HIT Profession

Description of the Profession 

Health Information technology is right for you if you:

  • have an inclination towards science and wish to work in health care, but not directly with patients
  • like to analyze the facts and solve puzzles:  choosing the most specific diagnostic codes for inpatient and outpatient medical claims is a precise, acquired skill
  • like to work with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators
  • desire a career  with a diverse variety of career opportunities
  • seek a field with an excellent outlook for the future 

Health Information Technicians work in acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, physician’s offices, HMO’s, hospice, home healthcare agencies, public health agencies and for medical software vendors.

Typical Duties 

Performs services to include:

  • Patient admission/registration and appointment scheduling
  • Assembling and analyzing patient health care data for completeness and accuracy. All necessary consents for treatment reviewed for signatures, reports and orders reviewed for signature by appropriate provider.
  • Responding to requests for patient specific information from attorneys, insurance companies, patients and physicians in total compliance with facility, state and federal regulations.
  • Coding and classifying inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and procedures for reimbursement and other data-reporting needs.
  • Auditing physician’s office coding and billing.
  • Abstracting cancer data and maintaining a database on cancer patients for facility, state and national cancer incidence and survival statistics.
  • Abstracting outcome data for assessment of quality of care and preparing reports for medical staff committees and managed care organizations.
  • Reviewing patient records to assess appropriateness of level of care and medical necessity of treatment according to established standards for Medicare, Medicaid and HMO coverage.
  • Coordinating all health information functions in acute care or physician’s office setting.
  • Consulting services to long term care facilities and home health agencies.
  • Marketing and providing technical training in specific healthcare information management software applications.

Performance Standards 

The Health Information Technologist must have sufficient strength, motor coordination and manual dexterity to:

  • Stand, move, reach and bend over to file patient charts in a variety of settings.
  • Sit for long periods of time at a computer workstation abstracting patient data into a computer database.
  • Sit for long periods of time at a computer workstation word-processing physician-dictated reports.

The Health Information Technologist must have the mental and intellectual capacity to:

  • Fully comprehend the responsibility for maintaining absolute patient confidentiality
  • Focus and concentrate on analyzing details in a fast-paced, multi-tasked environment.
  • Read and interpret patient charts without transposing numerical data.
  • Handle stressful situations related to patient, physician, or outside agency requests for information and clearly interpret procedural and regulatory standards.
  • Communicate verbally in an effective manner with physician, nursing and other administrative reviewers.
  • Be organized and efficient
  • Review and evaluate statistical data accurately for appropriate and pertinent quality of care

Health Requirements

Each allied health student must have an insurance plan to cover any injury or illness requiring hospital treatment or surgery. In addition, all students are required to submit evidence of good health through a physical examination and immunization form prior to registering for Practicum I.