Registered Health Information Technician Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a registered health information technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Health information technicians organize medical information and patient files. This includes entering data into computer systems, confirming medical histories and reviewing lists of prescriptions. Individuals must first complete an approved health information technology education program, usually at the associate's degree level. Then they need to pass an exam from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in order to become registered health information technicians (RHITs). Continuing education is required to maintain certification.

Required Education Associate's degree in health information technology
Other Requirements AHIMA certification exam for RHITs
Projected Job Growth22% from 2012-2022*
Median Salary (2014) $35,184 annually**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Education Information for Registered Health Information Technicians

Registered health information technicians must have a minimum of a 2-year degree from an accredited program in order to be formally registered with the American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org). These degree programs are offered by a variety of technical and vocational schools around the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most RHITs complete an associate's degree program in health information technology or a similar degree program (''www.bls.gov''). Associate's degree programs in health information technology mix elements of biology with instruction in computers. Typical courses cover topics like anatomy and physiology, disease pathology and medical terminology, in addition to medical record coding and management. General education classes, like mathematics and English, are also commonly required. After completion of a 2-year degree program, students may take the AHIMA exam for registered health information technicians. Once passed, health information technicians are officially registered. They can recertify through AHIMA every two years, which requires some continuing education. Some RHITs may choose to get further training by earning medical coding credentials from other organizations. !!! Career Information Registered health information technicians (RHITs) organize patients' medical information. This may require importing data into electronic medical records systems, coding charts, confirming details with other physicians, following applicable patient confidentiality laws and confirming test results. The BLS notes that health information technicians in general will be needed in increasing numbers as electronic medical records systems are deployed in more medical organizations and the general population ages. In fact, the BLS predicated a 22% growth in medical records and health information technician employment between 2012 and 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

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