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Health Information Technology

Online Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology

The healthcare industry is experiencing constant growth, in both jobs and improved care for patients. Everyone who works in healthcare knows that a very important aspect of this sector is health information technology. The dual driving forces for protecting patient privacy and gathering patient data place graduates of Health Information Technology programs in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for health information technicians are projected to increase by 17% through 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Whether students have experience in the healthcare field or a firm dedication to learning, an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology can lead to a successful career in this field. Northwestern College is located in Oak Lawn, Illinois, but this program offers classes entirely online to serve more students across the United States.

What Is Health Information Technology?

Modern healthcare is built on securely and ethically holding digital information, including patient records, medical procedures and outcomes, coding and billing, and research studies. Gathered from a variety of settings such as medical offices, hospitals, nursing homes, public clinics, and research universities, medical data is used to improve the quality of care provided, inform public health initiatives, and increase revenue at institutions of higher learning. Those qualified with a degree in this area assist with the protective tracking and storing of electronic patient data.

Whether the job title is medical records technician or health information technician, integrity, training, and experience are required. Duties may include:

  • Secure storing of data from clinical registries, such as donor banks or chronic diseases
  • Tracking patient and procedure outcomes for quality control purposes
  • Assisting with revenue cycle management by using expertise in medical terminology to analyze diagnoses and procedures

Students enrolled in this program can earn a certificate in coding, which is highly desired for many jobs that must use coding to classify patient records, procedures, diagnoses, and other statistics.

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 gives 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

Students enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology program must complete 94 credit hours. Developed in conjunction with Chicago-area hospitals and medical centers, the curriculum features health information systems in current use and requires externships that provide students with practical experience. Courses include:

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  • 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

In addition, this well-rounded program includes general education credits in communications, mathematics, life skills, social sciences, and humanities. Explore the full College Catalog.

Start a Career in Health Information Technology Career Today

Graduates earning an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Health Information Technology gain important medical knowledge and experience. With knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, as well as medical law and ethics standards, they will be prepared to work as health information technicians throughout the medical field, including:

  • Health data management
  • Health statistics and quality management
  • Health informatics
  • Management and operations

Students across the United States can participate in these online classes. States offering them include:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Learn more about online classes in health information technology at Northwestern College i, IL, by contacting us today. Northwestern College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and our Associate in Applied Science Degree Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

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

The Northwestern College Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree program 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.

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


Certification Exam Pass Rate

Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science degree
Graduates are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information (RHIT) exam.

First Attempt

2021 2022 2023*
Number of students taking the RHIT No test takers No test takers 2
Number of students who passed N/A N/A 2
Pass Rate N/A N/A 100%

*APAR quarterly reporting period from November 2023 – January 2024

Completion Rate

Completion Rate 2023 = 82%

Annual completion rate for 2023 was calculated by reviewing all students who were expected to graduate during the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Quarters.

86 out of the expected 105 did complete their programs in 2023.

Employment Rate

Northwestern College does not measure Employment Rate.

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.