The Health Information Technology (HIT) degree prepares the student for employment as a professional with the knowledge and skills to manage health information, use healthcare technology, accurately code diagnoses and procedures for services provided, collect, maintain, and analyze clinical data that physicians, nurses, other healthcare staff, healthcare organizations, and other agencies rely on to deliver quality healthcare.

The program provides training through didactic instruction and directed practice. Facilities employing health information technology professionals include hospitals, ambulatory care centers, physician offices, long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, public health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, medical supply companies, rehabilitation centers, managed care organizations, behavioral and mental health facilities, law firms, and insurance firms. The interactive AHIMA HI Career Map(link is external) provides job descriptions at various levels. 

The mission of the HIT program at Saddleback College is to provide comprehensive and high quality courses that enable students to become proficient and innovative health information professionals, and to prepare students to pursue advanced learning opportunities in the health information field and become lifelong learners.

Accreditation and Certification (Effective August 1, 2022)

Saddleback College is withdrawing the HIT program from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accreditation. The college will continue to offer accredited HIT classes until the end of the Spring 2024 semester. Beginning Fall 2024 all HIT classes at Saddleback College will no longer be accredited. Student may choose to transfer to a CAHIIM accredited college to complete their degree.


If you are a brand-new student or entering the HIT program under the 2022-2023 catalog i.e. Fall 22 or Spring 23, you must finish the program at Saddleback College by the end of Spring 2024 to be eligible for the RHIT exam.


**It is strongly advised that all current and future HIT students meet Elizabeth Weiss in the Counseling Office to discuss educational goals and options.**
 

HIT Program Requirements

College Admission

Students who are new to Saddleback College or Irvine Valley College, will first need to apply as a new student.

HIT Program Information and Counseling Office

It is very important that students schedule an appointment with a counselor to create an academic plan and discuss any questions they may have. Emailing questions to the counselor is not advised. Telephone, online, or in-person appointments are available and allow for the highest quality of counseling services provided. When students call the Counseling Office, they can indicate which type of appointment they prefer. Elizabeth Weiss is the designated HIT counselor; however, any counselor is able to advise you regarding your plan. Failure to follow the correct course sequence can delay graduation since most courses are only offered once a year.

If a student has completed coursework at another regionally accredited college/university, the student should submit official transcripts to the Admissions and Records Office at Saddleback as soon as possible. To earn the Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Health Information Technology, students must complete BOTH HIT department requirements and General Education requirements. A previous Associate Degree, Bachelor's Degree or higher degree does not automatically meet general education requirements. All outside transcripts must be evaluated toward Saddleback College's requirements.

Students should bring copies of all transcripts to the counseling appointment, even if the coursework appears to be irrelevant to the current goal. The counselor will review the transcripts and assist students with preparing a petition for course substitution or waiver, as needed, and/or review transcripts for other relevant courses, including general education. Note: If applicable, separate petitions must be filled out for each academic division (one for BIO, one for CIM, one for MATH, one for PSYC, etc.), since they will be reviewed by the appropriate academic division/department.

Foreign transcripts must be evaluated in the U.S, and Saddleback College uses NACES. The site has an approved list of agencies allowed to evaluate transcripts for Saddleback College. Other agencies that are not on the list will not be accepted. If a student is interested in using specific courses from a foreign transcript for a Petition for Course Substitution or Waiver, the student should request course descriptions as part of the foreign transcript evaluation process. Once the evaluation is complete, the evaluated transcript should be reviewed by a counselor; at that time the counselor will assist students in having the course work applied to their current academic goal.

The phone number for General Counseling is: (949) 582-4572.

HIT Program Application Form via the Health Science (HS) Division Office

Use the Submittable Application to set up an account. Choose 'HIT Student Application'. You do not have to complete or submit the application form in one sitting. You can start the process and continue with the application at any time before you submit, as you may need to upload outside transcripts. Once submitted, you will be notified about your application within 2 weeks. 

Students must complete the online application any time prior to enrolling in HIT 116 and HIT 119.

For applicants who reside outside of California or outside of the US:

  • To enroll in Saddleback HIT online program, you will need to apply to the college as a non-eesident.  
  • Do not check the “international students” options as that implies you would be attending classes on campus.

Acceptance to the Program and Student Handbook

Students will receive a Submittable notification about being accepted into the program. Students need to check Saddleback College emails daily, even if they are not taking courses in a particular semester, as important updates are sent to the students throughout the program.

Students are expected to abide by the program requirements as stated in the HIT Student Handbook. 

Externship Placement

Students will be placed in an on-site 50-hour externship at one of Saddleback College’s contracted clinical facilities in the last semester per the road map if they have satisfactorily completed the requirements of the program. This is known as Professional Practicum Experience (PPE), which is part of HIT 130 (Directed Practice). Students must clear health and background checks, drug screening, and provide evidence of health insurance and liability coverage to be eligible for placement. Any findings may affect the student’s ability to progress through or complete the program. Students are advised to start the clearance process six months in advance of placement. 

Proof of vaccination status must be provided for a health clearance. Students who refuse or cannot pass the clinical requirements (including medical or religious declinations) will receive a Not Qualified for Placement, which means students may not be eligible for placement at a site and may not be able to complete the program. Please see the Clinical Practicum Requirements in the PPE Manual for more information and required forms.
 

