Eligibility for certification as a registered health information technician through the American Health Information Management Association requires completion of an accredited two-year health information management program, resulting in an associate degree. The certification examination is a three-hour, multiple-choice exam designed to ensure one's ability to manage medical records accurately, understand the proper use of electronic medical records systems and comply with laws and regulations impacting the profession. Continuing education is required for recertification every two years.
Health information management programs at the associate level include a combination of science and computer coursework. Science courses generally include anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. Courses in medical record coding and general education classes, such as math and English, are also required. A bachelor's degree in health information technology is recommended for individuals interested in eventually pursuing management positions in health information. Whether pursuing an associate or a bachelor's degree, for certification eligibility, it is essential that the degree program be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management.
Registered health information technicians are considered part of the health care team, although they have minimal direct patient contact. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 22 percent growth in health information technician employment between 2012 and 2022.