Associate in Science
The Health Information Technology (HIT) degree prepares the student for employment as a health information professional with the knowledge and skills to accurately code diagnoses and procedures for healthcare services provided to patients, and to collect, maintain, and analyze clinical data in electronic health records that physicians, nurses, and other healthcare staff rely on to deliver quality healthcare. The HIT associate degree program comprises of the 49-51 unit coursework plus the general education courses needed to get the associate's degree. The degree includes both of AHIMA's specialty tracks: revenue management (RM) and data management (DM). Since the associate degree in HIT is a high unit degree (more than 60 units), it typically takes longer than 2 years or 4 semesters to complete. A 2-year time frame for completion would require taking a full load each semester plus summers. 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. Students are required to hold a valid basic life support CPR card for healthcare providers complete a health clearance and background check and carry professional liability insurance prior to commencing their directed practice. 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. In order to be eligible for the RHIT credential, you must earn the A.S. degree from Saddleback College. A minimum grade of "C" in all courses in the major is required to receive the degree. Occupations/Fields that the program will prepare the student to enter: Revenue Cycle Management/Billing/Clinical Coding Health Information Management Practice Management Patient care registrar Health Information Education Insurance Claims specialist Patient Portal education/liaison Medical office administration Quality Improvement analyst Help Desk Release of Information Competencies: Data Content, Structure, and Standards Data Governance Revenue Cycle Management/Billing/Clinical Coding Performance Improvement Clinical Documentation Improvement Release of Information Privacy and Security of Health Information Healthcare Information Technologies Healthcare statistics, trends, reporting, and registries.
Careers associated with this program have a salary range from $31,000 to $160,000 with an average salary of $68,000.