Ultimate Guide to Health Information Technician Training in Nebraska

Embarking on a career as a health information technician in Nebraska? It starts with the right training. This article strips down to the bare essentials of accredited health information technician training in Nebraska programs. We’ll navigate you through the requirements, the importance of CAHIIM accreditation, and the skills you’ll acquire to prepare for certifications like the RHIT. Step into a field where managing sensitive data with precision is just the beginning.

Accredited Health Information Management Programs in Nebraska

For those looking to pursue a career as a health information technician, Nebraska provides ample opportunities. The state offers an array of accredited associate degree programs in health information management, providing a solid foundation for your career. An Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology, for instance, is a popular choice for students in Nebraska. But why is accreditation so important?

Accreditation serves as an assurance of quality. When a health information management program is accredited, it signifies that the program has met rigorous standards set by a recognized accrediting body. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), a leading health information management accreditor, is widely recognized as the gold standard in the field of health information management. It sets high benchmarks for education and ensures the quality of health informatics and information management programs.

CAHIIM-accredited programs, like the Health Data and Information Management Program at Metropolitan Community College, ensure you’re receiving an education that aligns with industry standards and prepares you for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam. Knowing a program’s accreditation status is crucial for students seeking a quality education in this field.

Northeast Community College

We turn our attention to the Health Information Management Services (HIMS) associate degree program at Northeast Community College. This program, accredited by CAHIIM, is designed to immerse you in the management of systems that:

  • collect
  • store
  • process
  • retrieve
  • analyze
  • disseminate
  • communicate

Health-related information is crucial in today’s world, and health information systems serve as your stepping stone towards becoming an adept health information technician.

The process for enrolling in the HIMS program at Northeast Community College is quite direct and uncomplicated. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent with at least a C average and must achieve acceptable scores on pre-enrollment assessments. Once enrolled, you’ll embark on a journey of learning that’s aligned with industry standards and prepares you for the challenges of the dynamic healthcare industry.

Metropolitan Community College

The Health Data and Information Management (HDIM) program at Metropolitan Community College stands as another excellent choice for prospective health information technicians in Nebraska. This specialized program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills for careers in health information management. From medical coding to data analysis, the HDIM program covers all essential facets of health information management.

Admission into the CAHIIM-accredited HDIM program is competitive. It involves a rigorous selection process. Applicants are required to apply, two letters of reference, an essay, an application checklist, technical standards form, and unofficial transcripts. Meeting all these requirements is essential for consideration. The program reviews applications twice a year, with submission deadlines on July 1 for the fall quarter and December 1 for the spring quarter.

Key Skills and Knowledge for Health Information Technicians

Entering the field of health information management requires equipping oneself with certain specialized skills. Health Information Management (HIM) programs in Nebraska focus on imparting entry-level competencies, including:

  • Medical coding
  • Reimbursement strategies
  • Data management
  • Administrative skills

These skills are your arsenal, enabling you to navigate the complex landscape of health information management with confidence and proficiency.

However, technical skills are just part of the equation. As a health information technician, you’ll be at the forefront of healthcare decision-making. Mastery of data analytics enables you to contribute to decision-making processes and trend identification, covering:

  • Descriptive analytics
  • Prescriptive analytics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Discovery analytics

Alongside these, effective communication, active listening, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills are indispensable for liaising with doctors, nurses, and health insurance companies.

Character traits like patience, persistence, work ethic, and self-motivation are also crucial for success in this field.

Medical Terminology and Coding

Health information management heavily relies on medical terminology and coding. Understanding medical terminology and coding systems is essential for you as a health information technician to effectively process and convey patient data and healthcare services. Without a comprehensive knowledge of medical terminology and coding, accuracy in healthcare documentation and communication could be compromised.

Coding is a fundamental skill that enables health information technicians to:

  • Translate medical procedures and diagnoses into standardized codes for use in medical billing and record-keeping
  • Ensure the smooth operation of the healthcare system
  • Minimize errors
  • Facilitate seamless communication between healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Certification and Licensing Requirements

The journey to becoming a health information technician involves more than just procuring the right education and skills. It also involves obtaining the necessary certifications and licenses. In Nebraska, to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), you must complete an associate degree from a Health Information Management (HIM) program accredited by CAHIIM. This eligibility for the RHIT exam also extends to graduates of HIM programs approved by foreign associations that have reciprocity agreements with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

The RHIT examination can be taken early by students in their last term of study, those who have completed coursework but not yet graduated, and graduates awaiting their official transcripts. Candidates who pass the RHIT exam early are awarded their credentials when their official transcripts, with the graduation date included, are received and verified by AHIMA. This process ensures that you’re not just a health information technician but a certified professional recognized by the leading authority in health information management.

RHIT Exam

The RHIT exam serves as your entry point to become a registered health information technician. This timed test, taking 3.5 hours to complete, includes a total of 150 questions. It assesses six domains of competencies, with each domain comprising a specific portion of the total examination questions. A passing score on the RHIT exam is 300 out of 400, and it is delivered in a computer-based test format.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Health Information Management Students

Although investment in health information management education is vital, it’s worth mentioning that there are financial aid options available. Students in Nebraska seeking health information management degrees have access to a variety of scholarship opportunities. Some of these scholarships offer significant financial assistance, helping relieve the economic burden on students.

Scholarships and Grants

Nebraska students pursuing health information management have access to dedicated scholarships and grants. For instance, Nebraska Methodist College provides the Excellence in Allied Health Scholarship, which grants $6,000 to qualifying students, with application deadlines that vary.

Beyond providing substantial financial aid, this scholarship acknowledges your commitment and potential in health information management. By availing of such scholarships and grants, you can focus more on your studies, gain the necessary skills, and embark on a successful career as a health information technician.