Graduates of the Health Information Technology Program are prepared to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who:
- Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
- Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs.
- Often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. An additional role for RHITs is cancer registrars - compiling and maintaining data on cancer patients.
With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree. Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors.
Current occupational employment and wages data for Registered Health Information Technicians are published by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm.
The Florida SouthWestern State College Health Information Technology Program admits students once per year and starts each Fall semester. The curriculum includes a combination of classroom, laboratory, and professional practice experiences. General Education and some Program Specific coursework may be taken on various campuses but the Health Information Technology core courses are only offered on the Thomas Edison Campus.
There are three professional practice experience (internship) courses in the Health Information Technology Program. Students will be assigned to a specific health care facility or virtual lab simulation for the completion of these experiences. Applicants should note the following in regards to these internships:
- Student assignment to facilities or lab simulation is made by the Health Information Technology Program Director and is based upon site availability.
- Facilities will be selected from within the Southwest Florida region which includes Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades Counties.
- Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from their assigned professional practice sites.
- Professional Practice Experiences can only be completed on weekdays.
The Florida SouthWestern State College Health Information Technology program is nationally accredited by the:
Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-5800
Health Information Technology has limited enrollment due to the rigorous professional practice requirements for the program. Acceptance to Florida SouthWestern State College does not imply acceptance into the Health Information Technology program. Each applicant must meet specific criteria which are listed in the admission policies. The Criteria for Admission Policies are available through the program office or through the School of Health Professions office at (239) 489-9255. Admission applications are located at www.fsw.edu/academics/programs/ashim.
Admission to the program is determined by admissions points and academic transcript evaluation. Admissions points are awarded for the completion of pre-admission coursework. All General Education and Program Specific coursework must be completed (or in progress at the time of application) before the applicant will be considered for admission into the Health Information Technology Program. All courses must be completed before enrolling in Health Information Technology Program Core courses.
Pre-admission requirements include satisfactory completion of a college-approved criminal records check and drug testing at the applicant's expense. After admission into the program, students must complete the following:
- Immunization and health report
- TB Skin Test
- Certification in American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (CPR and AED) obtained during the months of June-August, prior to Fall Year 2 semester start.