Maryland Health Informatics
Health Information Technology, or Health Informatics, is the exciting field that combines aspects of healthcare management, computer science, and information technology. The field has a projected growth rate of 20% from 2008-2018, which is far faster than the national rate. Most technicians in MAryland begin their career with a coding certificate or an Associate’s Degree from a junior college. The career is an excellent choice for both young people fresh out of high school and adults seeking a second career, and most coursework is offered either during evenings or online. Medical Informatics technicians in this field are responsible for utilizing the latest technology to collect and verify the integrity of patient records and medical data, as well as modeling that data for research purposes. They are legally responsible for the proper release of personal medical information.
RHIT Certification in Maryland
Maryland has one of the largest concentrations of Health Informatics Technician programs in New England, with five Health Information Technology programs accredited by CAHIIM. CAHIIM, or the Commission on Accreditation for Health Information & Information Management, provides national accreditation and certification to the top professionals in the field. The graduates of CAHIIM-approved programs are eligible to test for certification as RHIT, or Registered Health Information Technicians.
Health Care Informatics Degrees – MD
Maryland’s CAHIIM approved health informatics programs are offered by Baltimore City Community College, Community College of Baltimore County, Kaplan University—Hagerstown Campus, Montgomery College, and Prince George’s Community College. Each of these programs introduces students to all duties of the field, beginning with a foundation of communication, computer skills, biology, and human anatomy & physiology. Coursework in the field includes medical terminology, coding, legal practices in information technology, disease classification, pharmacology, billing, and reimbursement. As per CAHIIM certification, all students complete an internship in the field prior to graduation. Some programs offer multiple terms of field experience. At the health informatics Bachelor’s Degree level, Coppin State University offers the only approved program in Health Information Management. The program offers more advanced coursework in pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical billing and reimbursement procedures, and management. The program incorporates multiple internships in the field, including one in a non-traditional HIM setting. In addition, there are a number of other health informatics or health information systems programs available throughout Maryland or if you prefer an online learning format, there are a number of programs available as well.
Maryland Health Informatics Salary Ranges
Graduates find work with Maryland’s major healthcare providers, including Holy Cross Hospital, Franklin Square Hospital Center, John Hopkins Medical Center, as well Prince George’s Hospital Center. Some job titles include Clinical Coding Specialists, Insurance Claims Specialists, and Data Quality Managers. RHIT earn an average of $18.91 per hour, or about $39,000 annually. Professionals who have worked in the field for years earn up to $29.26 hourly, or about $60,000 a year. Maryland RHIA earn an average of $49.523 hourly, or about $103,000 a year. The professionals in the top tenth percentile earn up to $71.65 an hour, or approx. $149,000 annually.
*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics