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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Health Information Technology

Majors Overview March 19, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in health information technology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Health Information Technology

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in health information technology complete coursework that incorporates technology, medicine, law, and business, blending it all into a field related to the management of electronic health records and other information related to health care. The program usually culminates in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Information Management.

Many schools offer these programs in online formats or as transfer programs devised to facilitate the requirements of students wanting to transfer to a four-year university once they have completed an associate’s degree in health information technology. Students in some programs are expected to have work experience in the field.

Those who graduate from the program can seek occupations in government agencies, sales, research, insurance, or healthcare in careers that involve the analysis, management, organization, and storage of medical and health-related information.

Health care ethics, anatomy, information systems, medical terminology, medical coding, and records management may be available in many courses. Most programs include an internship at a medical office or health care facility. Applicants that have not completed general education courses must meet the requirements of the college.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Some programs require two to three years of relevant work experience and a high school diploma or GED, in addition to two to three years of work experience. Schools also offer degree completion programs that would culminate in a bachelor’s degree.

Eligible students would need to complete up to 60 hours of prerequisite courses and accomplish a minimum grade point average of 2.0; thereafter, schools would allow them to enroll with junior standing to complete the coursework related to health information management.

Coursework

Schools offer online courses as well as practical, hands-on experiences at health care facilities. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Physiology
•Legal issues in health care
•Systems management
•Information systems
•Records management
•Medical terminology
•Disease classification and coding
•Human resources
•Human anatomy

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek entry-level careers in health care settings. These professionals can usually find work with private companies, university medical centers, law offices, and health care providers. They can choose from popular career options such as the following:

•Information officer
•Revenue cycle manager
•Privacy officer
•Medical records analyst
•Data quality manager
•Clinical data analyst
•Health information consultant
•Decision support analyst
•Project manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth rate of 22% has been predicted for medical records and health information technicians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, medical records and health information technicians brought home an average annual wage of $34,160 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

While a bachelor’s degree would suffice to obtain work in the field, those who complete a bachelor’s degree program can seek continuing education and enhanced career prospects by earning master’s or doctoral degrees offered by schools in several specialization areas, including health information technology and policy.

Graduates of the bachelor’s program may also seek professional certification by taking the credentialing exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association that would earn them the Registered Health Information Management Administrator certification.

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