6 Accredited Medical Transcription Schools
Working in the field of healthcare information systems means meticulously maintaining a patient's healthcare records and ensuring that confidential information is securely kept. To begin a career in healthcare information systems, most students graduate with an associate degree and work as healthcare information technicians. Such jobs are expected to increase very rapidly over the coming years, meaning job opportunities for students with degrees in healthcare information systems should be great. Earnings in the field of healthcare information systems can vary greatly, from $30,000 for an entry-level technician, to well over $100,000 per year for an experienced manager.
When patients visit the doctor's office, they expect to have an accurate file reflecting their medical history, but they probably don't think about how that information got there. That's where healthcare information systems come into play. Those in healthcare information systems must have tremendous attention to detail because they are responsible for maintaining, updating, and securing all of a patient's healthcare information. And because of the modernization of these records, they must also possess proficiency with use of complex computer systems to store the data.
Due to the specific skill set that is required to work in the field, entry-level healthcare information technicians often possess associate degrees that have given them the hands-on training they need to do their complex job. They are also frequently certified by one of several governing bodies. Those who specialize in healthcare information systems work in a variety of different environments -- anywhere medical records are kept. That means they can work for federal or state government agencies, large hospitals, or even small private offices of individual physicians.
- Health Information Technician: Technicians organize and manage all forms of healthcare data, placing them into a system that is both easy to access by professionals, and secure and private for the patient.
- Coding Specialist: These specialists have expertise in coding the patient's medical information so that it is easily translatable to the national Medicare and Medicaid systems.
- Health Information Manager: Managers oversee the maintenance and security of all patient records and ensure that the healthcare provider is meeting all legal requirements with regard to records.
- Associate Degree: 2 years to complete
- Bachelor's Degree: 4 years to complete
- Master's Degree: 1-2 years to complete
- Doctoral Degree: 3-5 years to complete
Education & Certification Requirements
There are several different degrees available to students who are interested in working in the field of healthcare information systems. Each degree carries with it a varying level of responsibility, and in turn varying salary and benefit figures. It's important to ensure that the degree-granting school is accredited by one of several bodies who also certifies students in healthcare information systems.
An associate degree in healthcare information systems is offered by many junior and community colleges, as well as traditional four-year schools. These programs introduce students to a wide variety of information regarding the healthcare field, such as medical terminology and anatomy. They also learn specifics regarding billing, coding, and computer systems that they will be required to know in a real work environment. Graduates typically go on to become healthcare information technicians. (BLS)
A bachelor's degree in healthcare information systems allows a student to move up more quickly in the world of healthcare information systems. They may begin in a similar job to someone with an associate degree, but because of the broader skill set they've acquired, they will be able to move into more managerial roles with job experience instead of requiring further education. These degrees give students the specifics of the healthcare information world, as well as larger concepts of business and management. If you were to become a healthcare information manager straight out of school, then a master's degree is the one that you would pursue. A master's in business administration, health services administration, public health, or other related degrees, are the standard for managerial jobs in the industry.
Most employers prefer to hire technicians who have been certified in healthcare information. These certifications generally have two components. First, the student must have a two-year degree in the field. Second, they must pass a written examination given by the credentialing body. There are also certifications available to those in managerial roles, but they are significantly less important to their job prospects and career advancement. (BLS)
Healthcare information technicians have earned an associate degree and make less than those with more advanced degrees. Earnings typically vary based on their place of employment: Those working for the federal government may make close to $40,000 per year, whereas those employed in the smaller offices of individual physicians may earn closer to $25,000-$30,000 each year. (BLS)
Those with a bachelor's degree and experience or with a master's degree, who are working in a managerial role that they recently acquired, typically make about $70,000 per year. As they advance and responsibilities grow, managers in the healthcare information systems world can make in excess of $120,000 each year. (BLS)
Job growth for health information technicians is expected to be fairly rapid in the coming years. Not only that, but there is also expected to be an increased demand for their services due to a large retiring work force. Those two factors combined mean that the job prospects for a health information technician should be extremely good. (BLS)
In health information management, the job growth is also expected to be fast, meaning that there should be many job opportunities. These will particularly be in smaller offices, as many of the services previously offered in hospitals shift to smaller practices and group practices. (BLS)
Medical billing and coding jobs involve the same expertise with complex computer systems that a job in healthcare information systems does; however, their focus is different. Rather than retaining all of the information regarding the patient's medical history, their job is to correctly and accurately bill the patient for the services provided. But their background and educational requirements are often very similar. (BLS)
Those who specialize in healthcare administration do much of the same work as those in healthcare information systems; they just have broader job responsibilities. They will be responsible for maintaining patient records, as well as a variety of other administrative tasks, such as greeting patients and answering phones. However, both jobs require much of the same skill set in terms of assembling and storing a vast amount of information. (BLS)
Accredited Schools Offering Medical Transcription Programs
|School Type||Annual Tuition?|
|Penn Foster Career School||For-Profit||$4,680 - $6,553|
|Penn Foster Career School - Healthcare||For-Profit||$4,680 - $6,553|
|Ashworth College (Canada)||For-Profit||---|
|1 Campus: Online|
|The Salter School||For-Profit||---|
|4 Campuses: Fall River, Malden, New Bedford, Tewksbury|
|Business Informatics Center||For-Profit||$12,880|
|1 Campus: Valley Stream|
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