Health Information Technology Degree

What can I do with a HIT degree? Health Science icon


  • Health information technician
  • Medical records technician

Get trained in Health Info Technology

100% Online: Learn anywhere, anytime.
100% Accredited: Prepare for RHIT exam.
100% Focused: Industry-recognized faculty support your success.
100% Affordable: In-district tuition for all, no matter where you live.*

Earn your degree and receive training in rapidly growing field of health information technology with this online AAS degree program. Full- and part-time options begin each Fall semester only.

Top 3 reasons to earn your HIT associate degree

  1. Versatile skills for in an in-demand industry
    Develop leadership and management skills to link clinicians, administrators and IT professionals. Employment is offered in patient data and pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms in addition to hospitals and doctor offices. According to the USDOL, HIT will grow to encompass new support positions, including mobile support adoption positions, public health informatics, implementation support specialists, and information management redesign specialists. After graduating, you’re eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam.
  2. Developed for motivated and busy learners, everywhere
    This online program offers you the opportunity to learn online ANYTIME with the full support of a nationally respected academic institution, a team of expert faculty and a full suite of tech support to help you succeed each step of the way. View the online orientation or check out the demo course to see how the program can work for you. Affordable in-district tuition is offered to all students regardless of residence.  Harper College also offers generous scholarships and tuition relief programs.
  3. Competitive salary
    The national median annual salary for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 (May 2018 Health Information 101, ahima.org.)  Recent Harper grads with the RHIT certification have a reported starting annual salary as high as $49,000.  Within five years and with additional education at the bachelor's level, one can earn upwards of $50,000 to $75,000 annually. The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online bachelor's completion degree.

Application deadline is May 1, 2021. Review the application requirements to get started. Interested in learning more?

Your health information technology questions... 

Health information technology, or HIT, is a rapidly growing healthcare field. It involves the collection, storage, management and use of health care data and records.

Health information technicians manage medical records and other patient information in healthcare settings, including hospitals, doctor's offices, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, law firms.

You can begin your career in health information technology by completing Harper's accredited AAS program, which covers topics like medical terminology, medical coding, electronic health records and more. Once you've completed this 60 credit-hour program, you will be eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam and earn a nationally recognized credential. 

Yes! Harper College offers a 100% online degree with no residency requirement.* That means, no matter where you are, you will be able to complete your HIT degree conveniently and affordably.

 

Need to know something else?  Request information now.


*In-district tuition for all with no residency requirement good through Spring 2022.

Degree program plan

This 60 credit-hour program prepares the graduate to enter a career which blends two rapidly expanding fields, healthcare and information technology. The HIT AAS is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) for both the Data Management Track and the Revenue Management Track. Students who successfully complete the academic requirements for this program are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The RHIT credential is recognized by healthcare organizations nationwide.

Admission Requirements: The Health Information Technology AAS is a limited enrollment fully online program with a fall start only for both full-time and part-time cohorts. For admission requirements, including a mandatory information session, please contact the Admissions Outreach Office at 847.925.6700 or visit harpercollege.edu Students who apply for this limited enrollment program are obligated to meet current admission requirements and follow program curriculum as defined at the time of acceptance to the program.

FIRST SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required.

Number Course Title Credits Category
BIO 135 1 4 AAS General Education

Description: Surveys the human body, with emphasis on basic physical and chemical concepts, anatomy, physiology and embryology. Designed to meet the needs of students in certain allied health career programs. Knowledge of high school biology is assumed. (NOTE: Not Lab science credit.)

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

CAS 160 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of currently popular software packages or suites. Includes word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation software and the integration of these applications.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 125 2 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces students to healthcare delivery systems and health information functions, purposes and users. Examines health record content and documentation requirements that support organizational, regulatory and accreditation standards. Investigates clinical terminologies, classifications, and code systems. Explores primary and secondary health data sources and users. Identifies data governance and data management practices that ensure the accuracy and integrity of health data. This course is limited to students in the Health Information Technology AAS program.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 150 2 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces health law and the legal health record. Explores concepts of data privacy, confidentiality, and security. Identifies health information technologies used in a variety of healthcare settings and discusses how these technologies are utilized in the management and exchange of health information. Calculates, analyzes and prepares graphical presentations of administrative and clinical statistical data.

Prerequisite: HIT 125 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

MTH 165 4 AAS General Education

Description: Focuses on statistical reasoning and the solving of problems using real-world data rather than on computational skills. The use of technology-based computations (more advanced than a basic scientific calculator, such as graphing calculators with a statistical package, spreadsheets, or statistical computing software) is required with an emphasis on interpretation and evaluation of statistical results. Topics must include data collection processes (observational studies, experimental design, sampling techniques, bias), descriptive methods using quantitative and qualitative data, bivariate data, correlation, and least ­squares regression, basic probability theory, probability distributions (normal distributions and normal curve, binomial distribution), confidence intervals and hypothesis tests using p-values. (Credit will be given for either MTH 162 or MTH 165 or MTH 225, but not for more than one of these courses.) IAI M1 902

Prerequisite: MTH 080 (Intermediate Algebra) with a grade of C or better, or other placement options. MTH 065 (Algebraic Modeling) with a grade of C or better is an acceptable prerequisite if MTH 085 (Supplemental Math/Elementary Statistics) is taken concurrently with MTH 165. Math_Placement_Grid.pdf

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

SECOND SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required.

