Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management Technology
Mona M. Burke, M.A., RHIA, program director
Health information is found in many places in a variety of formats. As a health information practitioner, a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) specializes in evaluating, controlling, and maintaining the information contained in all types of health records. Career opportunities include positions in group practices, long-term care facilities, hospital health information management departments, attorneys' offices, health maintenance organizations, professional review organizations, ambulatory care facilities, public health agencies, mental health facilities, and many others. The positions include all aspects of medical record technical-level tasks: medical office management and supervision, filing and retrieval, analyzing, coding, indexing, compiling statistics, answering subpoenas, utilization review, quality assessment, medical research, legal correspondence, abstracting, and compiling and presenting medical data through the use of computer-based systems.
Directed practice allows the student to apply theory learned in the classroom and technical-level skills developed in the laboratory to a health information management department setting. Directed practice credit can be earned through laboratory simulations, placement in area health care facilities, and application of field and/or life experience credit based on appropriate academic review of documented employment history in the health information field. This clinical direction takes place during the second year of study. Students may not take the responsibility or the place of "qualified" staff. However, after demonstrating proficiency, students may be permitted to perform procedures with careful supervision. Students may be employed in the clinical facility outside regular education hours, provided the work is limited so it does not interfere with regular or academic responsibilities. The work must be non-compulsory, paid, and subject to employee regulations.
This Health Information Management Technology associate degree program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). This accreditation allows graduates to sit for a national examination sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association. Upon successful completion of the accreditation examination, the student receives RHIT credentials.
The health information technology curriculum is consistent with and responsive to the demonstrated needs and expectations of the health care community served by BGSU Firelands.
The primary goal of the HIT degree program is to prepare competent entry-level health information technicians in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. The health information curriculum encompasses the following areas, demonstrated by the successful graduate of the HIT program:
- The ability to apply the concepts of computer based and other electronic technology related to health care, including the use of database software applications and other tools and techniques for collecting, storing, and retrieving health care data;
- The ability to accurately assign diagnostic and procedural codes and use the appropriate classification systems to correlate the timeliness, completeness, and accuracy of this type of data to reimbursement data for the health care facility;
- The ability to apply principles of organization and supervision in order to develop effective skills in leadership, motivation, and team-building techniques for effective monitoring of health information management staff;
- The ability to apply principles of legal and ethical behavior as they relate to issues applicable to legal aspects of health information, including an appreciation for the BGSU core values;
- The ability to interpret and apply rules for security, confidentiality, retention, integrity, and access of health information;
- The ability to perform and participate in health information analysis tasks such as abstracting data and calculating, interpreting, and presenting statistics and other data.
To be admitted to, as well as continue in the professional program in health information management technology (directed practice, professional practice experiences and/or any other clinical experience within the program), the student must meet the following matriculation standards:
- Main a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher;
- Earn a grade of "C" or better in all HIT, AHTH, and MEDT coursework attempted prior to the placement for HIT 2010, 2200, or 2910;
- Provide signature indicating the receipt and intent to comply with all clinical practice policies and procedures.
To be placed in a clinical site assignment, the student will:
- Maintain a GPA or 2.25 or higher;
- Complete all prerequisite course work in good standing;
- Submit a criminal background check according to current clinical policy and procedure;
- Complete and submit a physical examination according to current clinical policy and procedures, including all lab work and immunization requirements;
- Make appropriate transportation arrangements to and from the clinical site assignment;
- Purchase appropriate scrub attire, lab coats, or other appropriate business casual clothing according to the current clinical policy and procedures as well as assigned site dress code policies;
- Receive professional liability insurance through the Risk Management office and appropriate procedures through BGSU;
- Receive permission and assignment to a specific site from the program director and/or appropriate BGSU faculty.
Any HIT student enrolled in a course which involves a clinical experience may not participate in that clinical experience if he/she is currently on academic or other college-related warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal.
Students who have been academically suspended or otherwise suspended/dismissed from the University and later reinstated must also reapply for clinical placement within the program. Reinstatement to the University does not carry with it automatic reinstatement to the HIMT clinical program.
Any HIT student enrolled in a course that involves a clinical experience may not participate in that clinical experience if he or she is currently on academic or other college-related warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal.
Preparation for various coding, privacy, and data analyst credential examinations can also be a career path for students enrolled in the HIT program, by taking selected coursework within or outside the HIT program at BGSU and with experiential background in the field. Students interested in credentials related to the health information field other than the RHIT credential are encouraged to contact the program director for further information on those options.