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Health Information Technician Training

Medical records and health information technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate to enter the occupation, although they may have an associate’s degree. Many employers also require professional certification.

Postsecondary certificate and associate’s degree programs in health information technology typically include courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, classification and coding systems, healthcare reimbursement methods, healthcare statistics, and computer systems. Applicants to health information technology programs increase their chances of admission by taking high school courses in health, computer science, math, and biology.

Most employers prefer to hire medical records and health information technicians who have professional certification. A medical records and health information technician can get certification from several organizations. Some organizations base certification on passing an exam. Others require graduation from an accredited program. Once certified, technicians typically must renew their certification regularly and take continuing education courses. Certifications include Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR), among others. Many coding certifications require coding experience in a work setting. Some states require cancer registrars to have certification; requirements vary by state.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

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