Health Information Technology

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology

The field of medical information technology provides a great opportunity for students to fuse two of the most profitable career options: healthcare and information technology. With the Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology from Northwestern College in Chicago and online, you can prepare for the world of data and statistics, code and information security, all with a refined focus on the medical field.

Health Information Technology: What It Is and What They Do

These days, every medical facility — from top research hospitals to grassroots-level nonprofit health clinics — relies on electronic record keeping, governed by specialized rules and regulations in order to preserve patient privacy and confidentiality. Health information technicians, sometimes called medical records technicians, are tasked with the organization and management of this sensitive data, with duties that include:

  • Using classification software and coding patient records according to standard classifications
  • Maintaining and storing data in clinical registries and databases
  • Utilizing knowledge of medical terminology, health statistics, and medical laws and ethical standards
  • Tracking patient outcomes for quality assessment
  • Managing revenue by determining diagnoses and procedure codes in order to support billing

Because of the nature of the data and information being managed, maintaining the confidentiality of patients’ records with the utmost integrity is a key factor in the profession. And with everything located online, health information technicians these days must be knowledgeable about the digital databases they utilize and how to keep them secure from any unwanted access.

Health Information Technology Education and Certification

Much of the modern health information technician’s job is conducted on the computer, so those who are looking to pursue this career path need to be confident in their technical and analytical skills. This is where the Health Information Technology degree at Northwestern College makes all the difference. By working hand-in-hand with Chicago-area hospitals and medical facilities, we have been able to devise a curriculum that makes sense for the modern medical world. Our students learn to work on the same health information systems that employers use every day, making them ideally situated to begin the kind of careers that last a lifetime. We also include an externship at the end of our program so that students can get practical, hands-on experience in a real-life work setting. This is a key component that helps you to put into practice what you learned in the classroom and give you the confidence to step out into the workforce. From the moment you walk through our doors and sit down at a computer terminal designed to emulate the real working world, you’ll feel the Northwestern College difference. Our tools and your training — they go together almost as well as healthcare and information technology.


Health Information Technology Classes at Northwestern College

Because the Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology degree at Northwestern College has been designed to meet national requirements, student needs, and employer expectations, it has proven to be a highly sought-after program among our students. They know they will graduate with the skills and knowledge they need in areas like health data management, health statistics and quality management, health informatics, organization management, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pathophysiology, and more.

Students must complete at least 94 credit hours in order to earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology. Courses in this program include:

  • Health Data Content and Structure with Lab
  • Healthcare Statistics and Data Literacy
  • Coding and Classification Systems I, II, III and IV with Lab
  • Health Information Financial and Resource Management 
  • Information Systems in Healthcare
  • Clinical Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement
  • Medical Law and Ethics in HIM
  • RHIT Exam Review 
  • Professional Practicum Experience 
  • Medical Terminology 
  • Anatomy, Physiology, & Pathophysiology I and II
  • Pathopharmacology 
  • Intermediate Database

On top of that, the health information technology degree also includes general education credit in:

  • Communications 
  • Mathematics
  • Life Skills 
  • Social Sciences 
  • Humanities

For the full curriculum, visit our College Catalog.

The Outlook for Health Information Technology Jobs


Technology and data have become two of the largest driving forces in the modern world, and healthcare is one area of the economy that just about everyone will need to access at some point in their lives. So it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that employment of health information technicians is expected to see robust growth over the course of this decade. With a greater percentage of the U.S. population aging and healthcare networks expanding, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for health information technicians will grow by double the national average for all occupations through 2029, with state, local, and private hospitals driving most of these job openings.

Program Goals

Upon completion of the program, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology
  • Be adequately prepared as health information technicians in health data management
  • Be adequately prepared as health information technicians in health statistics and quality management
  • Be adequately prepared as health information technicians in medical law and ethical standards
  • Be adequately prepared as health information technicians in health informatics
  • Be adequately prepared as health information technicians in organization management

Accreditations and Approvals

Northwestern College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 263-0456, www.hlcommission.org

We are also approved for veterans training under the G.I.® Bill for Veterans Educational Assistance. 

The Northwestern College Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree program at the Bridgeview Campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (www.cahiim.org), 233 N. Michigan Ave., 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60601, (312) 233-1100.

Discover Chicago Health Information Technology Certification Programs Today

Be in-demand, in control, and in touch with the electronic age of healthcare. With flexible class times and program options, furthering your education at Northwestern College is both easier and more convenient than ever before. Invest in yourself and your future by contacting us about our Health Information Technology certification program today to learn more.