Health Professions: Health Information Management FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Registered Health Information
An RHIT is a nationally recognized, credentialed professional
- an important part of health care. RHIT’s are
the experts who secure, analyze, integrate and manage information
that guides the health industry. Doctors, nurses and other health
professionals respect the HIM specialist as an authority
on health data. By providing quality information, the
RHIT also directly contributes to quality patient care. Because an RHIT combines
patient care, management, and technology, an HIM Professional is recognized as having diverse talents.
- Where does an RHIT find employment?
With expanding uses of health care information, RHIT’s
are finding opportunities for employment in the following
· Ambulatory care
· Outpatient care
· Long term care
· Mental health facilities
· Hospice centers
· Law offices
· Pharmaceutical companies
· State and Federal health agencies
· Insurance companies
· Centers for Research
· Medical software firms
- What type of salary can an RHIT expect
The salary depends upon the area of the country, the type
of job responsibilities, additional education, and the number
of years in the field. The beginning salaries for new graduates,
on the average, will be between $18,000 to 22,000; with a
potential of earning $28,000 to 31,000 within a few years.
- What types of positions are
available for RHIT’s?
There are many diverse positions available for RHIT’s. Based
on your skills and interests you may choose:
· Coding specialist
· HIM Department Director
· HIM Systems Manager
· Health Data Analyst
· Quality Improvement Analyst
· Tumor Registrar
- What personal characteristics are needed
to be successful in this field?
First and foremost, a person must be detail oriented and
organized, must like diversity, take an investigative approach
to their work, be highly motivated, self-disciplined, as well as be able
to problem-solve and think critically. A professional attitude is a MUST!
- Is there a four-year degree
Yes, there are many colleges across the country that offer
a BS degree in Health Information Administration. Students
may also continue their education by earning a masters degree
in Health Information Management. Earning either degree
can increase earning potential up to $65,000 to 100,000.
- When are classes offered?
All HIM classes are offered in the evening on the Virginia Beach Campus ONLY. A few HIM classes are offered online.
- What is the job outlook for
Employment of health information technicians is expected
to grow much faster than the average for all occupations
through the year 2016, due to rapid growth in the number
of medical tests, treatments, and procedures which will be
increasingly scrutinized by third-party payers, regulators,
courts, and consumers.
- Do the courses have to be taken
in the order in which they appear in the curriculum?
Most HIM courses will need to be taken in the order in
which they appear in the curriculum. Each course prepares
you for the next course and is only offered ONCE per year. You
may take any non-HIM course during the semester it appears
in the curriculum or before that semester. It is recommended
that non-HIM courses be taken prior to entry into the program if possible
to lighten student loads.
- How many hours per week will I be
You will attend classes from 8 to 26 hours
per week depending on whether you are completing the program on a full-time of part-time basis. Of course, if you already have completed
some of the required course work, you will attend classes
for fewer hours.
- What classes can I take before
I enter the HIM program?
BIO 141, ENG 111 and MTE 5 or higher are pre-requisites for the program and must be taken prior to admission. Other general education courses, such as SDV 101, HLT 143 and 144 as well as your Humanities, Health/Physical Education elective and Social Science electives may also be taken prior to admission if time permits.
- How long will it take to complete
the HIM program?
Completion of the program will depend on
the number of general education courses the student needs
and the number of credit hours the student opts to take each
semester. Once admitted to the program full-time HIM
students can complete the required credits in five semesters.
Part-time students must take at least two HIM courses per semester
and must complete the program within four years.