What is the Coursework for the RHIT Program?

A registered health information technician (RHIT) works with health information data, medical billing and electronic medical records in a wide range of healthcare environments. Although the industry standard for exam eligibility to become registered is an associate’s degree there are quite a few incentives for those who choose to earn a higher RHIT degree.

The main thing to remember when enrolling in a RHIT degree program is to verify the school is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) as this is a prerequisite to qualifying for the RHIT designation exam.

RHIT Degrees and Career Options

Associate’s Degree in Health Information Technology

The basic RHIT degree is the Associate in Health Information Technology; you can add the “R” in front of the degree acronym once you pass the exam and meet the other requirements to become registered.This is a two-year degree program which will give you a solid foundation of HIT knowledge and prepare you for the certification exam and an entry level position in the field. You can expect coursework in medical procedure and billing, information management, healthcare administration, computer technology, and health insurance, as well as other subjects. Once you earn your degree you’ll be proficient in handling computerized medical records, electronic medical billing, and health information data procedures.

Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Technology

If you wish to advance you career in the RHIT field beyond the technician position, you should make a four-year RHIT degree your goal. A bachelor’s degree program will teach coursework in medicine, science, health insurance information, administrative management, and many other aspects of the HIT field.

Once you earn your degree you can find employment in healthcare information management or administration, as you will be proficient in managing, analyzing, and classification of all types of medical information. You’ll also be adept at administering computer information systems, meeting the legal requirements of handling patient information, maintaining security standards, and have the communication skills necessary to interact with all levels of the healthcare organization.

Master’s Degree in Health Informatics

If an executive position is your goal, you should plan on earning your master’s degree in health informatics. Usually this degree will take an additional two years of education, with coursework concentrating on information systems, information technology and informatics.

You’ll also become proficient in leadership and management as well as the legal and ethical aspects of handling confidential patient information in a secure online system. Those who hold this level RHIT degree are in high demand in the healthcare industry and are eligible for positions such as Chief Clinical Informatics Officer and Director of Clinical Informatics.

Types of Courses in an RHIT Program

Degree programs in Health Information Technology should also prepare you for the RHIT exam. During your program you’ll learn the basics regarding medical terminology and coding foundations, including the ICD-CM, ICD-PCS and ICD-10. In the lower degrees, you’ll also get a broad based education in healthcare management and technologies. Some of the coursework may include the following:

  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • Healthcare Information Technologies
  • Health Information Compliance
  • Data Management and Statistics
  • Health Information Law and Ethics
  • Revenue and Billing Cycles
  • Health Information Management

Professional Organizations

To stay on top of new developments in the health information field you’ll want to join professional organizations during and after you earn your RHIT degree. Here are a few associations that will help you stay abreast of new developments, network with others and stay informed about upcoming conferences and meetings as well as continuing education and employment opportunities:

  • National Alliance for Health Information Technology
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
  • American Medical Informatics Association
  • National Institute for Health Care Management
  • National Association of Health Data Organizations

Some of these organizations offer student memberships as well as various levels of membership once you enter the workforce after earning your registered health information technician degree, so join as soon as possible once you enroll in your school program.

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