How to Become a Registered Health Information Technician

Wondering how to become a registered health information technician? Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting career, from job duties to education requirements.

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Introduction

A Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a professional who specializes in the management of patient health information. RHITs use technology to collect, store, and analyze medical data. They may also be responsible for ensuring the quality of medical records and coding diagnoses and procedures.

To become a Registered Health Information Technician, you must first earn an Associate’s degree in health information technology from an accredited institution. After completing your degree, you must then pass a national certification examination administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Once you have passed the exam, you will be officially registered as a RHIT and will be able to use the credential “RHIT” after your name.

What is a Registered Health Information Technician?

A Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a health care professional who specializes in the collection and analysis of patient health information.

RHITs typically work in hospitals or other medical facilities, and their job duties may include coding medical diagnoses and procedures, maintaining patient records, and ensuring the quality of medical data.

To become a Registered Health Information Technician, one must complete an accredited health information technology program and pass a national certification examination.

Steps to Becoming a Registered Health Information Technician

A Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a professional who specializes in health information and medical records. The RHIT credential is awarded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To become a Registered Health Information Technician, you must first complete an accredited health information technology program and then pass a national exam.

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Complete an accredited health information technology program

Completing an accredited health information technology program is the first step to becoming a registered health information technician (RHIT). Health information technology programs are typically offered at the associate’s degree level, but some schools offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field as well. These programs usually take two to four years to complete and include coursework in medical coding, classification systems, healthcare reimbursement methods, data management and statistics. Many programs also include an internship component.

Pass the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam

The Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential is the industry standard for health information technicians. To earn the RHIT credential, candidates must pass a computer-based exam comprised of 170 multiple-choice questions. The RHIT exam covers five content areas:
-Anatomy and physiology
-Medical terminology
-Disease process and pathology
-Health information management
-Information technology

Candidates have four hours to complete the exam, and the passing score is 70%. For more information on the RHIT exam, including a complete content outline and sample questions, visit the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) website.

Maintain certification

The Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential is administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To qualify for the RHIT credential, individuals must have completed a minimum of an accredited two-year associate degree in health information technology or a four-year baccalaureate degree that included coursework in health information technology and passed a comprehensive exam.

To maintain certification, RHITs must complete 20 continuing education credits every two years. They can earn these credits through AHIMA-approved educational programs or they can self-report activities that they believe are equivalent to AHIMA-approved activities.

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Job Outlook for Registered Health Information Technicians

Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Jobs for medical records and health information technicians are expected to increase due to the continued demand for treatments and procedures that require access to patient data. Most job opportunities are projected to be in hospitals and physician’s offices.

As the baby-boom population ages and people live longer, there will be an increased need for health information technicians to process the influx of medical records of patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition, as more health care providers adopt electronic health records (EHRs), they will need technicians to compile and organize patient data in these systems.

Conclusion

The RHIT credential is issued by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Individual programs at accredited schools are also reviewed by CAHIIM. Students in these programs take coursework in health data management, classification systems, reimbursement methods, statistics, quality improvement, and biomedical research. Many programs also offer internships or externship opportunities.

To become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), candidates must have completed an accredited postsecondary education program and pass a national certification exam administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

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