Your Guide to Top Health Information Technician Training in Arkansas

Searching for health information technician training in Arkansas? Look no further. Directly catered to aspiring HITs, this article simplifies your quest by detailing accredited programs, certification prerequisites, and the exact steps to take towards this career in Arkansas. We’ve eliminated the fluff to focus on what truly matters: how to get trained, certified, and ready for a future as a HIT professional in Arkansas.

  • Health Information Technician (HIT) is a growing career path in Arkansas, with educational outreach to increase awareness and programs that prepare students for the national certification exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician.
  •  Arkansas provides several CAHIIM-accredited HIT programs offering Associate of Applied Science Degrees and technical certificates, with Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus noted for its exceptional student success rates.
  •  Becoming a Registered Health Information Technician in Arkansas requires completion of an accredited HIT program, certification exam preparation, and potentially engaging in internships and clinical experiences for practical application.

Understanding the Role of a Health Information Technician

Health Information Technicians (HITs) are the guardians of patient health information and electronic health records. They ensure that healthcare data is accurately recorded and securely stored, playing a critical role in the healthcare data cycle.

One of the primary duties of HITs includes medical billing and coding, ensuring that healthcare providers are properly compensated for their services. Their role is pivotal in healthcare settings, where accurate data recording and patient information management are crucial.

Accredited Health Information Technician Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas offers several accredited Health Information Technician (HIT) programs designed to equip aspirants with the necessary skills and knowledge. Among them, the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus stands out with its CAHIIM-accredited Associate degree program in Health Information Technology. Graduates from this program are highly successful, boasting a 100% graduation rate, 100% employment rate, and 100% student satisfaction rate for the 2020-2021 period.

The accredited health information technology program at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus lays a robust foundation in health records, legal and ethical healthcare responsibilities, and management of electronic medical records. This prepares students for the diverse tasks they will undertake as Health Information Technicians.

Associate Degrees and Technical Certificates

Numerous institutions in Arkansas offer an applied science degree, specifically an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology. For instance, Pulaski Technical College and the University of Arkansas offer programs that align with the AHIMA curriculum competencies. These programs require the completion of 60 credit hours and provide students with a solid foundation for a career in health information technology.

Technical certificates are also available, providing another pathway for those interested in joining the health informatics field. These certifications, often attainable with a high school diploma, validate your competence in specific areas of health information management, thus bolstering your employability and career opportunities.

Importance of CAHIIM Accreditation

To become a Registered Health Information Technician in Arkansas, one must complete an associate degree from a CAHIIM-accredited Health Information Management program. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is the accrediting agency that validates the quality and relevancy of health information technology programs. This accreditation is a testament to the program’s commitment to delivering a high-quality education that equips students with the necessary skills to excel in the industry.

Educational Prerequisites

Before embarking on your journey to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), you need to meet certain educational prerequisites. To enrol in a Health Information Technology (HIT) program, you need to have an associate degree level education from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

This requirement ensures that you have a solid foundation in the field before you start your specialization in Health Information Technology. It’s an essential step on your journey to becoming a Registered Health Information Technician, preparing you for the advanced coursework and practical experience that the HIT program entails.

Certification Exam Preparation

Upon completion of your degree, it’s time to prepare for the national certification exam. The HIT program at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills for this exam.

The national exam comprises 150 total questions, including 130 scored items and 20 pretest items, and must be completed within 3.5 hours with a passing score of 300. To assist in the preparation, AHIMA offers an optional course and the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) Exam Preparation, Ninth Edition book, which includes practice exams and multiple-choice questions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for HIT Students

Though the path to becoming a Health Information Technician is rewarding, it may pose financial challenges. However, financial aid may be available for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management with a specialization in Health Informatics. Some options for financial aid include:

  • Scholarships
  •  Grants
  •  Work-study programs
  •  Student loans

It is important to research and apply for financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of education.

The HIT program in Arkansas has specific fees, which include $1,120.00 and $100 per semester for a presumed 4-semester timeframe. Additionally, there is a distance education fee, which is $12 per credit hour over a typical 60-hour program. The total estimated cost for the entire program is $1,778.00.

Scholarship Opportunities

In addition to federal financial aid, there are scholarship opportunities available for Health Information Technology students. Notably, the Connect 2 Tech Scholarship supports students pursuing a certificate or degree in Health Information Technology at the University of Arkansas Monticello or a certificate or degree in Behavioral Health Technology at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas.

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, books, and supplies and provides additional provisions such as a laptop, paid certification, internship placement assistance, and job placement assistance. Students can apply for the Connect 2 Tech Scholarship via email or in person.

Skill Development in Health Information Technology Training

Health Information Technology programs offer a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip students with the necessary skills. The program at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus, for instance, includes the study of the origin, use, content, and format of health records.

The curriculum is specifically mapped to align with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) competencies required in the industry. The training rigorously develops analytical skills, which are essential for tasks such as determining coding structures and evaluating healthcare information systems.

Specialized Certifications

HIT professionals can utilize specialized certifications to increase their expertise in specific health information management areas. Medical coders can acquire certifications such as Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), or Certified Professional Coder (CPC).

For those interested in health data privacy and security, HIT programs may offer the following certifications:

  • Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS)
  •  Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)
  •  Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA)
  •  Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP)

These certifications can help HIT professionals advance to leadership roles or specialize in specific areas of healthcare information technology.

Lifelong Learning and Professional Development

In the Health Information Technology field, career growth is closely tied to lifelong learning and professional development. Continuing education credits (CEUs) are often a requirement for maintaining HIT certifications, highlighting the need for lifelong learning in the field.