Health Information Technology

Applications for Fall 2014 admission will be accepted until program's capacity has been reached or until the first week of fall classes.

Health Information Technology

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Health Information Technology program prior to enrolling in any HIT program courses.

Entrance into the Health Information Technology program is competitive.

More Information

Review the menu below for a career overview, program overview and additional information.

Career Overview

Job Description

Southwestern Illinois College's Health Information Technology (HIT) program prepares students to work as medical record/health information technicians.

Health Information Technicians:

  • Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying completeness, accuracy and proper entry into computer systems
  • Use computer applications to assemble and analyze patient data to improve patient care and control cost
  • Ensure that patient interest is maintained in matters of privacy, security, information release and record access

Career Resources

The SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center offers a Career Mentor program, including job shadowing.

The American Health Information Management Association website provides career and certification information.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional information regarding the HIT field.

Job Opportunities

Although most HITs work in hospitals, there are also opportunities in:

  • Office-based physician practices
  • Nursing homes
  • Home health agencies
  • Mental health facilities
  • Public health agencies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Law firms
  • Insurance firms
  • Health product vendors

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2012-2022 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of health information technicians is expected to increase by 22 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.

See President Obama's plan to computerize the nation's health care records.

Salary

National Average Salary

The most recent American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) survey indicates average annual salary across the nation is $55,676.

Local Starting Salary

Locally, the average starting salary is $27,000–$32,000, depending on the size and location of the health care facility.

Applicants

Application Requirements

Materials Needed to Apply

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Health Information Technology program before beginning program courses. Applicants must submit the following to the Enrollment Services Office:

1. Health Information Technology application

  • Applications are available between Sept. 1 and April 1 each year for fall start.

Supporting documentation (transcripts, test scores, etc.) must be on file by identified deadlines.

Proof of completion of prerequisite courses:

Prerequisite courses in biology, algebra and keyboarding/typing must be completed to be considered for admission.

  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of April 1.
  • Grades earned must be at least a C, although higher grades earn more points toward application.
  • College grades supersede high school grades when both appear on official transcripts.
  • The most recent grades in courses meeting these requirements will be used.

2. Official Transcripts

  • Official high school transcripts or proof of GED
  • Official transcripts from all colleges, universities or accredited schools of Health Information Technology attended
  • SWIC transcript evaluation form, a requirement for the transfer of credits from another institution

3. Test Scores

  • ACT or SWIC GPA Option
  • The COMPASS test identifies skill levels in math, reading and writing. Students must score high enough to be eligible to enroll in ENG 101 and MATH 97. If COMPASS results are too low, students must complete required developmental courses prior to enrolling in MATH 94, ENG 101, BIOL 157, BIOL 158, PSYC 151 or SPCH 151.

Questions?

For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

Prepare to Apply

Complete Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses in biology, algebra and keyboarding/typing must be completed to apply for the HIT program.

Fill out the Planning Guide

Entrance into the HIT program is highly competitive. The HIT Planning Guide explains application requirements and offers suggestions on how to maximize points in each section and increase chances of being accepted to the program.

Understand the Application Point System

Applications are rated by a points system, with points based on:

Meet with a Counselor

Call or visit a SWIC Counseling Office for more information on entrance requirements for the HIT program.

Questions?

For an individual review of your planning guide, contact the Health Sciences coordinators' assistant.

Applicant Selection

Application Point System

Applications for the HIT program will be rated on a point system, with points based on:

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission as quickly as possible given the number of applications received.

Fewer Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are fewer qualified candidates than there are spaces available, applications will continue to be accepted until the program's maximum capacity has been reached or until the first week of classes during the fall semester.

The college reserves the right to fill the program in those years when there are fewer applicants than spaces available by whatever means it deems necessary to assure both academic integrity and fairness in the selection process.

More Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in this program, those applicants residing outside the SWIC district or in a district that does not have a joint agreement with SWIC for this program will not be eligible for consideration or admission if there are more applicants than positions to be filled. Search the college catalog for Interdistrict Cooperative Agreements. Resident status is determined by address on file with the Enrollment Services Office by April 1.

The admission procedures for the HIT program are in accordance with Illinois law. The law requires that programs with insufficient space and resources to accommodate all applicants will accept the best qualified applicants using rank, ability and achievement scores as guides, with preference given to students residing in the district.

