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Health program is a HIT

By Greta Morris, For The Miami Student

Miami University's recently developed Health Information Technology (HIT) program is working to give students the cutting edge in the ever-changing healthcare field.

The program in Health Information Technology is a bachelor's completion degree that addresses the technology and processes used by health care providers and related organizations, according to the program's official curriculum page. The program includes instruction in the technology used to acquire and direct the flow of information between the clinical, administrative and financial systems in the healthcare industry as well as general principles of information technology. HIT classes will be offered on all of Miami's regional campuses.

"As a liberal arts institution, Miami embraces preparation for a changing world," Donna Evans, Lecturer and Chief Departmental Advisor in the Department of Computer and Information Technology, said. "The development of the Health Information Technology program is a response to a changing technology and medical landscape."

Developed in 2012, the curriculum incorporates the newest and most relevant information to give students the best training possible.

"The program was developed in collaboration with leaders in the field as well as with other educational institutions," Evans said. "The resulting partnerships strengthen the program and opportunities for students."

For Miami students, HIT allows for a chance to enter a quickly growing field. Health Information Technology jobs are expected to increase 20 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations. The demand for technicians is expected to increase even more as the population ages.

Kaitlin Hendrickson graduated from the program in May. Now, she works as a Health Information Management Technician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, a job she felt well prepared for after completing the program.

"I like knowing that I am on the other side of helping patients, but not directly," said Hendrickson.

While teaching students how to effectively use medical technology, the program also works to give students a strong medical basis.

"We got a lot of background on medical information. We had to take medical terminology and anatomy, and we're able to apply that as well to the technology," Hendrickson said. "I think that helped to prepare myself really well for my job now."

Eight Miami students, including Hendrickson, have graduated from the program since its debut in 2012, according to Evans. Another 21 are expected to complete the program this May.

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Over 100 students are currently enrolled in the program. Enrollment is expected to rise in the future as recognition of the program continues to grow.

"I think it will draw more students as it grows and more people will be interested in coming to Miami because of this new degree," Hendrickson said.

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