Top 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018

Welcome to our ranking of the 10 best value online associate’s degree programs in health informatics and health information technology for 2018.

Top Associate’s in Health Informatics

Online Associates Degrees - Top Degree Programs-01

    • #1 – St. Petersburg College
    • #2 – North Dakota State College of Science
    • #3 – Weber State University
    • #4 – Idaho State University
    • #5 – Washburn University
    • #6 – Alfred State – SUNY
    • #7 – Dakota State University
    • #8 – University of Northwestern Ohio
    • #9 – Peirce College
    • #10 – Davenport University

Every time a patient visits a doctor’s office or hospital, a medical record is generated. The record may contain brief observations, offer treatment outcomes, or provide medical interventions. But what happens to the record once information is added? Health information technicians help organize, evaluate, and review records for accuracy and completeness. They also communicate with physicians and healthcare professionals to confirm diagnoses or obtain additional health information suitable for the medical chart.

Special training is required for the handling of sensitive and private documents within a health organization. Technicians regularly use computer programs designed to analyze data and tabulate information to improve patient care outcomes. This specialized career often requires a two-year degree and certification in health information technology.

Ranking the Top Online Associate’s in Health Informatics Online Programs

The schools for this list were compiled from 20 online associate in health informatics online programs that can be completed in two years or less, and ranked according to raw affordability of those programs. More information on the sources we used to compile this ranking can be found at the bottom of this page.

#10 – Davenport University

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Website

Davenport University - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
Graduates of the online associate’s in health information technology from Davenport University become eligible to sit for the RHIT exam.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,726

Davenport University offers an accredited health information technology online associate’s degree program that is designed for working students. Admission to this program requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Upon admission, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue in the program that leads toward the associate’s degree. Classes are delivered online and are taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. Students successfully completing the accredited program are then eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technology (RHIT) examination offered by the Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The university and program are accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Davenport as the 122nd best regional university in the Midwest.

#9 – Peirce College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

Peirce College - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
Peirce College’s online associate’s in health information technology is fully accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,472

Peirce College offers a fully accredited health information technology program designed for working students who want to pursue careers as health information technicians. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, the program is designed to build skills through quality coursework in business, healthcare, and information technology. Successful completion of the required credits earns an associate’s in health information technology. Online classes are taught by Peirce College instructors and cover topics like healthcare reimbursement, introduction to health information technology, legal issues in health information management, medical terminology, and statistical applications in healthcare. Graduates of the program have the opportunity to continue their education toward a bachelor’s degree in health information administration. Peirce is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional college in the North.

#8 – University of Northwestern Ohio

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Lima, Ohio

Website

University of Northwestern Ohio - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
University of Northwestern Ohio provides internship opportunities to students enrolled in the online associate’s in health information technology.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,440

The University of Northwestern Ohio offers an online associate’s in health information technology program designed to prepare degree candidates for careers as health information technicians in hospitals, nursing homes, or physician offices. Courses are delivered entirely online and, as part of the program, students are required to participate in two internships. These internship opportunities provide students with connections to fellow technicians, office managers, and physicians working in the field. Some of the courses offered include electronic healthcare records, healthcare statistics and quality assessment, health information systems, and medical terminology. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the institution as a top regional college in the Midwest. Also, the program and university have received accreditation.

#7 – Dakota State University

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Madison, South Dakota

Website

Dakota State University - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
Dakota State University’s online associate’s in health information technology is accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,927

Dakota State University offers a completely online associate’s in health information technology program designed for working students. Flexible online classes and internship opportunities provide students with the skills needed to successfully transition into a health information technician role. All courses serve as a stepping stone to the bachelor’s in health information administration at Dakota State. The HIT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Graduates of the program are prepared to take the AHIMA examination to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Along with accreditation, rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report have also been received. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks Dakota State as the 118th best regional university in the Midwest and the 34th top public school.

#6 – Alfred State – SUNY

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Alfred, New York

Website

Alfred State online associate's health informatics
Alfred State offers a fully accredited online health information technology associate’s degree with part-time and full-time options.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,075

Alfred State’s online associate’s in health information technology is designed for career-seeking students who want to pursue a place in the profession of healthcare and information technology. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. All classes are delivered online and include essentials of pharmacology, health information technology seminar, insurance and reimbursement processing, leadership in health information technology, and quality and legal aspects of health information management. Both part-time and full-time completion options are available, and classes may be applied to a bachelor’s in health information management program. Alfred is ranked with major publications, which adds to the value of this program. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Alfred the 48th best regional university in the North.

#5 – Washburn University

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Topeka, Kansas

Website

Washburn University - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
Washburn University’s online associate’s in health information technology is ranked and accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,754

Washburn University’s online associate’s in health information technology offers students a strong foundation of courses and curriculum designed to prepare them for careers as health information technicians. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), the program is designed to lay the foundation for readiness to take the RHIT examination. One and two year plans are available, and students may apply courses toward a bachelor’s in health science, also available from Washburn. Admission to this program requires official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and satisfactory high school GPA or previous relevant college courses. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the institution as a top regional university in the Midwest.

#4 – Idaho State University

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Pocatello, Idaho

Website

Idaho State University - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
CAHIIM-accredited – the online associate’s in health informatics from Idaho State University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,956

Idaho State University offers an accredited online associate’s in health information technology degree program that is designed to be completed in 1.5 to 2 years. The program also leads to a seamless transition toward the bachelor’s in health science also available at Idaho State. Courses taken to satisfy degree requirements include advanced coding and reimbursement, health information, health statistics and quality improvement, ICD 10 CM coding, and supervised professional practice. Practicum hours are also required, and students have the opportunity to complete an externship in their local area. Not only is the program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), but also a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Academic Organizational Affiliate. Also, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the institution and many of its online programs.

#3 – Weber State University

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Ogden, Utah

Website

Weber State University - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
Weber State University’s online associate’s in health information technology is one of the most affordable programs on our list.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,523

The two-year associate’s degree in health information technology online program at Weber State University is designed to qualify students to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) examination. All HIM classes are offered online, and students are given flexible assignments that can be completed at a time that is most convenient. Some of the courses offered include ambulatory and physician office coding, diagnosis coding, healthcare privacy and security, introduction to health information systems and settings, and professional practice experience in coding. Weber State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 86th best regional university in the West and 31st top public school.

#2 – North Dakota State College of Science

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Wahpeton, North Dakota

Website

North Dakota State College of Science - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
Accredited and PCAP-approved – North Dakota State College’s online health information technology degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,697

North Dakota State College of Science offers an accredited online associate’s in health information technology that allows students to participate in two professional practice experiences. This unique mix of virtual and onsite experiences enrich the student’s education and connection to their peers and instructors. While completion of the program earns a health information technician associate’s degree, students have the option of also earning a medical coding certificate. The Health Information Technician program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, and the coding credential is PCAP approved. Also, the school and its programs have earned recognition in recent years from major publications.

#1 – St. Petersburg College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Clearwater, Florida

Website

St. Petersburg College - 10 Associate’s in Health Informatics Online 2018
The #1 most affordable online associate’s in health information technology program on our list is at St. Petersburg College.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,385

St. Petersburg College offers an accredited online associate’s in health information technology degree and a program that boasts a 100% credentialing examination pass rate. Courses may be taken entirely online and include topics like health data analysis, introduction to healthcare informatics, introduction to health information management, organization and supervision, and quality and performance improvement. A professional practice experience module must also be completed prior to graduation. Upon completion of the program and required professional experience, students qualify to sit for the national exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) through the American Health Information Management Association. The school is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional college in the South.

FAQs About Online Health Informatics:

What is the most important thing to look for in an associate’s in health informatics online?

All associate’s in health informatics online programs are not created equal. What sets the top programs apart from the rest is accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)–an independent, globally recognized accrediting organization body that monitors the quality of health informatics and health information management programs. With the CAHIIM stamp of approval, students can rest assured the program adheres to the stringent guidelines set by the governing body.

What are my career options for an online associate’s in health informatics?

As a medical records and health information technician, the primary aspect of the job is to organize and manage health information data. Most health information technicians work in medical records departments in hospitals, insurance companies, or physician officers, and are not involved with direct patient care. Health information technicians may choose to specialize in types of information and pursue careers in medical coding, maintaining cancer registrars, or tracking patterns of disease treatments and outcomes.

