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Carroll Community College Offers H.I.T. Program to Prepare

Release Date: 6/30/2010

Executive Assistant to the President
Carroll Community College

Carroll Community College Offers H.I.T. Program
to Prepare Students for In-Demand Jobs

Westminster, Md., Kathleen Palaia, RN, CCRN, CDS, has been a registered nurse for 44 years. She was also a critical care nurse for 17 of those years. Palaia now works in Health Information Management at Carroll Hospital Center. "I enrolled in a Health Information Technology course at Carroll Community College (Carroll) and found that learning medical coding from the ground up in the course gave me the knowledge and confidence to do my job more effectively and efficiently," said Palaia.
Health Information Technology (H.I.T.) is a fast-growing allied health field. The H.I.T. program at Carroll blends courses in science, technology, and health information to create a skill set that prepares the student for employment in a variety of health care settings such as hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities. Carroll's H.I.T. program is an evening program with a mix of online and on-campus courses taught by health information professionals as well as other professionals from the health field.
For first-time college students, there are several educational options in the H.I.T program: two certificates, core and advanced, and an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.  Students can begin with the core certificate and then build upon that to a more advanced program of study if they choose. More advanced skills could improve the students' marketability as their search for employment begins. Upon successful completion of the H.I.T. program, students are eligible to sit for a coding certification examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association.
In addition to being a career choice for new college students, the H.I.T. program can also be an educational option for professionals already working inside or outside of health care--those wishing to explore alternate career choices or those who want to broaden their knowledge of timely health information topics. Professionals with clinical backgrounds as nurses or physician assistants, for example, may benefit from courses in ICD coding and health care reimbursement.
These courses are great preparation for other positions in health care, such as a clinical documentation improvement specialist. Documentation specialists provide oversight for the quality and completeness of documentation in the health record-a task that significantly impacts patient care, health record coding, and provider reimbursement. Clinical professionals who acquire new skills in ICD coding can also seek the coding certification preferred by employers.
For Information Technology (IT) professionals without a health care background, H.I.T. courses provide a solid knowledge base on topics such as use of health care data, the nature of the health care delivery system, and non- clinical  applications and tools routinely used in health care today. With a continued emphasis on the implementation of electronic health records, professionals with skills in IT and an understanding of the health care environment will continue to be in demand.
Whether you are a traditional student looking for an interesting career program or a seasoned professional looking to update your skills, the H.I.T. program at Carroll can help you meet your educational goals. For more information on specific course offerings in the H.I.T. Certificates or the A.A.S. program, please contact or call 410-386-8265.


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