Other Requirements

The following criteria are required of accepted applicants, and all information will be explained in detail at program orientation meetings:

Orientation & Performance:

Applicants accepted to this program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Applicants or enrolled students are encouraged to contact the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Health Insurance:

Health insurance is required during clinical education courses. Students are personally responsible for any costs incurred for injuries occurring during their clinical experience.

Medical Requirements:

These requirements do not have to be fulfilled until they are explained at the orientation meeting. HIT students will be required to possess current CPR certification at the Healthcare Provider level and show proof of immunizations, TB test and physical examination before beginning any clinical experience.

Background Checks and Drug Testing:

Background checks and drug testing are required.

  • A list of disqualifying convictions is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health website. Students with convictions must possess a waiver from the IDPH to participate in the program.
  • Drug testing will identify illegal and prescription drugs. If results are positive, the student must provide proof of prescription in his or her own name in order to pass the drug test.

Graduation Requirements:

Applicants admitted to the program must follow the requirements for graduation at the time they are admitted and must meet all course, program, degree and sequencing requirements specified. Students are responsible for program policies as listed in each year's HIT Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet program specific requirements will be dropped from the program and may be required to re-apply and compete for admission in the succeeding semester.

Program Overview

Course Sequence

Acceptance to the program is required before an applicant will be permitted to register for HIT courses.

Health Information Technology Degree

Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree (0023) Course Sequence

This is a 69-credit-hour, two-year accredited degree program consisting of:

    • 28 credit hours of general education courses
    • 41 credit hours of health information courses
    The curriculum includes biological, social and computer sciences, HIT technical courses and assigned clinical experiences.

Course Information

General Education Courses

General education courses can be completed prior to admission. These courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses. If general education courses are not completed prior to admission, they must be completed during the semesters indicated above.

Health Information Technology Courses

Health Information Technology program courses begin each fall for those applicants accepted into the program. HIT courses are only offered at the Belleville Campus during the day. View the course sequence.

Clinical Education Experiences

Students are assigned two clinical experience/practicums after the first year of the program. Clinical experiences are completed at hospital/clinical facilities throughout the district and in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Background checks and drug testing may be required prior to clinical experiences. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Capacity

Belleville Campus

The Health Information Technology program generally accepts 20 students each fall semester at the Belleville Campus.

Program Location

The Health Information Technology program consists of general education courses, HIT pre-fix courses and assigned clinical experiences. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

The required general education courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses.

Health Information Technology Courses

The HIT courses are only offered at the Belleville Campus during the day.

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical experiences are completed at hospital/clinical facilities throughout the district and in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Background checks and drug testing may be required prior to clinical experiences. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Cost

Health Information Technology Degree program

For details, see the HIT Degree cost sheet

Financial assistance is available!

SWIC Financial Aid Office

Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college.

The student work program does not require financial aid eligibility.

SWIC Foundation

The SWIC Foundation offers more than 200 scholarships based on residency, enrollment and GPA criteria.

Time Commitment

HIT courses are only offered during the day. Students should check the location and schedule of classes. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and attendance at any of the classes and clinicals assigned by the program.

More Details

Program Accreditation

The SWIC Health Information Technology program is accredited by:

The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-5800
312-233-1100

For more information, e-mail info@cahiim.org.

Verification of accreditation can be viewed at the CAHIIM website.

The program's curriculum is guided by the standards developed by the commission. Our accreditation status means SWIC has met the standards required and helps to assure the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians. It allows the college's HIT graduates to be eligible to sit for the licensure examination.

Registry Requirements

Upon successful completion of the HIT curriculum, graduates are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology and are eligible to take the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) registration examination. These examinations are offered throughout the year at various sites in the state and country.

Registry Pass Rate

The SWIC graduate registration examination pass rate averaged over the past three years is 81 percent.

Contacts

For more information about this program, please contact:

Coordinators' Assistant Candice Rodgers

618-235-2700, ext. 5355
Candice.Rodgers@swic.edu

Enrollment Admissions Evaluators

618-235-2700,
ext. 5541 or 5542

Counseling Center

618-235-2700, ext. 5206