Health Information Technology (HIT)

Career Information

HIM (Health Information Management) professionals (including RHITs) can expect to be in high demand as the health sector expands. According to AHIMA (the American Health Information Management Association), most new HIM graduates with an associate’s degree jump right in and earn $25,000 to $35,000 annually. Oklahoma entry-level job salaries vary widely depending on the nature of the job setting (hospital, home health agency, ambulatory surgery center, physician clinic, insurance company, software company, etc.), and the nature of the tasks involved and the level of responsibility (technical or supervisory). Other previous experience may improve entry job salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment for health information technicians is projected to grow 22% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations”. Job prospects should be very good, particularly for those with strong computer skills. With the increasing use of electronic health records, more health information professionals will be needed to complete the new responsibilities associated with electronic data management.

RHITs in the Workplace

RHITs enjoy a broad selection of job opportunities and options for professional growth. Based on your skills, education, and interests, here are some positions available to you:

  • Clinical Coding Specialist
  • HIM Director
  • HIM Department Manager or Supervisor
  • Consultant
  • Documentation Specialist
  • Health Data Analyst
  • Insurance Claims Analyst
  • Records Technician Specialist
  • Privacy/Compliance Officer
  • Chargemaster Specialist
  • Physician Practice Manager
  • Patient Information Coordinator
  • Information Access/Disclosure Specialist
  • Quality Improvement Specialist
  • Cancer or Other Disease Registrar
  • Instructor/Trainer

RHITs work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry, from hospitals to insurance agencies. They hold many diverse roles, yet all share a common purpose: providing reliable and valid information that drives the healthcare industry. They are specialists in administering information systems, managing medical records, and coding information for reimbursement and research. Health information management professionals are uniquely qualified to:

  • Ensure health information is complete and available to legitimate users
  • Code and classify data for reimbursement
  • Analyze information necessary for decision support
  • Protect patient privacy and provide information security
  • Enhance the quality and uses for data within healthcare
  • Administer health information computer systems
  • Comply with standards and regulations regarding health information
  • Prepare health data for accreditation surveys
  • Analyze clinical data for research and public policy

Not only do they have diverse roles, RHITs also work throughout the entire healthcare industry in settings that span the continuum of care. In fact, they are employed in any organization that uses health information, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Managed care organizations
  • Long term care facilities
  • Behavioral health facilities
  • Consulting and law firms
  • Information system vendors
  • Ambulatory care facilities
  • Rehabilitation center
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Home care providers
  • Government agencies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Physician practices
  • Insurance companies

 

In addition to the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®) credential, AHIMA offers three coding credentials and a variety of other credentials. Information on other credentials offered by AHIMA can be found at www.ahima.org