Billions of dollars have been allocated toward improving health care information systems across the United States. As a result, an estimated 40 percent increase in the number of health care professionals with technical knowledge will be needed to manage and maintain these systems.* To meet this demand and help prospective students succeed in the health information field, Kaplan University has developed innovative online health information technology and management programs.

An Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge, technical skills, and work habits to pursue entry-level positions within the field of health information management. Graduates will be able to start a career as a clinical coder, a clinical data collection and reporting specialist, a cancer registrar, a documentation specialist, and many other positions.† Some graduates from this program will choose to continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree to obtain a management position within the field of health care information. One such option is Kaplan University’s own health information management degree program.

A health information management bachelor of science degree acts as the next step for individuals who already possess an AAS in Health Information Technology. Students matriculating into this program must have successfully completed Kaplan University’s Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology program or a Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)-approved Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology program prior to admission. Students are taught the skills needed to be innovative and adaptable thinkers and problem solvers who can leverage available services and technologies to support operations, management, and strategic initiatives within the field.

What’s especially unique about these new programs is that the health information technology and health information management degrees address the specific area of health care that deals with health information—not just individual medical (health) records but also the use of the information that is derived from health records for use in organizational planning, disease epidemiology, reimbursement tracking, quality of care studies, and the like. Students focus on exciting new technologies in the medical field including speech recognition technology, computer-assisted coding, and the electronic medical (health) record (which comprises a significant portion of the curriculum).

Some exciting elements of the online degree programs in health information are the practicum and externship opportunities. The health information technology program requires a 30-hour clinical practicum and a 90-hour externship in a hospital or health care facility, which could include tasks such as processing medical records, practicing storage methods, chart completion, cancer registry, or working with simulated electronic record software. Also, the last three weeks of the course are spent discussing career goals and preparing for the RHIA exam through the help of useful study tips and mock exams.‡

Kaplan University has gone to great lengths to ensure these programs offer unique opportunities in comparison to programs that may be available at other universities. There is a dedicated Clinical Placement team to ensure an appropriate external facility is found for the required practicum and externship. There are also two Health Sciences “resource rooms”—online libraries of health sciences references along with online quizzes and tools to supplement in-class learning—that have been built specifically for Kaplan University Health Sciences students.

Most importantly, graduates today are looking for fields of study and educational institutions that offer immediate career opportunities. Graduates of these health information programs are needed in a multitude of health care facilities including hospitals, physicians’ offices, public health facilities, long-term care facilities, medical clinics, and insurance companies. Some potential professional titles include clinical or medical coder, documentation specialist, clinical data collection specialist, cancer registrar, reimbursement specialist, data quality manager, compliance officer, privacy officer, project manager, and reimbursement manager.†

Get stareted now. For more information on Kaplan University’s online degree programs, request for more information and an education advisor will get in touch with you.

There are many schools that offer healthcare courses to choose from. To see these and others, visit the Healthcare Schools directory today.
*Source:, April 30, 2008; “Health IT Holds Promise of Creating More Jobs: Study”;
†Kaplan University’s programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue employment in their field of study, or in related fields. However, the University does not guarantee that graduates will be placed in any particular job or employed at all.
‡Although certain programs at Kaplan University are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will pass those exams. In some cases, field experience and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.