Health Information Technology professionals play a critical role in maintaining, collecting and analyzing the data that doctors, nurses and other health care providers rely on to deliver quality health care. They are experts in:
- managing access to patient health information and electronic health records
- establishing policies to protect patient health data and comply with federal, state and local regulations
- utilizing computer information systems
- coding the diagnosis and procedures for health care services provided to patients
- reviewing medical claims data and managing the revenue cycle.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages."
Health Information Technology professionals work in a multitude of settings throughout the healthcare industry:
- Nursing homes
- Doctors' offices
- Home health agencies
- Medical coding and auditing companies
- Insurance companies
- Government agencies
- Release of information companies
- Health information computer system companies
The Associate of Science in Health Information Technology degree is an AHIMA/CAHIIM accredited 70-credit hour program. 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, DeSoto, Hendry, Glades and Sarasota 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.
Graduates of the HIT program at FSW are eligible to take the national certification exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).
Admission Requirements and Curriculum Sequence
Admission to the program is open to all students interested in the field of study. However, upon selection of the A.S. in Health Information Technology as a declared major, students are required to contact the Program Director to determine an appropriate curriculum sequence.
In the final semester of the Program, students will complete an internship at an off-campus agency. This internship course is HIM 2940 Professional Practice Experience III and will require preparation before registration will be allowed. Students will be responsible for the cost and completion of the following:
- Criminal Background Check
- Drug test
- Health Form completed by Physician
- Record of all current Immunizations
- Tuberculosis screening exam
- Basic Life Support Provider Certification (CPR and AED)
This Program is a planned sequence of instruction consisting of 70 credit hours that includes 19 General Education credits and 51 Health Information Technology Core credits. The program can be completed in 5 semesters by students who are college-ready; completed all developmental course work. Students will progress through the program as a group/cohort and courses must be taken in sequence. Full time and part time cohort sequencing is available. Note that some courses are only offered one time per academic year.