Number Course Title Credits Category
CIS 143 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides students with a comprehensive introduction to database concepts. Primary focus is on the relational model of database management and querying databases using Structured Query Language (SQL). Existing relational databases are examined and manipulated, and new relational databases are created.

Prerequisite: CAS 160 or CIS 101 or WEB 110 with a grade of C or better and math placement in MTH 101 or higher. Math_Placement_Grid.pdf

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

ENG 101 3 AAS General Education

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 165 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces basic concepts and mechanism of disease. Examines signs, symptoms, and the disease process by body system in conjunction with associated medications used in treatment. Correlates clinical manifestations of disease with health record documentation. Interprets medical record documentation for assignment of diagnostic codes.

Prerequisite: BIO 135 and HIT 125 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 175 2 Program Requirement

Description: Discusses all phases of the revenue cycle. Considers various types of healthcare insurance including commercial insurance, managed care, and government-sponsored healthcare plans. Explores healthcare reimbursement methodologies. Identifies the elements of a compliance program and examines the associated legal and regulatory requirements. Emphasizes leadership roles and management processes.

Prerequisite: HIT 125 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HSC 112 2 Program Requirement

Description: Emphasizes the origin and the basic structure of medical words, including prefixes, suffixes, word roots, combining forms and plurals. Offers pronunciation, spelling, and definition of medical terms based on the body systems approach. Emphasis on rendering a professional vocabulary required for work in the health care field.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

SUMMER SESSION:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required.

Number Course Title Credits Category
HIT 196 3 Program Requirement

Description: Examines and interprets health record documentation, conventions, and guidelines for the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). HCPCS Level I (Current Procedural Terminology-CPT) and HCPCS Level II (National Codes) are utilized to represent procedures provided in the ambulatory care setting and services rendered by providers across all healthcare settings. Emphasis is on the six sections of the CPT Coding Manual. Basic and intermediate coding scenarios are analyzed and interpreted in compliance with official guidelines and ethical coding practices. Reimbursement considerations are explored.

Prerequisite: BIO 135, HIT 125, HIT 165 and HSC 112 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

SPE 101 3 AAS General Education

Description: Theory and practice of oral communications. Development of poise, confidence and skill in speech organization and delivery. Emphasis on frequent speaking, development of standards of criticism and selection and organization of material. IAI C2 900

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

THIRD SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required.

Number Course Title Credits Category
HIT 197 3 Program Requirement

Description: Examines and interprets health record documentation, conventions, and guidelines for the current International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in use in the United States. ICD codes capture information related to diagnoses documented in all healthcare settings and procedures provided in the inpatient setting. ICD codes are utilized for statistical purposes, quality reporting, and reimbursement. Basic and intermediate coding scenarios are analyzed and interpreted in compliance with official guidelines and ethical coding practices. Reimbursement considerations are explored.

Prerequisite: BIO 135, HIT 125, HIT 165, and HSC 112 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 199 3 Program Requirement

Description: Explores the complex processes involved in reimbursement of healthcare services. Examines voluntary healthcare insurance plans, government-sponsored healthcare programs, managed care plans, and prospective payment systems. Outlines the characteristics of value-based purchasing and pay-for-performance systems. Emphasizes the importance of revenue cycle management on the financial viability of healthcare organizations.

Prerequisite: HIT 125, HIT 150 and HIT 175 with grades of C or better. Prior or concurrent enrollment in HIT 196 and HIT 197 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 225 3 Program Requirement

Description: Explores the tools available in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) to improve patient care, increase patient safety and decrease health disparities. Investigates the use of databases, data repositories and data warehouses in healthcare. Considers the steps in the system selection and implementation process. Examines the role of decision support systems and other administrative systems that impact health information management. Differentiates between various clinical information systems and identifies how each impacts patient care. Investigates models and methods for health information exchange. Discusses the necessity of standards in health information technology and the policies, procedures, and practices to secure protected health information.

Prerequisite: HIT 125, HIT 150, and HIT 175 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 230 3 Program Requirement

Description: Utilizes primary and secondary data sources in the application and interpretation of healthcare statistical formulas. Reviews basic research principles and contrasts descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive data analytics. Explores measures of healthcare quality and the reporting of facility-wide outcomes for quality management. Utilizes process improvement tools and techniques. Examines continuous monitoring and improvement functions to enhance customer safety and satisfaction, refine the continuum of care, decrease risk exposure, and manage the environment of care.

Prerequisite: HIT 125, HIT 150, and HIT 175 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

SOC 101 + 3 AAS General Education

Description: Analysis and description of the structure and dynamics of human society. Application of scientific methods to the observation and analysis of social norms, groups, inter-group relations, social change, social stratification and institutions. IAI S7 900

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

FOURTH SEMESTER:

A grade of C or better in all coursework is required.

