Jul 14, 2024  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Information Technology, AAS

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The Health Information Technology AAS degree is designed to meet growing demands for trained health information specialists and data managers in the health IT industry. Graduates can pursue work as health information technicians, electronic health record specialists, coding &billing specialists, business or support analysts, privacy/compliance officers and IT support staff for hospitals, clinics, long term care settings, insurance companies, government agencies, etc.

Coursework combines elements of business, computers, health sciences and health IT with practical computer lab and on-site internship experiences. Students learn skills in areas such as coding, billing, electronic health records (EHRs), registries, data analysis and reporting, quality improvement, legal compliance and other technical processes.

The Health IT field is changing rapidly. The curriculum is designed to cover core skills for a wide variety of possible job options, not one specific job title.  Topics in healthcare related to value based purchasing, care coordination, population health and valued based care and how they relate to health IT will be incorporated within the curriculum.  In general, students who succeed in this program possess excellent communication skills, strong organizational skills, and attention to accuracy, which is critical in a health care setting.

For more information about the Health Information Technology program, please visit our website at www.dmacc.edu/programs/health/healthinfotech.

Location: Ankeny

Students start Fall semester.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Attend any required information/registration session.
  3. Satisfy the required assessment by taking the reading COMPASS test or equivalent.
  4. Obtain a minimum score of 30 on the ALEKs math placement test OR a COMPASS test score of 46 in algebra OR an ACT score of 19 OR MAT 064  with a “C” or better OR Program chairperson approval.
  5. Obtain a minimum score of 70 in writing on the COMPASS test OR an ACT writing score of 19 or higher OR completion of ENG 061 - College Preparatory Writing II  with a grade of “B” or higher OR Program chairperson approval.
  6. Obtain a score of at least 30 NWPM with five errors or fewer on the typing/word processing skill test.

Students start Fall semester. Graduation Requirements

To earn a Health Information Technology AAS degree, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. A grade of 2.0 (C) or better is required in all HIT courses.

Semester 2

Semester 4

Option 2 - Select 1 Course

Option 3 - Select 1 Course

Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 65

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5
Books (approximate/new books) (for HIT courses only) 237 210   80    0 503
Course Fees (online/web-blended HIT courses only)   75   75   20   20 200
Certified Background Service Cost   80        
Immunizations/titres (varies with each student) 150        
Internship (gas/meals) (varies)     220   440
Association/Other Meetings   50         55
Certification Exam Fee (optional)         300
Professional Membership Dues (optional)   40       40  

Approximate total for the program: $12,090*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Organize and maintain patient health records.
  • Assist with implementation and upgrades of electronic health records (EHRs).
  • Redesign paper-based work processes for an electronic environment.
  • Train others on health IT systems.
  • Code hospital/physician records for billing.
  • Collect and analyze data within health records to assist in areas such as research, review of quality of patient care, reimbursement, population health management.
  • Run reports from health IT systems for compliance, management, quality, etc.
  • Document privacy and security processes.
  • Fill requests for patient information.
  • Manage staff and budget (if in supervisory role).
  • Perform quality audits (if in supervisory role).
  • Maintain registries, if required.
  • Work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, cancer registries, government agencies, software companies, long-term care (e.g., nursing homes), etc.
  • Manage projects related to Health IT, workflow and quality improvement.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • General education classes are available at DMACC campuses and online, and Health IT classes are scheduled on the Ankeny Campus or are web-blended/online.  Courses are taught by health information management and health IT professionals and are offered during the day and evening with most coursework arranged to accommodate working professionals.
  • Health IT students will be required to sign a confidentiality statement and pass a criminal background check due to potential exposure to patient records and protected health information during the labs and internship courses.  A background check service, www.certifiedbackground.com, is used to conduct criminal background/abuse checks and to track the immunizations and health records of each student after their acceptance into the program and prior to their first internship. Students are responsible for the cost of this service.
  • Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may delay or prevent students from participation in health IT education experiences. Students unable to participate in health IT education experiences (internships) will be unable to complete the Health Information Technology program.
  • There are many certification options (optional) for health IT professionals depending upon the desired career path. Certifications will enhance the A.A.S. degree. For example, CPEHR (Certified Professional in Electronic Health Records), CPHIT, CPHIE, CHDA, CHPS, CDIP or coding credentials such as CPC, COC/CIC and CCA/CCS-P. Certification may require work experience before meeting eligibility requirements to sit for credentialing examination and continuing education hours to maintain certification. Costs and qualifications vary.
  • Internships will be established locally; however, internships may require travel within the state (for example, to a physician office implementing EHRs).
  • There are several professional associations for health IT, including the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). These associations, which require annual dues, have local chapters that provide educational meetings and other professional resources.  
  • The health IT job market is expected to grow significantly over the next several years; however, some past graduates of Iowa health IT programs have had to seek employment opportunities outside of their community or outside the state. 
  • For additional information about job outlook and salary, visit the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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