Entry-level medical records and health information technicians usually have
an associate degree. Many employers favor technicians who have a Registered
Health Information Technicians (RHIT) credential.
Education and training. Medical records
and health information technicians generally have an associate degree. Typical
coursework in health information technology includes medical terminology,
anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, clinical
classification and coding systems, data analysis, healthcare reimbursement
methods, database security and management, and quality improvement methods.
Applicants can improve their chances of admission into a postsecondary program
by taking biology, math, chemistry, health, and computer science courses in high
Certification and other qualifications.
Most employers prefer to hire credentialed medical record and health information
technicians. A number of organizations offer credentials typically based on
passing a credentialing exam. Most credentialing programs require regular
recertification and continuing education to maintain the credential. Many coding
credentials require an amount of time in coding experience in the work setting.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers
credentialing as a Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT). To obtain
the RHIT credential, an individual must graduate from a 2-year associate degree
program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and
Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and pass an AHIMA-administered written
examination. In 2008, there were more than 200 CAHIIM-accredited health
information technology colleges and universities programs.
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers coding credentials.
The Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC) and Professional Association of
Health care Coding Specialists (PAHCS) both offer credentialing in specialty
coding. The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) offers a credential as
a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR). To learn more about the credentials available
and their specific requirements, contact the credentialing organization.
Health information technicians and coders should possess good oral and
written communication skills as they often serve as liaisons between healthcare
facilities, insurance companies, and other establishments. Candidates proficient
with computer software and technology will be appealing to employers as
healthcare facilities continue to adopt electronic health records. Medical
records and health information technicians should enjoy learning, as continuing
education is important in the occupation.
Advancement. Experienced medical records
and health information technicians usually advance their careers by obtaining a
bachelor�s or master�s degree or by seeking an advanced specialty certification.
Technicians with a bachelor�s or master�s degree can advance and become a health
information manager. (See the statement on medical and health services
managers for more information on health information managers). Technicians
can also obtain advanced specialty certification. Advanced specialty
certification is typically experience-based, but may require additional formal
education depending on the certifying organization.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
Find related resources below:
Health Information Technician Employment
Health Information Technician Training
Health Information Technician Job Outlook
Health Information Technician Income