four years to complete.
You’ll need hands-on experience to qualify for specialized positions in the industry. Such competency can be obtained during or after your education.
Some HIT programs include internships in their study curriculum. This will allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge in the real world.
Moreover, they’ll have the chance to learn under the supervision of certified and experienced HITs. You can also take entry-level jobs or volunteer in clinical facilities to build valuable knowledge and skills.
Seek for Industry Certifications
Acquiring attestation for your experience and knowledge of the field is optional to enter this career path. Some states or federal agencies don’t demand such credentials.
However, most potential employers prioritize candidates with professional certification. Such certificates will also set you apart from job seekers in a competitive labor market.
Some certifications you can obtain include RHIT, CCS, and CDIP. AHIMA covers medical coding, health data analysis, and documentation improvement.
Before you receive either of these certificates, you must meet certain conditions. These include finishing at least an associate or undergraduate degree in HIT or related fields.
You’ll also need to gain relevant work experience and pass the professional exams. Upon success, you’ll be issued the certificate of your choice.
Professional Exams for RHITs
The certification exams for RHITs consist of 130 multiple-choice questions to be answered in under three and a half or four hours.
Questions are obtained from six domains: data access, data analysis, privacy, and security. Others include compliance and leadership, data content and information governance, coding, knowledge skills, etc.
Before writing the test, you’ll be required to pay an average of $220 to $299 for registration. You have only a four-month window after enrollment to take the exams.
It’s administered online or at a designated testing center.
Keeping Your RHIT Credential Updated
After two years, you must renew your AHIMA attestation credential.
Before updating such a document, certain conditions must be met. These include paying for recertification and finishing at least 20 hours of continuing education units.
The Pay of Health Information Technician
You must know how much you’ll gain after these rigorous processes.
This will help you know whether or not the career is worthwhile. Based on the reports provided by BLS, the median salary of these workers is around $54,263 per year.
However, this amount can go as high as $31,500 to $65,000 annually. We have some positions, too, that pay up to $85,500 per year.
That said, how much you’ll earn in this profession depends on a few factors: your academic background, level of experience, work settings, specialty area, and geographical settings.
Is Health Information Technology a Good Career?
Anyone interested in working in the medical field should consider a career in HIT. You’ll be able to make excellent use of your analytical, technical, and organizational abilities.
Follow the instructions in the above guidance to become a HIT if that’s what you want to do.