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Health Information Management

The health information management (HIM) field places you right where the expanding arena of health care meets the cutting edge of technology. As an HIM professional, you are the expert on patient data that doctors, nurses, and other providers rely on to perform their jobs. By maintaining, collecting, and analyzing health information, your work makes an important contribution to the delivery of quality care.

Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) are health information technicians who ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems. They may also use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs. RHITs often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. RHITs may serve as cancer registrars, compiling and maintaining data on cancer patients.

Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) are skilled in the collection, interpretation, and analysis of patient data. Additionally, they receive the training necessary to assume managerial positions related to these functions. RHIAs interact with all levels of an organization—clinical, financial, and administrative—that employs patient data in decision making and every day operations.

How Do I Become a Medical Records and Health Information Technician?

Employers usually want health information technicians to have at least an associate’s degree in health information technology from a community college. Many coding specialists and supervisors have bachelors’ degrees. Many employers prefer to hire technicians who have also passed the accreditation exams given by the American Health Information Management Association and have become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT), Certified Coding Specialists or Certified Coding Specialists-Physician-based.

Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) must pass a written examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To take the examination, a person must graduate from a 2-year associate degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) of the American Medical Association. Technicians trained in non-CAAHEP-accredited programs, or on the job, are not eligible to take the examination.

Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) need to pass an examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Candidates must h ave a baccalaureate degree from a CAHIIM(1)-accredited health information administration (HIA) program; or have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and a certificate of completion in HIA from a CAHIIM-accredited program. (CAHIIM - Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education)

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