HIT Student Handbook

Roadmap for the Health Information Technology AS Degree. Effective Fall 2021
Course Title Units
  Semester 1 - Fall  
HSC 104 Medical Terminology 3
ENG 1A or 1AH Principles of Composition I or Honors Principles of Composition I (Fulfills GE Area lA) 4
AS Degree GE Requirement Area 5: Select from Lifelong Understanding and Self Development  3
AS Degree GE Requirement Area 3: Select from Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
  Semester 2 - Spring  
HSC 107 or BIO 113 Human Body Fundamentals or Human Anatomy and Physiology 3 or 4
MATH 10* or PSYC 44* Introduction to Statistics or Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Fulfills GE Area IC) 3
CIM 1 or CIM 10 Computer Information Systems or Introduction to Information Systems 3 or 4
AS Degree Requirement Area 18: Select from Communication and Analytical Thinking  
  Semester 3 - Summer  
  Area 6: Select from Culture in the United States Requirement  
  Semester 4 - Fall (Start of HIT Program)  
HIT 100* Health Information Science 2
HSC 106* Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Information 3
HIT 101* Alternative Healthcare Delivery Systems 2
CIMW 105 Web Development and DB Intro SQL and MYSQL 3
AS Degree GE Requirement Area 2: Select from Natural Sciences (only needed if BIO 113 is not taken) 3
  Semester 5 - Spring  
HIT 111* Health Information Technologies (HCIT) 3
HSC 108* Disease Processes for the Health Sciences 3
HIT 109* ICD Diagnostic Coding 3
HIT 110* ICD Procedure Coding 2
AS Degree GE Requirement Area 4: Select from Arts and Humanities 3, 4, or 5
  Semester 6 - Fall   
CIMA 288 Database Reporting 3.5
HIT 119* Management of Resources in Healthcare 3
HIT 116* Performance of Resources in Healthcare 3
HIT 115* CPT and Ambulatory Care Coding 3
  Semester 7 - Spring  
HIT 122* Reimbursement Methodologies 3
HIT 130* Directed Practice
(Requires completion of HIT 101, HIT 109, HIT 110, HIT 11, HIT 115, HIT 116, HIT 119, CIMW 105, CIMA 288, HSC 106, HSC 108, CIM 1 or CIM 10)
4

Major units 52.5 - 54.5
Total Degree Units including GE: 79.5 - 93.5

Meet with a counselor to review and incorporate GE courses that best meets your goals. The Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Health Information Technology requires students to complete both HIT department and GE requirements. A previous Associate Degree, Bachelor's Degree or higher degree does not automatically meet GE requirements. All outside transcripts must be evaluated toward Saddleback College's requirements. Students have 3 options for completing GE requirements: Saddleback College GE, CSU GE or IGETC.

Tuition, Fees, and Program Costs
Tuition/Fees HIT AS Degree (79.5 units)
Tuition at $46 per unit (CA resident) $2,760
Application Fee (non-refundable) $54
Books (Average $100 per course) $3,000
Health Fee ($22 per semester x 4) $88
AHIMA Virtual Lab Fee ($195 a year x 2) $390
AHIMA Membership ($49 per year x 2)
*highly recommended but not required
$98
Professional Practice Experience (PPE) Expenses  
Medical Clearance and Immunizations $155
Student Medical Liability Insurance $22
Background Investigation Fee $50
CPR (BLS)  $50
Total $6,569

Information for Spring 2023:

Titers are now required for program clearance. Students unable to meet the December 1st deadline for clearance with titers must submit an HSHS Student Acknowledgement of Non-Compliance form. Students should continue to work with the Student Health Center on completing the titer requirement and update the HIT Program Assistant of any changes.

Students will need to start their clearance process by June 1st which is 6 months prior to the start of HIT 130. 

Deadline for all clearance documents is December 1st. There are two main requirements for eligibility for PPE:

Successful completion of all coursework offered in the semesters prior to the last semester in which HIT 130 is offered per roadmap. HIT 122 is the only course that can be taken along with HIT 130 unless the requirements of HIT 122 were completed earlier. There are no exceptions. Transcripts will be checked for courses completed and those which are in-progress.

See the instructions below on setting up CastleBranch (CB) account and purchasing the CastleBranch Compliance Tracker below by June 1st. All clearances need to be uploaded in CB by the deadline date of December 1st to be placed at clinical site and need to be current for the entire duration for HIT 130.

CastleBranch Instructions:
Click on this link to be taken to the CastleBranch portal
Select Place Order > Select Program > Select Package

Note: To place your initial order, you will be prompted to create your secure myCB account. From within myCB, you will be able to view order results, manage requirements, complete tasks, upload documents, and place additional orders. 
 

Careers

  • Revenue Cycle Management/Billing/Clinical Coding
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Data Analyst
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Care Registrar
  • Health Information Education
  • Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI)
  • Insurance Claims Specialist
  • Patient Portal Education/Liaison
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Quality Improvement Analyst
  • Help Desk
  • Release of Information

Contact the Health Information Technology Department