Complete Guide to Health Information Technician Training in Missouri

If you’re searching for health information technician training in Missouri, you’ll want to know your best options for programs and certification. With our no-nonsense guide, you’ll discover the practical steps to becoming a healthcare data expert in Missouri’s growing field of health information technology. Explore accredited programs at schools like the University of Missouri, certification details, and strategies for entering the workforce prepared and confident.

  • Missouri boasts accredited programs for Health Information Technicians at institutions like the University of Missouri, with online and traditional campuses offering degrees, certificates, and specialization areas such as Medical Coding and Healthcare Data Analytics.
  • Obtaining the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is essential for professional recognition, requiring passing a comprehensive exam and committing to ongoing education with 20 CEUs every two years.
  • Financial aids like the Missouri Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant and the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award are accessible for Missouri’s Health Information Technician students, while professional experiences through internships and networking through associations like MoHIMA play a critical role in career development.

Accredited Health Information Technician Programs in Missouri

Missouri hosts a range of accredited programs for those interested in health information management specialization. Universities such as the University of Missouri and the Missouri State University-West Plains offer comprehensive programs in health informatics, providing a strong foundation for aspiring health information technicians.

The curriculum typically includes key areas of medicine, management, information technology, and law, equipping students with the necessary knowledge to excel in this field. Moreover, the accreditation status of these programs, ensured by a health information management accreditor, guarantees that they meet high standards of quality and relevance, making their graduates attractive to potential employers.

Online Programs

Studying online provides flexibility and convenience for those pursuing a career in health information technology. State Fair Community College, for instance, offers an online Health Information Technology program that enables students to:

  • Complete their degree while managing other responsibilities
  •  Engage in interactive coursework
  •  Experience a rich learning experience that prepares them for the demands of the healthcare industry.

An online Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology is also available at Missouri State University-West Plains. This program provides specializations in:

  • Medical Assistant
  •  Medical Coding
  •  Healthcare Data Analytics
  •  Healthcare Reimbursement

Such diversity allows students to choose a path that aligns with their career aspirations, ensuring they are well-prepared to excel in their chosen field.

Traditional Campus Programs

Missouri provides an array of campus-based Health Information Technician programs for those favouring a traditional learning environment. These programs provide hands-on education, allowing students to gain practical experience and develop key skills in managing traditional patient medical records. State Fair Community College, for example, offers a Professional Certificate in Medical Coding as part of its campus-based Associate of Applied Science degree program.

The Health Information Technology program at Missouri State University-West Plains includes foundational courses such as Medical Terminology, Computers for Learning, and Introduction to Health Information Technology. These courses equip students with a broad understanding of the field, preparing them for a range of career opportunities in health information technology. Furthermore, completing these campus programs often leads to immediate employment in the field, highlighting the practical value of these educational pathways.

Gaining Professional Credentials: Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)

Acquiring professional credentials is the next step to becoming a Health Information Technician after completing an accredited program. Obtaining the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification can significantly boost a professional’s marketability. The RHIT credential equips professionals with the knowledge and skills to advise organizations on computerized healthcare systems. Gaining this certification requires preparation, commitment, and a deep understanding of the health information management field.

Exam Requirements

The exam for the RHIT certification is a rigorous assessment that tests a candidate’s knowledge and skills in health information management. To be eligible, candidates must have:

  • Completed academic requirements at the associate degree level
  •  Graduated from a Health Information Management program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  •  Graduated from an approved HIM program by a foreign association that has a reciprocity agreement with AHIMA.

The RHIT exam:

  • is a 3.5-hour timed test with 150 questions
  •  assesses competencies across six domains, each contributing a specific percentage to the total exam content
  •  requires a passing score of 300 to earn the RHIT certification
  •  candidates can register for the exam through the AHIMA website, with a fee structure that varies according to membership status.

Continuing Education

Given the rapid evolution of the health information management field, ongoing education is critical. Health Information Technicians must stay current with the latest developments, such as electronic health records, and enhance their research capabilities through ongoing learning. To maintain the RHIT credential, professionals must complete 20 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years, with a minimum of two CEUs focused on privacy and security.

AHIMA offers practical tools for ongoing learning, such as a free Release of Information (ROI) Toolkit, which reflects current healthcare practices and various types of protected health information disclosures. This commitment to continuing education is widely acknowledged as beneficial for career progression and applicability across different areas of the health information management field.

Financial Aid Opportunities for Health Information Technician Students in Missouri

Embarking on a career in health information management may require a substantial financial investment. However, there are several financial aid opportunities available for Health Information Technician students in Missouri. Students can seek financial aid by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the MU Office of Student Financial Aid.

Additionally, the Missouri Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is available to students meeting certain eligibility criteria. Eligible veterans, active duty service members, National Guard and Reserves, and their dependents may also benefit from the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award.

Networking and Professional Associations

Professional associations and networking play a pivotal role in a Health Information Technician’s career. Participating in full conferences organized by professional associations like AHIMA can support Health Information Technicians in earning continuing education units (CEUs), a key requirement for maintaining RHIT certification.

Additionally, networking at health information management events allows healthcare professionals to explore various areas within the field, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose among peers.

Missouri Health Information Management Association (MoHIMA)

In Missouri, the Health Information Management Association (MoHIMA) serves as an essential resource for Health Information Technicians. To become a member, an individual must join the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and select Missouri as their state association. Membership in MoHIMA offers access to a network of professionals in the field, providing opportunities for collaboration and learning.

MoHIMA also supports the AHIMA Foundation in its mission to advance health information management. Initiatives like the Shooting Star program and fundraising activities such as the AHIMA Not-So-Silent Auction demonstrate MoHIMA’s commitment to advancing the field and supporting its members.