Becoming a Health Information Technician
The Health Information Technicians are dedicated to manging and organizing the medical records of patients in a health care institution. These professionals ensure its accuracy, security, accessibility, and right entry into the clinical database. Their responsibilities include diagnosing, entering the essential data, confirming medical histories, retrieving records for patients and medical personnel, guiding the patients for insurance reimbursement, supporting for research work etc. They also help the general public in translating the complex medical data into simple information.
Health Information Technicians work in both government and private settings. They are employed at hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, home health agencies, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, etc.
In order to become a Health Information Technician, the aspiring candidates need to hold at least a 2-year associate’s degree in health information technology or a related field. The syllabus includes anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, medical coding, statistics, database management etc.
The students can go for a 4-year Degree program in health information technology or a related field or higher studies to find a better job opportunity in this field.
Since the practice of Health Information Technicians require professional certification, the aspiring candidates need to pass an exam from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to obtain certification.
Besides the clinical knowledge, Health Information Technicians possess various skills such a clear understanding of reimbursement procedures, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, ability to remain calm under pressure, work with compassion, maintain privacy, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, management and organization abilities, computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Health Information Technician remains outstanding in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 22 % from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Health Information Technician was $34,160 in May 2012.