Health Information Technology Program

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 


General Information

Q: What does a Health Information Technician do and where are they employed?

Health Information Technicians focus on the technical side of managing health information, working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient data. They provide the following healthcare services.

  • Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
  • Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs. 
  • Often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research.

Although most health information technicians work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, health information technicians may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors. 

Q: How do I know if this is the right profession for me?

Health Information may be a good career choice for you if you:

  • See yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities. 
  • Would like to work in health care, but no directly with patients.
  • Have an aptitude for science, but also like mangement, law, and computers. 
  • Enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
  • Are detailed oriented and capable of independent problem solving. 
  • Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both.



Admission/Enrollment Process

Q: Do I need to apply to the Health Information Technology (HIT) program?

No, you do not need to apply to the HIT program, but you need to complete a Shasta College application for admission

Q: What can I do before I start the HIT program courses?

It is suggested that you take your General Education (GE) required courses so when you are in the program you may focus on the core program courses. You may also take Medical Terminology (HEOC 110), Introduction to Human Biology (BIOL 5), and Introduction to Human Disease Process (HIT 7) prior to starting your HIT program courses. 

An additional suggestion is to visit a health information services department in a hospital or other healthcare facility or volunteer in such a department in order to gain insight into the roles and functions of health information professionals on the job.



Course Format and Sequence
Q: How do I find out what courses I need to take, and if courses I have taken outside of Shasta College will transfer?

It is advisable to schedule an appointment with the Health Sciences Counselor, Mindy Marlatt, to have your transcripts evaluated and to develop your education plan. Contact Mindy Marlatt at (530) 242-7724 or mmarlatt@shastacollege.edu, or schedule a counseling appointment online​ on the Shasta College website.​

Q: In what format are the HIT courses offered?

The courses are offered online. 

Q: Can I complete the program in less than two years?

HIT courses are scheduled over a period of two academic years (4 semesters). You will not be able to complete the program in less than two years. 



​Other Program Information
Q: What are the General Eduation (GE) requirements?

Students must complete California State University (CSU) requirements for General Education in order to earn an A.S. degree in Health Information Technology. 

Q: Is this program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM)?

This is a new program and is not yet CAHIIM accredited. The Associate Degree Health Information Management Program is in Candidacy Status, pending accreditation review by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).


Q: What is the cost of the program?

For California residents, students enrolled in lower-division coursework pay $46 per unit.

Q: What other program-specific costs are there for me to consider?

Students will be required to copmlete and pay for a physical exam, TB skin test, required immunizations, a background check/drug screening and any additional clinic-specific requirements required by the clinical sites to begin the clinical experience. In additional to the cost of textbooks, there is a fee for use of educational software used in some of the course work.



Continuing Higher Education & Career Opportunities

Q: If I enter Shasta College's 2-year associate degree HIT program, will I be guaranteed a spot in the 4-year bachelor degree HIM program?

Graduates of Shasta College's Associate of Science in Health Information Technology program will be offered a spot in the Bachelor of Science Health Information Management program.

Q: Are Shasta College HIT Program graduates eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam?

Not at this time. Once the program recieves CAHIIM accreditation, students will be permitted to sit for the Registered Health Informaiton Technician (RHIT) national certification exam.

Q: Can I take only Health Information Technology courses and write the RHIT exam without an A.S. Degree?

No. You must complete your training and earn an A.S. in Heatlh Information Technology in order to be eligible to write the RHIT exam.

Q: What is the employment outlook for HIT graduates?

The demand for health information professionals is on the rise at all levels of education and credentialing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites medical records and health information technicians as on eof the 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S.

Q: How can I get more information about this career field and the Health Information Technology program?

For program information you may email Janet Daley Janus, RHIA, Director of Health Information Technology and Health Information Management Programs at jjanus@shastacollege.edu.

More information about a career in the health information field may be found on these websites:

www.ahima.org

www.hicareers.com​​


 

HIM Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

HIT Core Courses and Program Sequence

 

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