Health Information Technology Degree Online Programs

Health informatics and information management

Health information technology degree online, health management and health informatics programs prepare students for computer and technology careers in healthcare settings or related facilities.

Health information covers all of the data collected when people visit doctors, are admitted to hospitals, and are billed by health insurance companies. Not long ago, much of this information was kept in paper medical records, but computer systems and health information technologies now play a greater role in processing health information.

In addition to health information technology degrees, this field also includes the related health informatics and health information management programs.

Health information technology students develop high-demand skills related to the handling of patient health information. They learn about medical terminology, computerized support systems for organizational planning and decision making, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic coding, and health information legal issues. In addition, these online programs train students to use electronic medical records, as well ICD9 and ICD10 coding software.

Benefits of earning health information technology degrees by distance learning

A health information technology degree that is pursued by distance learning revolves around use of technology. This makes the Internet-based e-learning format not only convenient and flexible, but also an excellent environment for learning health information skills. Throughout the online program, students train on computers and Internet-based health systems that mirror the ones they will use when they enter their specific healthcare field. In addition, having access to a computer during all classes and sessions allows students to use the extensive resources that health information technicians access during their jobs, such as coding manuals and health terminology dictionaries.

Health information specializations

Health information technology and health information management degrees focus on the use of computers and Internet technologies to update and share information about patient records, tests, hospital stays, etc. This involves using electronic medical records to maintain accurate patient records, and coding the visits according to strict guidelines. Some positions may involve managing people and implementing technology rather than day-to-day entry of information into computer systems.

Health informatics is even more involved with the computer systems. This specialization involves computer science and programming, information systems, and business management. It also includes creating and refining computer systems for storing patient data, as well as for keeping that information private and secure.

Featured Colleges with Online Health Information Technology Programs

Kaplan University

  • A.A.S. in Health Information Technology
  • MS in Nursing - Informatics

University of Phoenix

  • A.A. in Health Care Administration/Medical Records
  • B.S. in Health Administration/Health Information Systems
  • Master of Health Administration/Informatics
  • Master of Science in Nursing/Informatics

DeVry University

  • Associate in Health Information Technology
  • Bachelor in Technical Management - Health Information Management
  • Bachelor in Computer Information Systems - Health Information Systems

Making the most of a health information technology degree

  • Professional experiences or internships are valuable opportunities for students to put their course knowledge into practice. These help students develop the skills and confidence needed when applying for jobs as a health information technologist. While online programs emphasize the technology component of this field, some go beyond to include internships with healthcare facilities.
  • The online format is suited for a competency-based approach to health information technology training. With this type of learning, students are graded on mastery of the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this field. This shows employers that graduates are prepared to take on the challenges of an entry-level position. Not all online programs are offered in this format.
  • In addition to skills-based learning, some online health information management programs or health informatics degrees offer training for professional exams, such as the Registered Health Information Technologist (RHIT) certification.

Career options with a health information degree

A health information technology program prepares a student to work as a health information technician, also known as a health information analyst or clinical information systems manager. Technicians use computers and electronic medical records to retrieve and share patient information. Job prospects for health information technicians and analysts are excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This comes from not only a greater use of electronic medical records, but also an increased use of medical tests and services by the population.

An online health information management degree may also lead to positions such as a quality improvement specialist, project manager, or a research support analyst. A health informatics degree can lead to positions such as a database administrator for a healthcare organization, or a system designer.

With training and education in health information technology or health management, other careers one can pursue include:

  • Healthcare data analyst
  • Health policy specialist
  • Health records equipment/software salesperson
  • Healthcare information technology manager
  • Medical coding specialist
  • Medical records supervisor
  • Medical equipment specialist
  • Medical records and health informatics technician
  • Consultant in hospitals, clinics, and health care systems etc

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