Healthcare Information Technology
HIT Career Information
Working as a Health Information Technician
- 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 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.
A Variety of Settings
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook (Medical Records and Health Information Technicians)
Health information technicians typically perform the following functions:
- Review patients’ records for timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of data
- Organize and maintain data for clinical databases and registries
- Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
- Use classification software to assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis
- Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
- Maintain confidentiality of patients’ records
Health information technicians document patients’ health information, including their medical history, symptoms, examination and test results, treatments, and other information about healthcare services that are provided to patients. Their duties vary by employer and by the size of the facility in which they work.
Although health information technicians do not provide direct patient care, they work regularly with various healthcare professionals. They meet with these workers to clarify diagnoses or to get additional information to make sure that records are complete and accurate.
The increasing adaptation and use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to change the job responsibilities of health information technicians. Technicians will need to be familiar with, or be able to learn, EHR computer software, follow EHR security and privacy practices, and analyze electronic data to improve healthcare information, as more healthcare providers and hospitals adopt EHR systems.