Registered Health Information Technician

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

2

Hourly Wage:

$15.70-$29.92 (Mean $25.02)
*Based on Alaska DOL data for Health Information Technicians

One-page Description (PDF):

Registered Health Information Technician

Professional Activities

Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs) are an essential part of the health care system. They provide crucial and detailed administrative services upon which health care facilities and practitioners rely.

Activities vary depending on the size and scope of the facility. These range from complete oversight and operation of the Health Information services to specializing in a particular part of the system. In most hospitals, the Health Information Department staff reports to a RHIT or a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). RHITs may perform and provide supervision of all or some of the following tasks: transcription; filing/retrieval; assembly and analysis of patient records; coding and abstracting disease and procedural data; managing databases; and releasing information. They may also perform utilization reviews, performance improvements, risk management, and trauma and tumor registry functions (cancer, diabetes, and trauma). Some RHITs function as Privacy Officers as well.

A Health Information Technician can become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) by passing a national certification examination (which can be done upon graduation from an accredited HIT program). These programs are listed on the (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) CAHIIM website: http://www.cahiim.org/directoryofaccredpgms/programdirectory.aspx  Whil.e management opportunities are available to RHITs, it is unlikely that non-certified individuals will progress to management positions especially outside the state of Alaska. Usually larger health care corporations reserve management positions to RHIAs.

State law mandates a hospital must have an RHIA or RHIT overseeing the operations of the Health Information (Medical Records) Department. Other possible work settings include hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory clinics, physician offices, law firms, insurance companies, government agencies, educational facilities, and software vendor companies. RHITs with experience and advanced credentials in coding also work as consultants. 

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from high school, with coursework in business, science, math, computer science, English and communications.
  • Completion of a two-year program. Community colleges and universities conduct two-year programs and award an Associate degree.

Academic Programs

The University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus offers a distance delivered Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Management degree program. Upon graduation, students are eligible to write the national certification exam; successful candidates earn the professional credential of Registered Health Information Technician. For more information, contact:

University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus
1332 Seward Avenue
Sitka, Alaska 99835
Leslie Gordon, RHIA
Program Director
Phone: (907) 747-9474 or
Toll free: (800) 478-6653 ext 9474
Email: leslie.gordon@uas.alaska.edu
Website: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/career_ed/him/index.html

Contacts

State Contact:

Alaska Health Information Management Association
P.O. Box 230335
Anchorage, AK 99523-0335
Website: http://www.akhima.org

National Contact:

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-5809
Phone: (312) 233-1100
Fax: (312) 233-1090
Website: http://www.ahima.org/

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