By Jul DeGeus
“Let me check your records.” A phrase many of us hear when visiting the doctor’s office. But who manages these records? Who makes sure that our medical information is up to date and accurate?
That is part of the job of a Health Information Technician. We sat down with Amanda Carter, Centura College’s Health Information Technology Coordinator for the Chesapeake campus, to find out a little bit more about what it means to be a Health Information Technician:
What made you decide to become a Health Information Technician?
I decided to become a Health Information Technician after I worked in the medical field as a medical assistant for about two years. The job market was constantly changing, so I decided to branch out. It made sense for me to do it because the health care industry was growing larger. Gaining more experience opened up additional opportunities for me to advance my career and to educate people about the ever changing costs of health care.
What advice would you give those considering a career in Health Information Technology?
The advice that I would give those considering a career in Health Information Technology is that even though you don’t have a lot of ‘facetime’ with patients, you are truly making a positive difference in their lives. Health care costs and expenses can be one of the most stressful triggers for patients and their families. As a Health Information Technician you get the chance to help alleviate that stress.
What study aids did you use during your education?
It’s cliché, but my training reinforced that practice makes perfect. I constantly coded scenarios and corrected error reports just to try and trick myself. It helped me to be confident and also taught me to fix interesting and dynamic health care scenarios. It reassured me and gave me positive outlook for my career in the health care field.
What is your proudest moment as a Health Information Technician?
My proudest moment as a Health Information Technician was when I helped an elderly lady with her husband’s seemingly never-ending health care expenses. She was constantly confused and overwhelmed by her billing statements. I knew she needed help understanding them and I offered to explain them to her in a way that made sense. After I took the time to go over them with her, you could hear the excitement in her voice; she finally fully knew what was going on with her bills and was ecstatic. Just hearing her excitement over the phone gave me so much joy. As if that wasn’t enough, she even made it a point visit the office just to thank me in person with homemade chocolate chip cookies. It was the BEST DAY EVER!
Health Information Technologists are part of a healthcare interdisciplinary team and an integral part of the healthcare profession. As a student in Centura College’s Health Information Technology training, students will obtain a vast array of knowledge about the information technology field in preparation for entry into the workforce.
The Goal of Health Information Technology
A health information technician is entrusted with the application of IT resources on health care operations. This objective can be accomplished through use of technology in the management of health care information.
Defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information technician:
Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. (1)
The employment for health information technology is projected to continue growing in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate is set to be about 15% faster than the average for other jobs. This improvement can be attributed to the increased need for medical by the older generations. There will be a higher demand for health insurance information management because more individuals are benefiting from the reforms on the federal insurance. In addition, more hospitals and clinics are embracing electronic health records, providing extensive opportunities for HIT experts.
The median pay in 2016 for health information technicians was $18.29 per hour or $38,040 per year. The number of HIT jobs in 2014 is estimated at 188,600 and the field has continued to expand. Those who hold a health information technology diploma are eligible for employment as a coder, biller, medical record specialist or health information technician.
1. “What Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 26 July 2017. < https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-2>Source
Centura College expands upon its health care training offerings with the announcement of Health Information Technology Diploma program.
By Jul DeGeus
Centura College’s Richmond and Newport News campuses upgraded their curriculum by introducing Health Information Technology to their list of diploma programs offered. Students will train to work in the integrated industries of health care and information technology, through examination of health data and development of code for billing. Students can enroll now.
The Health Information Technology Diploma program is designed to ready students for the analysis of health data and transcription of diagnostic and procedural terms and services into a coded form for analysis and billing. Courses, such as Medical Terminology and Anatomy and Physiology, develop students for engagement within the health care field, while classes like CPT Coding and Computer Software Application in Healthcare develop students’ information technology skills. The program prepares students for entry-level positions within the health care field and is designed to take as little as 8 months to complete. Upon graduation, students will have acquired the knowledge and eligibility to take the Certified Coding Associate exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Career opportunities for a Heath Information Technology graduate include coder, health information specialist, biller, or a medical record specialist.
Centura College’s Richmond campus is located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond, Va. For more information, call 804-330-0111.
Centura College’s Newport News campus is located at 616 Denbigh Boulevard in Newport News, Va. For more information, call 757-874-2121.
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.