After completing a two-year online associate’s in health information technology degree program, there are three options. Following graduation, you can go straight into the workforce. With no experience, or minimal work history, you will only be eligible for entry-level employment opportunities with hospitals, medical facilities, or physician offices.

The second option following the completion of an online associate’s in health informatics is to sit for the national exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) through the American Information Management Association. Certification is often required for career advancement or obtaining mid-level job opportunities.

Another option after obtaining a health information associate’s degree online is to transfer the earned credits into a four-year college or university and apply them toward a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare specialty like health administration, health science, or health information technology.

How much can I earn in this field?

The job outlook for health information technicians, according to the United States Department of Labor–Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to grow 13 percent in the coming years. This growth rate is expected to increase at a faster rate than the average for all occupations, as the demand for health services is expected to increase as the overall population ages.

In May 2016, the median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians was $38,040. The lowest 10 percent of all health information technicians earned less than $25,070, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $62,840. Earnings increased with experience and career advancement within an organization. Also of note, health information technicians working in physician offices earned approximately $10,000 per year less than those working in professional, scientific, and technical service organizations.

Most health information technicians work full-time and receive benefits, although part-time employment options are available.

How to become a health information technician?

Health information technicians need a postsecondary certificate for entry into the field, although many jobs require an associate’s degree. For those looking for long-term careers in health information technology, an associate’s degree may be a stepping-stone toward additional education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers prefer to hire certified health information technicians, or they may expect applicants to earn certification shortly after being hired. Some associate’s degree programs include the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) examination as part of the degree program.

Is certification important?

Certification is valued by many employers. When a job candidate lacks work experience, certification makes the potential employee appealing. Candidates who have successfully completed the requirements at the associate’s degree level of a health informatics program accredited by CAHIIM become eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam, administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Obtaining certification opens doors to entry-level and mid-level career opportunities. Most programs on our list offer certification opportunities. Once a student has satisfied all requirements for the associate’s degree in health informatics, they are eligible to sit for the certification examination.

What are the hottest specialties in health information technology?

Learning a specialty in any field is a great way to advance your career. Health information technology is no different. In fact, specializing in an area of health informatics might set you apart from your competition when vying for the same job. Today’s hottest specialties in health information include cancer registry, medical billing, and medical coding.

Cancer registrars are skilled to analyze patient records for disease patterns, test results, and treatments association with cancer. These highly skilled technicians maintain aggregated data in the national cancer registry databases and apply appropriate information to medical records.

Medical coders have received highly specialized training that allows them to translate diagnostic and procedural phrases in health records as alphanumeric codes. This process ensures accuracy and simplifies the review process. Medical coders are key players in improving patient care.

Medical billers are trained to enter patient and clinical data into billing software to ensure hospitals or medical organizations get properly reimbursed by insurance companies and/or government healthcare agencies.

Most of the above specialties require additional training, including certification. Some of the programs on our list offer specialization options.

Other Colleges Offering an Online Associate’s in Health Informatics

Rasmussen College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technician

Website

Sullivan University

Online Associate’s in Health Information Management

Website

Ultimate Medical Academy

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Website

Remington College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Website

 

Baker College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Website

Brightwood College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Website

Lincoln College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Management

Website

Fisher College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Website

Central Piedmont Community College

Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

Website

SOURCES
Tuition information was retrieved from College Navigator.

The earnings potential and projected job outlook information was collected from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics.

METHODOLOGY
The methodology used for ranking the list of top 10 associates in health informatics online degree programs is as follows. First, we looked at accreditation. We selected schools and programs that had received regional or national accreditation. We gave value to programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information management Education (CAHIIM), as technicians trained in non-CAHIIM accredited programs are not eligible to take the certification examination. We then gave value to the most affordable programs. We collected undergraduate, in-state tuition from the National Center for Education Statistics (College Navigator) and ranked the schools according to raw affordability. We also gave value to programs with a standout feature, such as affiliation with a national organization, option to transfer credits toward a bachelor’s degree program, or access to internship/externship opportunities.

OAD Staff
March 2018

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THIS CONCLUDES OUR RANKING OF THE TOP 10 ASSOCIATE’S IN HEALTH INFORMATICS ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMS OF 2018.