Health Information Technician Careers

Overview

A health information technician’s work is to manage and maintain records relating to patients in different healthcare setups. They make sure that the information collected by them is up-to-date and accurate. Hospitals and healthcare centers look for these technicians as most have separate departments and a large number of patients that visit every day for checkups and treatments. By being a specialist, positions at both entry and manager’s level could be obtained; therefore, the choice is entirely yours. First, however, you must properly go through the career information and job outlook of this field.

Job Duties

Health information technician works in clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s office to gather, organize, and administer data in the field of healthcare. They assist health information managers, registered nurses, and physicians by making sure that the collected medical information and records regarding patients are accurate. For this, they have to document patients’ information such as overall health, treatments, test results and examination, and symptoms. Some major work duties of these individuals are tracking patients’ results in order to assess quality, organize data for database collection, make use of classification software to assign different codes for analysis of data, and keep information safe.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are signs of quick growth in this profession. There were around 180,280 people employed in May 2011. They work in government agencies and insurance companies while other technicians in health information management work in healthcare settings. Some can even specialize in a certain area of health information such as medical coders who review patient’s records, or cancer registrars who study and collect information of cancer patients for research. Other types of jobs include becoming a department supervisor, consultant, or an instructor. The general and medical hospitals employ the highest number of health information technicians. The count was around 67,340.

Salary

The average salary of health information technicians is $37,000 per year. This is expected to change with factors such as the work industry, company, location, and benefits, as reported in June 24, 2012 (simplyhired.com).

Education Requirements

To become a health information technician, it is required for students to either earn a degree; either an associates, bachelor’s level, or a postgraduate certificate. The courses that are taught to students include mathematics, computer science, and science.

When it comes to certification of these personnel, as per requirement of employers, it is done by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) that grants Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification after completion of a degree program. Some general skills required include medical coding, word processing, electronic document management, and time management skills. Some online programs, like healthcare informatics, medical billing and coding, health information technology, might also be considered if students find it difficult to attend a traditional school or due to financial issues and cannot study on large campuses.

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