Top Health Information Technician Training in Minnesota

If you’re seeking health information technician training in Minnesota, understanding your educational options is crucial. With a focus on accredited programs, certification requirements, and practical training opportunities, this article demystifies the process and details the direct path to becoming a health information technician in Minnesota.

Pathways to Becoming a Health Information Technician in Minnesota

Multiple entry pathways exist in the dynamic field of Health Information Technology. No matter your chosen pathway, accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) is a fundamental aspect to consider. This accreditation confirms that the program meets the professional standards required in the industry and enhances your marketability upon graduation.

Associate Degree Programs

One popular pathway is through an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology/Coding. For instance, M State offers an accredited 64-credit online AAS degree in this field. This program offers practical experience with educational electronic health record systems and includes coursework on health information guidelines, confidentiality, and coding systems.

Medical Coding Specialist Programs

Venturing into a Medical Coding Specialist diploma program presents another feasible pathway. Anoka Technical College, for example, offers a 41-credit program in this field. This program equips students with skills in medical record documentation analysis, diagnostic and procedure coding, and contributing to healthcare reimbursement processes.

Moreover, graduates from Anoka Technical College are eligible to sit for several national certification exams, reflecting the comprehensive preparation provided by the program.

Professional Certifications

Holding professional certifications such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) considerably boosts a graduate’s employability and appeal to potential employers. Graduates of Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in Health Information Technology (HIT), like those at Anoka Technical College, are eligible to sit for the RHIT certification exam.

M State supports prospective examinees by offering a specialized one-credit RHIT Exam Review course.

Key Skills for Health Information Technicians

Beyond academic qualifications, a range of essential skills are necessary for a successful career as a health information technician. Active listening, for instance, is paramount to accurately gather and retain information. Effective written communication is crucial for updating electronic health records and ensuring clear translations of physician’s notes.

Problem-solving and critical thinking skills come in handy when addressing issues like denied insurance claims or discrepancies in medical documentation. Furthermore, strong interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and good time management are vital in managing an efficient workflow and maintaining the medical team’s functionality, particularly in adhering to healthcare privacy laws like HIPAA.

Practical Experience and Internships

Practical experience, often gained through internships, is priceless in health information technology. Such internships offer invaluable real-world experience, enabling students to apply their academic knowledge to practical issues and accumulate work experience.

Interestingly, internships often function as the ‘new interview’ in today’s job market, with a substantial number of paid interns receiving subsequent job offers.

Navigating General Education and Program Requirements

When pursuing a Health Information Technology degree, one must meet general education requirements, often encompassing compulsory courses in areas like:

  • reading
  •  mathematics
  •  English
  •  specific healthcare-related topics

Additionally, students must attain at least a ‘C’ grade in all prerequisite courses for program admission and maintain this minimum grade in all courses each term to progress to the next term, ensuring successful completion.

Program-specific requirements encompass coursework in:

  • Medical coding
  •  Health information software
  •  Electronic systems in healthcare
  •  Legal patient record-keeping
  •  Data privacy
  •  Security governance
  •  Data analysis
  •  Revenue management
  •  Communication

Accreditation and Exam Preparation

The significance of securing CAHIIM accreditation for Health Information Technology programs is paramount, as it directly impacts a program’s accreditation status. Being accredited by CAHIIM, a reputable health information technology accreditor, is a prerequisite for eligibility to take the RHIT exam.

AHIMA, the organization responsible for awarding certification, provides multiple exam preparation resources for candidates. Nonetheless, the usage of these resources does not ensure success in the certification examinations.

Employment Opportunities and Outlook

With a projected 17% increase in job opportunities from 2021 to 2031, the health information technology field, which utilizes electronic systems, is set to witness substantial growth.

Health information technicians in Minnesota have diverse employment opportunities in specialized healthcare settings, government agencies, and the private sector.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial aid and scholarships serve as excellent resources for financing your education. For instance, the Minnesota Health Information Management Association (MHIMA) provides scholarships for Minnesota residents enrolled in health information technology programs.

Additionally, the Foundation of Research and Education of AHIMA (FORE of AHIMA) offers merit scholarships for undergraduate health information administration and technology students, as well as credentialed HIM professionals pursuing graduate degrees.