Number Course Title Credits Category
HIT 235 3 Program Requirement

Description: Examines complex areas of International Classification of Disease (ICD) and Current Procedural Coding (CPT) utilizing patient records from a wide variety of healthcare settings. Extensive use of encoder software and electronic coding references. Explores coding quality and compliance, regulatory issues and revenue cycles considerations.

Prerequisite: HIT 199 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 240 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides a Professional Practice Experience (PPE) totaling 160 hours, coordinated by the program, and designed to reinforce instruction. Each student completes a minimum of 40 hours at a practice site and/or remotely with external supervision by a health information professional. Software simulation activities may be used to supplement, but not replace, the externally supervised experience(s). Emphasizes the practice of higher-level competencies developed through prior coursework. Includes opportunities to discuss and process the externship experience, to develop workforce readiness, and to prepare and practice for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam. NOTE: This course is taken in the final semester of the AAS degree progression and all required HIT coursework must be completed or enrolled in prior to registering for an externship. There will be no online registration for this course; program coordinator approval is required. A criminal background check and health requirements must be met as well.

Corequisite: HIT 299.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 250 3 Program Requirement

Description: Examines the legal and ethical issues involved in protecting the privacy, confidentiality, and security of health information. Explores the maintenance, content, documentation and disposition of the legal health record. Analyzes the HIPAA Privacy Rule with regard to individual rights and penalties for non-compliance. Identifies the purpose and scope of the HIPAA Security Rule and outlines penalties for non-compliance. Applies legal requirements to the proper release of information and the mandatory disclosure to public health authorities. Explores issues of risk management, corporate compliance and workplace law.

Prerequisite: HIT 125, HIT 150, and HIT 175 with grades of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

HIT 299 2 Program Requirement

Description: Integrates all coursework in the HIT AAS degree program and guides the development of a capstone project. Surveys emerging topics and trends in the industry. Explores supervisory and leadership roles, methods and tools. Deepens cultural awareness and examines the extent to which policies and procedures support diversity in healthcare delivery systems and in the workplace. NOTE: This course is taken in the final semester and all required HIT coursework for the AAS degree must be completed or enrolled in prior to registering for this class. There will be no online registration for this course; program coordinator approval is required.

Corequisite: HIT 240.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

1 - BIO 160 and BIO 161 may be substituted for BIO 135.

+ - This course meets the World Culture and Diversity graduation requirement.

Resources

Next steps

For more information about studying healthcare informatics at Harper, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.

Program Information

Accreditation

CAHIIM SealThe Health Information Management accreditor of Harper College is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for the Associate Degree in Health Information Technology (AAS HIT) has been reaffirmed through 2023-2024. All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to CAHIIM, 200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100, Chicago, IL, 60601; by phone at (312) 235-3255; or by email at info@cahiim.org.

Student Outcomes 2019-2020

Graduation Rate: 71% of graduates completed the program within 150% of expected timeframe.

Employment Rate: 100% of graduates seeking employment in healthcare were employed within six months of graduation.

Satisfaction Rate: 100% of graduates agreed or strongly agreed that their overall academic experience with the HIT Program met their expectations.

Domain I. Data Structure, Content, and Information Governance

I.1. Describe health care organizations from the perspective of key stakeholders.

I.2. Apply policies, regulations, and standards to the management of information.

I.3. Identify policies and strategies to achieve data integrity.

I.4. Determine compliance of health record content within the health organization.

I.5. Explain the use of classification systems, clinical vocabularies, and nomenclatures.

I.6. Evaluate data dictionaries and data sets for compliance with governance standards.

Domain II. Information Protection: Access, Use, Disclosure, Privacy, and Security Information Protection

II.1. Apply privacy strategies to health information.

II.2. Apply security strategies to health information.

II.3. Identify compliance requirements throughout the health information life cycle.

Domain III. Informatics, Analytics, and Data Use

III.1. Apply health informatics concepts to the management of health information.

III.2. Utilize technologies for health information management.

III.3. Calculate statistics for health care operations.

III.4. Report health care data through graphical representations

III.5. Describe research methodologies used in health care.

III.6. Manage data within a database system.

III.7. Identify standards for exchange of health information.

Domain IV. Revenue Cycle Management

IV.1. Determine diagnosis and procedure codes according to official guidelines.

IV.2. Evaluate revenue cycle processes.

IV.3. Evaluate compliance with regulatory requirements and reimbursement methodologies.

Domain V. Health Law & Compliance

V.1. Apply legal processes impacting health information.

V.2. Demonstrate compliance with external forces.

V.3. Identify the components of risk management related to health information management.

V.4. Identify the impact of policy on health care.

Domain VI. Organizational Management & Leadership

VI.1. Demonstrate fundamental leadership skills.

VI.2. Identify the impact of organizational change.

VI.3. Identify human resource strategies for organizational best practices.

VI.4. Utilize data-driven performance improvement techniques for decision making.

VI.5. Utilize financial management processes.

VI.6. Examine behaviors that embrace cultural diversity.

VI.7. Assess ethical standards of practice.

VI.8. Describe consumer engagement activities.

VI.9. Identify processes of workforce training for health care organizations.

 

Last Updated: 10/15/21