Health Information Technology

Contact Allied Health
Allied Health, Benton Hall, Room 107, 1700 SW Topeka Ave, Topeka, KS 66621, Phone: 785-670-2170 or 785-670-2176

allied-health@washburn.edu

Essential Functions

Upon successful completion of the Health Information Technology (HIT) program, the student receives an associate of science degree in health information technology and is eligible to sit for the registered health information technician (RHIT) examination through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Health information technicians are employed by a wide variety of health care organizations including acute care hospitals, long term care settings, outpatient clinics and physician offices, as well as business and legal settings.

All individuals admitted to the Washburn University health information technology program will be asked to verify that they can meet these minimum essential functions with or without accommodation(s).  If you believe you would need accommodation to perform these essential functions as a student, please consult with Washburn’s student services office, Morgan Hall room 150, (785) 670-1629, or email: student-services@washburn.edu

Verbal communication

Includes speaking and listening using the English language and medical terminology.  The individual must be able to communicate clearly with teachers, fellow students, physicians, staff, patients, attorneys, third party payers, government officials, and others.  This individual must be able to listen and speak clearly over the telephone.   

Written communication- reading and interpretation

Includes extensive reading ability using English and medical terminology when reviewing medical records and reference books (medical dictionaries, coding books, etc.) needed to perform jobs/duties.  While going to school, this individual must be able to read and interpret textbooks, online computer materials, handouts, etc.   

Written communication – writing

Includes using English and medical terminology for college assignments and job-related documents.  Examples of writing required on the job includes telephone messages, memos, letters, professional e-mail messages, business proposals, job descriptions, policies, procedures, quality improvement reports, etc.  

Visual needs

Includes the ability to read names and numbers on medical records, distinguish colors for color coded file systems, read voluminous medical records in paper or computer form, read coding books and other reference materials, read information in a variety of computer programs and databases, read handwritten or computer documents, and the ability to prepare office layouts, design forms and computer screens.   

Motor function

Includes the ability to keyboard at a minimum of 40-45 words per minute.  Students must have gross motor, fine motor and equilibrium functions reasonably required to access information from a computer using a keyboard or mouse, a telephone, and/or a copy machine. Some HIT positions require the ability to sort medical record forms, assemble records in correct order, and file records in open shelf files.  This may include overhead reaching and stooping/bending/kneeling to the lowest shelves at or near floor level and the ability to lift to waist height and carry 20 pounds of paper records for a distance of 50 feet in an office.   

Computer skills

Includes the ability to work with a wide variety of computer software programs following written instructions, reading and inputting/responding to information displayed.  This includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database and flow-charting software, as well as specialized health information programs (e.g., electronic health records, encoders, chart tracking systems, etc.).  Jobs may include up to eight hours per day of computer work. 

Mathematical ability

Includes the ability to calculate mathematical information such as hospital statistics, productivity information, quality improvement studies, budgets, equipment and supply needs/costs, medical bills, etc.  This individual must also have the ability to apply appropriate algebraic formulas when preparing computerized spreadsheets.    

Walking, sitting and standing abilities

Includes the ability to walk or move (50 feet minimum) from one job station to another in an office environment, and ability to sit for long periods (two hours in succession) in an office job.  Typical job is eight hours with a meal break and two short rest breaks during the shift.  Many HIT positions require the ability to stand for average periods of time (one hour).   

Intellectual or conceptual abilities

Includes the ability to synthesize information from a variety of sources and apply it in making decisions related to either the class/lab assignment or performing work assigned on the job.  Examples include the ability to take information learned in class theory and apply it in a lab or practice setting, or taking information learned in a previous class and applying it to a later class.  Another example is the ability to read and interpret information in a patient’s medical record, remember information learned regarding coding principles, check references when needed, and then to code that patient’s record independently with accuracy and speed.   Students must have sufficient organizational skills necessary to meet deadlines and manage time.

Behavioral/Social abilities

Must be able to respond effectively in situations of stress, and demonstrate emotional stability and flexibility.  Examples of this type of behavior include functioning effectively as part of a team, expressing concern for the well-being of others during times of stress, maintaining composure when stressful events occur and continue to function with accuracy.  This person must have the ability to perform the assigned work according to the quality and timeliness standards required by the facility.  The HIT student and professional must be able to work independently when required.  HIT students and professionals must show respect to self, peers, instructors, fellow employees, physicians, patients, other professionals, and supervisors.  HIT students and professionals must show dependability in attendance and completing work according to deadlines.   Students must be able to maintain professional conduct and appearance.

Confidentiality, honesty and ethics

The HIT student and professional must be able to protect the confidentiality and security of health records, as well as facility/practitioner business information.  These individuals must be able to comply with all laws, regulations and standards regarding the practice of health information management.  HIT students must demonstrate honesty and ethics in the learning environment including not cheating on exams or assignments and not plagiarizing on assignments.  HIT professionals must demonstrate honesty and ethics as defined by the employer and the professional association (AHIMA).