Health Information Technology
About the Program
The Health Information Technology program is a two-year technical program leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree designed to train health information professionals with the knowledge and skills to process, analyze, disseminate and maintain health care information. A career as a health information professional offers a unique opportunity to combine an interest in health information, business, and computer information science. Health Information Technology professionals are responsible for maintaining components of health information systems consistent with the medical, legal, accreditation, and regulatory requirements of the health care delivery system.
Health Information Technology graduates are employed in hospitals, as well as in other healthcare settings, including public/private health agencies, mental health facilities, long-term care, ambulatory care, state and federal health agencies, physician practices and home health agencies.
The SMCC HIT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The Health Information Technology program prepares graduates to write the national accreditation examination for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).
An application for the program must be completed as well as an interview with the Program Director. Priority is given to applicants with an ACT composite of 16 or equivalent ACCUPLACER score.
The Health Information Technology program is offered through on-campus day courses, and through asynchronous MSVCC distance education (online/Internet-based) courses via the Instructure Canvas Learning Management System.
Additional Program Fees
Besides basic tuition, there are specific fees which are not included in the tuition and eBook fees. The list below includes approximate costs for the required materials. Please note there are several AHIMA textbooks utilized within the program that are not included in the regular book fees.
*These costs are estimates only and depend upon the publisher or issuing company; these fees may change without prior notice.
Health Information Management Student Organization (HIMSA)
The Southwest Mississippi Community College Health Information Technology (SMCC-HIT) program has a student healthcare organization named Health Information Management Student Association (HIMSA). SMCC’s HIMSA gives HIT students the opportunity to come together to help educate the campus community on Health Information Management and current healthcare initiatives.
Annually, students nominate fellow HIT students for officer positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Fundraisers are hosted semi-annually to cover costs of student attendance at the yearly MSHIMA state meetings.
Being involved in HIMSA is an opportunity for students to use their peers as a resource for the health information management industry. Students are given the opportunity to build relationships with peers outside of the classroom where students can learn from each other and encourage each other to succeed. Students can also gain leadership experience and network with past graduates through HIMSA.
HIMSA adds to the student educational experience not only by generating enthusiasm about the industry, but also by providing a forum for students to gather, share ideas, and connect to the profession outside of their mandatory coursework.
Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®) Credential*
Professionals holding the RHIT credential are health information technicians who:
- Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
- Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or controlling costs.
- Often specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for reimbursement and research. An additional role for RHITs is cancer registrars - compiling and maintaining data on cancer patients.
With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.
Although most RHITs work in hospitals, they are also found in other healthcare settings including office-based physician practices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. In fact, RHITs may be employed in any organization that uses patient data or health information, such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors.
RHIT applicants completing SMCC’s HIT program meet the following eligibility requirement:
- Successfully complete the academic requirements, at an associate's degree level, of an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
The academic qualifications of each candidate will be verified before a candidate is deemed eligible to take the examination. All first-time applicants must submit an official transcript from their college or university.
Additional Credential Opportunities*
Student graduates are also eligible to sit for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS®) credential through satisfying the requirement by Education: The following courses MUST be completed; anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, reimbursement methodology, intermediate/advanced ICD diagnostic/procedural and CPT coding.
CCSs are skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in a hospital setting. These coding practitioners:
Review patients’ records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure
Possess expertise in the ICD-10-CM and CPT coding systems
Are knowledgeable about medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology.
Different facilities and institutions make use of a CCSs' skills:
Hospitals and medical providers take the coded data created by CCSs to insurance companies—or to the government in the case of Medicare and Medicaid recipients—for reimbursement of expenses
Researchers and public health officials also use this data to monitor patterns and explore new interventions
Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS credential demonstrates a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification.
Student Satisfaction Rate:
- 2015: 100%
- 2016: 100%
- 2017: 100%
Perspective students may contact either Mrs. Cotten or Mrs. Carlisle about the Health Information Technology program at Southwest Mississippi Community College.