Maine Health Informatics – ME
The field of Health Information Technology, or Health Informatics, lies at the intersection of computer science, healthcare, and information technology. Professionals use the most advanced computer technologies to collect, analyze, and maintain patient and administrative data. They are responsible legally for the release of patient medical data. Technicians verify the accuracy and completeness of medical records. This career in Maine has a tremendous job outlook, with a projected increase of 20% from 2008-2018. The field is great for both recent high school graduates and adults desiring a career change.
RHIT & RHIA Certification in Maine
The Commission on Accreditation of Health Information & Information Management, or CAHIIM , sets the standards in the field. Only graduates of CAHIIM approved programs may test for certification as Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA), both certifications that are recognized nationally. Any professional who receives CAHIIM certification is eligible to join the Maine chapter of AHIMA, the American Health Information Management Association. AHIMA membership carries with it the benefits of access to AHIMA-exclusive job postings. Visit the Maine AHIMA website for more information at www.mehima.org.
Health Informatics Degree Options – Maine
In Maine, Kennebec Valley Community College offers the only CAHIIM-approved Health Information Technology Associate’s Degree program. The program is ideal for students with a strong background in communication, technology, and biology. Students are introduced to all aspects of the field, with coursework that covers coding, medical terminology, human anatomy & physiology, legal aspects of healthcare information, and reimbursement policies. Kennebec Valley Community College also offers a coding certificate, which may be earned in a year and qualifies a professional for many entry-level health informatics positions. Other diploma and associate’s degree programs are also available online to Maine students.
Above the Associate’s Degree level, professionals who earn a Bachelor’s Degree are eligible for certification as RHIA. Maine does not currently have any CAHIIM-approved programs. The nearest CAHIIM-approved programs are offered in New York by Long Island University and SUNY Institute of Technology–Utica. These in-depth four year programs prepare professionals for managerial positions in the field, with further study of the legal aspects of healthcare, in addition to data modeling and human resource management. Again, online health informatics, coding, or health information systems programs are available to Maine students as another option.
Health Informatics Salary – Maine
RHIT’s earn an average of $15.00 an hour, or $31,500 annually. Professionals with years of experience earn up to $22.17 per hour, or $46,000 a year. They find employment at Maine Medical Center, as well as Mercy Hospital, and Brighton Medical Center. Other employment settings include hospices, retirement homes, medical research facilities, rehabilitation centers, education, insurance vendors, and prison systems. In Maine, RHIA’s earn an average $39.134 per hour, or $81,000 a year. The experienced professionals in the top tenth percentile earn up to $61.35 hourly, or $127,000 annually.
*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics