RHIT Certification

RHIT certification is the registered health information technician credential awarded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Health information technicians earn this designation after meeting specific qualifications and passing the RHIT examination. Health information technicians with RHIT certification have demonstrated expertise in their profession according to industry standards. While RHIT certification is a voluntary credential not required by law, some employers require that health information technicians have this designation.

What Does RHIT Certification Indicate?

RHIT certification indicates that a health information technician has proven mastery of the knowledge needed to ensure the accuracy, accessibility and security of medical records in the healthcare system. RHIT certification shows that a health information technician has the expertise to perform responsibilities such as these:

  • Validating the accuracy of medical records and their entry into a computer system
  • Using computer systems to identify ways to reduce costs and improve patient care
  • Coding medical services with classification software for insurance reimbursement and research
  • Insuring the security of patient health records and organizational computer systems
  • Collecting and maintaining data on cancer patients when specializing as a cancer registrar

What are the Requirements for RHIT Certification?

The requirements for RHIT certification are established by AHIMA, which awards the credential. Candidates for RHIT certification must meet one of the following educational criteria before applying:

  • Successful completion of the academic requirements of a healthcare information management (HIM) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) at an associate degree level; or
  • Successful completion of an HIM program with approval from a foreign organization with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement

In addition, applicants for RHIT certification must do the following:

  • Provide an official school transcript the first time they apply for the examination
  • Obtain AHIMA approval of academic qualifications
  • Pass the RHIT certification examination

Students enrolled in HIM programs accredited by CAHIIM are eligible for early exam testing if they are at the following status:

  • Current students enrolled in their last term of study
  • Current students who have fulfilled their academic requirements but have not graduated
  • Graduates waiting for their official transcripts

Once RHIT certification is earned, AHIMA requires that RHIT certification is renewed every two years by completing 20 continuing education units (CEUs) and paying related recertification fees.

What does the RHIT certification examination entail?

The RHIT certification examination is a test of 150 multiple-choice questions. Students are allowed 3.5 hours without breaks to take the test. Only 130 questions are graded since 20 “pretest” questions are included. These ungraded questions are analyzed for their use in future RHIT certification examinations.

Content for the RHIT certification examination is based on coursework in CIIMA-approved HIM programs. Numerous test guides, flash cards and other preparation options are available to study for the RHIT certification examination. The content tests students’ expertise in seven domains:

  • Data Analysis and Management
  • Coding
  • Compliance
  • Information Technology
  • Quality
  • Legal
  • Revenue Cycle

RHIT certification is awarded by AHIMA, however, the RHIT certification examination is administered by a computer-based testing agency. After receiving an “Authorization to Test” letter from AHIMA, students are responsible to schedule an exam appointment at a testing site within four months of being eligible.

What are the Benefits of RHIT Certification?

RHIT certification demonstrates that you have proven mastery of the knowledge necessary to work as a health information technician. There are several pluses to earning this credential. With RHIT certification, you may find the following benefits:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to maintaining professionalism in your work
  • Improve your chances of obtaining competitive positions
  • Increase your earning potential in current or new positions
  • Position yourself as a professional committed to career advancement
  • Access networking opportunities by participating in continuing education

How Can I Use RHIT Certification?

RHIT certification can help you realize your career goals as the need for health information technicians increases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this job category is expected to grow by 13 percent through at least 2026.

Projected Job Growth

13 percent

That is almost more than twice the 7 percent increase predicted for all occupations during that time. In addition, job prospects for health information technicians with RHIT certification are likely to be better than the norm, according to the BLS.

With RHIT certification, you can pursue competitive positions in clinical settings such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers. However, nonclinical opportunities also are increasing with employers such as insurers, pharmaceutical companies and law firms that use health information.


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