Health information technology management (HIT), is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information. The health care industry depends on electronic information systems. As health data becomes more digitized, opportunities are created for trained health information technicians with the skills and knowledge to collect, analyze, monitor, maintain and report health data according to established data quality principles, legal and information security standards and professional best-practice guidelines. The Health Information Technology program will prepare you to become an expert in patient health data management.

What Does a Health Information Technician Do?

  • Are the guardians and gatekeepers of the most important tool in modern health care – the medical record.
  • Ensure that patient's histories are accurate, complete, up-to-date, and properly entered into the clinical database.
  • Keep careful logs of patient histories, diagnoses, treatments and procedures.
  • Understand workflow in all size healthcare settings, from large hospital systems to the private physician practice.
  • Play vital roles in the daily operations of health information management and electronic health records (EHR) at almost every point in the healthcare delivery cycle.
  • Ensure an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed.
  • Maintain the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality, and security.

Why Choose Health Information Technology?

  • The program is 100% online (with the exception of professional practice experiences (PPEs)), and was created with the working adult in mind.
  • Health information technology is one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • You will become a critical member of the healthcare team.
  • No needles - you will work behind the scenes in the healthcare system without ever having direct patient care responsibilities.

See why students chose to become health information technicians by viewing real HIT/HIM stories.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Are you interested in the business and technology aspects of healthcare? Are you detail-oriented and enjoy science, management, law, and computers? Health Information Technology may be the career choice for you.

    Students entering the Health Information Technology program should:

    • Be interested in working in health care, but not directly with patients.
    • Be interested in business and technology.
    • Be detail oriented.
    • Have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law, and computers.
    • Enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
    • Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both.
    • Have a strong knowledge of medical terminology.
    • Employ good critical thinking and communication skills.

    Program Basics

    • Associate degree.
    • All courses offered online allowing for 100% flexibility, with the exception of professional practice experiences (PPEs).
    • Financial aid is available to those that qualify.
    • August or January program start date.
    • Students must achieve a grade of C or better in each course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress.
    • Flexible, sequenced credential training starts with a Medical Coding Specialist Certificate (first year)
    • Second year leads to Associate Degree in Health Information Technology Management.
    • Credits transferrable for a Bachelor's degree in Health Information Management.
    • Hands-on training provided through paid internships after first and second year coursework.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application and $30 Application Fee
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Meeting: After applying and submitting transcripts, make an admissions meeting with the advisor by clicking "Make an appointment" in the Advisor block on this page.

    Requirements for Online Students

    Chromebooks are not compatible with some testing features within Schoology (our Learning Management System). Southwest Tech recommends not to use Chromebooks for classes.

    • Cable/broadband/DSL internet with a minimum speed of 1.5Mbps. You can test your local internet speed at www.speedtest.net. Run this test from the location you will be working from.

      Higher bandwidth and speed will greatly assist you in your online learning environment, so where possible, a faster internet speed is recommended. Cable internet tend to be faster than DSL or 4G wireless, although DSL or 4G wireless may also work depending on other factors. Your computer, other software (such as anti spyware), other users on the system, and system configurations can all influence your ultimate line speed. Many instructors use videos as a part of their instruction, as well as synchronous meeting times (Skype, Adobe Connect, etc). Having an acceptable internet connection speed will be important to your success.

    • Convenient access to a computer that has one of the following current versions of Internet Browsers:
      • Microsoft Internet Explorer
      • Mozilla Firefox
      • Google Chrome
      • Safari
      Call 608.822.2302 for verification of other browsers.
    • An active e-mail account (all Southwest Tech students are issued a free email account)
    • Word processing software (Microsoft Word is the recommended word processing software at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College). Free Microsoft Office software is available to all Southwest Tech students at http://products.office.com/en-us/student
    • Availability of 10-15 hours per week for each 3-credit course
    • Self-motivation and self-discipline

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Keyboarding and basic computer skills
    • Biological Sciences

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    • Apply data governance principles to ensure the quality of health data
    • Apply coding and reimbursement systems
    • Model professional behaviors and ethics
    • Apply informatics and analytics in data use
    • Apply organizational management techniques

    Health Information Technology Student Achievement Data

    The Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Health Information Technology (HIT) Program is accredited by the Commission for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) (www.cahiim.org).

