Health Information Technology | Western Technical College

Health Information Technology

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Associate Degree

Program Number: 

105301

Credits: 

63.00
Financial Aid Eligible

Typical Start: 

Summer

Health information technologists play a vital role in the healthcare sector by processing, storing, and exchanging health data within an electronic environment. As a Health Information Technologist (HIT), your responsibility is to safeguard health data, ensuring it is processed, delivered, and analyzed in compliance with state and Federal laws, such as HIPAA, while upholding confidentiality and security standards.

In our HIT program, you will delve into documentation practices, electronic health record laws and regulations, as well as the confidentiality and security of patient information. You'll learn how to maintain the integrity and accuracy of documentation within electronic health records, and gain proficiency in analyzing healthcare data, including mortality rates, census figures, and death rates, as well as the application of data to improve patient health outcomes. Coding is a fundamental aspect of effective documentation practices, and you will become skilled in identifying appropriate procedure and diagnosis codes to facilitate patient billing and uphold documentation standards, ensuring that bills are submitted correctly and accurately in accordance with federal and state laws.

As an HIT professional, you will become a member of the American Health Information Management Association, joining a community that provides the knowledge and resources needed to make a meaningful impact on healthcare while ensuring the accuracy and security of patient health data.

To view the Health Information Technology program’s required disclosure on professional licensure, please click here.

Health Information Technology Image
Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Health Information Technology

This program will cost about $10,113* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Graduation Employment Stats

Western conducts a follow-up survey of all grads six months after graduation to find out if they are employed in a job related to their program, how much they are making, and where they are employed.

Survey information is not currently available for this program. Please contact an Admissions Coach or call 606-785-9200 for more information.

Career Opportunities

Health Information Technician
Medical Records Technician
Patient Information Coordinator
Medical Coder
Medical Billing Specialist

Program Outcomes

  • Living responsibly
  • Refining professionalism
  • Cultivating passion
  • HIT - Apply data governance principles to ensure the quality of health data
  • HIT - Apply coding and reimbursement systems
  • HIT - Model professional behaviors and ethics
  • HIT - Apply informatics and analytics in data use
  • HIT - Apply organizational management techniques

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

Application
$30 Application Fee
High School or GED/HSED Transcript

Additional Requirements

To enroll in the Health Information Technology program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Technical Standards and complete a background check. You can find links to these documents below. Please see the details below.

Software and Technology

Most of Western’s classes require the use of a personal computer or laptop, standard software, internet access, and other technology-related items.

If you do not have a personal computer or laptop, or if the one you have does not meet the following criteria, resources may be available. Submit a Student Resource Request using our online form.

Computer/Laptop Hardware

  • Smartphones are not recommended for completing assignments.
  • Chromebooks are not recommended due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes, such as Office 365.
  • Web camera with microphone (usually built into newer laptops or can be purchased separately) is necessary for online participation.

Software Needs

For detailed specifications, please review Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Classes on Western’s IT Knowledgebase.

Campus Resources

Need Assistance?

  • Contact the Learning Commons! The staff are happy to answer questions, provide individualized assistance, and direct you to other supports as needed.

Accreditation

The Health Information Technology accreditor of Western Technical College is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for Associate degree in Health Information Technology has been reaffirmed through 2028-29. All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, IL, 60601; by phone at (312) 235-3255; or by email at info@cahiim.org.

CAHIIM Accredited Program Logo

CAHIIM Reporting Requirements

Program Mission
The mission of the Health Information Technology Program at Western Technical College is to prepare students to become part of a credentialed workforce to support the needs of the health care industry.

Program Goals
The program’s goals reflect the principles and ethics of the Health Information field and support the College’s strategic goals which focus on recruitment, retention, student learning and satisfaction, financial stability and effectiveness of systems and processes. Target outcomes written for each goal are used to evaluate the program on an annual basis.

Focus Goal
Curriculum The program’s mission and goals are outcome focused and relevant to the mission of the sponsoring educational institution.  The program must assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of the curriculum with the results of program assessment used as the basis for ongoing planning and program improvement.
Students and Grads The program will provide assurance that the educational needs of students are met and that graduates demonstrate at least the AHIMA entry level curriculum competencies.
Faculty Development The program will provide a plan for faculty that establishes or assesses the knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience pertinent to the professional curriculum content that they are assigned to teach.  This includes efforts to keep current in health information management and/or other relevant professional content and practice as well as other components of advanced formal education.
Communities of Practice Outreach The program will respond at least on an annual basis to the needs of its communities of practice. The program will demonstrate how it serves as a source of continued education for the HIM professional community.
Advisory Committee The Advisory Committee will assist program faculty and sponsoring educational institution personnel with the development and revision of program goals and curriculum, monitoring program needs and expectations and ensuring program responsiveness to change.

National Accreditation Examination
Students who graduate from an accredited Health Information Technician program are eligible to take the national accreditation examination of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Earning the credential Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) leads to increased salaries, career advancement and job mobility.

Recent examination results for Western’s Health Information Technology program graduates are as follows:

 
Western Candidate Summary
National Summary
Reporting Period 1st Time Testers Percentage Passing Percentage Passing
January 2020-December 2020 1 100% 69%
August 2020-July 2021 2 100% Unknown
August 2021-July 2022 5 60% 68%

Graduate Employment Stats
Graduate follow up is conducted 6 months following graduation. Recent follow up data for Western’s Health Information Technology program graduates are as follows:

  2020 2021 2022
Graduates Responding 5 2 3
Employed in Related Health Occupation 3 2 2
Employed in Non-related Health Occupation 2 5 0
Employment Rate 100% 100% 67%

Graduation Rate
Graduation rate is the percentage of first-time, first-year undergraduate students who complete their program within 150% of the published time for the program.

Cohort Begin Year  2017-2018  2018-2019 2019-2020
Report Year 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
3rd Year Graduation - Achieved Count 7 4 5
3rd Year Graduation - Cohort Count 19 17 15
3rd Year Graduation - % Graduated 36.84% 23.53% 33.33%

Student Satisfaction 

Students are surveyed annually 6 months following graduation from the program. Survey questions include evaluation of the graduate's own knowledge base, clinical proficiency and behavioral skills following program completion, as well as an overall rating of the program. Ratings above the midpoint on a 1-5 scale are considered "satisfied".

2020:  4.6/5
2021: 5/5
2022: 4.7/5

Revised: March 2023

Additional Information

Our Health and Public Safety programs are required to report additional information to prospective students, including certification exams, licensure, program completion rates, etc. You can find this information in the document below:

Program Contact

Susan Summerfield
Program Chair, Health Information Technology
608-789-6103
SummerfieldS@westerntc.edu

Transfer Agreements

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Viterbo University
Viterbo University
Winona State University

Career Pathways

This program is part of a career pathway, a laddered approach to career education. It allows you to earn employer-recognized credentials that lead to job and career advancement.

Health Information Technology

Career Pathways

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