What Is a Health Information Technician?
Health information technicians are specialists who help to centralize and process all medical records and data that flow through the system. Usually nonclinical in nature, HIT is one of the few health occupations in which there is little or no direct contact with patients. Typical duties involve:
- analyzing and evaluating health records that comply with health information standards and regulations;
- compiling various types of administrative and health statistics for research and public policy planning and assessment;
- coding symptoms, diseases, operations, procedures, and other therapies for maximum reimbursement;
- transcribing medical records and reports;
- ensuring that health information is complete and available to legitimate users while protecting patient privacy and information security;
- maintaining and utilizing a variety of health record indexes and storage and retrieval systems.
The Health Information Technology program is a rigorous course of study, teaching students the diverse administrative and technical skills necessary to process, analyze, and report health information utilized in a wide variety of health care settings. In addition to providing a broad medical base, the curriculum includes computer literacy, professional practice skills, and life skills such as critical analytical thinking, problem solving, and good study habits. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be prepared for entry-level employment as health information technicians.
Job Outlook and Opportunities
Job prospects for HIT professionals are very good because their skills are becoming increasingly necessary throughout the entire healthcare industry. Thus, they are able to work in a wide variety of settings and can be employed in any organization that utilizes health information. These work settings include physician practices, hospitals, managed care organizations, long-term care facilities, behavioral health facilities, ambulatory care facilities, rehabilitation centers, home health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, consulting and law firms, skilled nursing facilities, and federal and state government agencies.
The ever-increasing demands on the health care system make it imperative to shift health information functions to a centralized position, a trend that has already begun and is gaining momentum. Graduates of HIT can expect excellent job opportunities both now and in the future.
Salaries vary depending on geographical area and job responsibilities. Current salary ranges can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor web site
For more information, contact the program office at