    CAHIIM, a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization accredits associate and baccalaureate degree programs in health information management, and masters’ degree programs in the health informatics and health information management professions in the United States and Puerto Rico.

    When a program is accredited by CAHIIM, it means that it has voluntarily undergone a rigorous review process and has been determined to meet or exceed the Standards set by the Board of Directors. HIT program graduates are eligible to sit for the RHIT exam through The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

    CAHIIM
    233 N. Michigan Ave
    21st Floor
    Chicago, IL 60601-5800

    2016-17 Report:

    Southwest Tech proudly provides the following data for public review.

    Student Retention
    2nd year retention rate
    150% Graduation Rate
    Within 3 years of start
    Job Placement Rate
    2016 Graduates
    44% 17% 100%
    Indicator Definition
    2nd Year Retention Percentage of program students retained in year 2 and are active in the same program, where fiscal year is the year the cohort is generated.
    Job Placement- Related Employment Percent of First Time Program Students graduating from the program in three years, where fiscal year is the year the cohort is generated.
    3rd Year Graduation Percent of most recent graduates responding to the graduate follow up survey, in the labor market and reporting employment related to their field of study.

    Respectfully submitted by:

    Jennifer Lame', MPH, RHIT – HIT Program Director
    Katie Garrity - Chief Academic Officer/Dean of Health Education & Public Safety

    Revised June, 2018

  • Career Pathway
  • Career Pathways

    Career Pathways offer new ways to achieve your education goals. Instead of studying just one program, the Career Pathways model links related academic programs in a sequence. Each program offers direct job preparation AND a path to the next higher academic program.

  • Career Opportunities
  • Employment opportunities for Health Information Technology include:

    All health care facilities such as: hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, surgery centers, insurance companies, consulting companies, government agencies, computer software companies and other health care settings. Possible employment for program graduates may include:

    • Outpatient Coder
    • Inpatient Coder
    • Medical Coding Specialist
    • Coding Analyst
    • Claims Analyst
    • Patient Care Coordinators
    • Patient Registrar
    • Benefits Coordinator
    • Medical Biller
    • Collections Clerk
    • Insurance Claims Clerk
    • Customer Service Representatives
    • HIM Revenue Cycle Auditors
    • Document and Coding Specialists
    • Coding Specialist
    • Health Information Technicians
    • Medical Office Administrators
    • Clinical Data Analyst
    • Compliance Auditors

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information or to request Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    Health Information Technology Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title Challenge Exam
    (Demonstration)
    Challenge Exam
    (Standard)
    CLEP Credential Portfolio
    10-501-101Medical TerminologyYes
    Available online
    10-530-161Health Quality ManagementYes
    10-530-162Foundations of HIMYes
    10-530-163Healthcare Stats and AnalyticsYes
    10-530-164Intro to Health InformaticsYes
    10-530-165Intermediate CodingYes
    10-530-167Management of HIM ResourcesYes
    10-530-178Healthcare Law & EthicsYes
    10-530-182Human Diseases for the Health ProfessionsYes
    10-530-184CPT CodingYes
    Current Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Coding Specialist - Physician Based (CCS-P)
    10-530-185Health Care ReimbursementYes
    10-530-196Professional Practice Yes
    10-530-197ICD Diagnosis CodingYes
    Current International Classification of Diseases - 10 (ICD-10), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
    10-530-199ICD Procedure CodingYes
    International Classification of Diseases - 10 (ICD-10) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
    10-801-195Written CommunicationYes
    College Composition CLEP test would also be accepted for credit. However, the challenge exam is the preferred method.
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes
    10-809-198Intro to PsychologyYes
    CLEP Test - Introduction to Psychology
  • Accreditation
  • The associates degree Health Information Management Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
    This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number R01RH26279, Rural Information Technology Workforce Program in the amount of $799,251. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

    CAAHIM accreditation seal