Our Health Information Technology (HIT) program incorporates the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. HIT graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of health care environments.
Our graduates work in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, but many are finding employment in home health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, county health departments, insurance companies, managed care facilities, county health departments, insurance companies, managed care institutions, software companies, legal firms, and consulting firms.
How to Apply
Verify you meet program requirements
- Students must be at least seventeen (17) years old to attend clinicals.
- Students must be physically and mentally capable of performing the necessary tasks and skills required of the profession.
- Students are required to provide proof of vaccinations and keep them current throughout the program.
Apply to Panola College
Submit official high school transcript and/or official college transcripts
Make an advising appointment with the HIT program chair
Practical Experience and Requirements
A grade of "C" or higher is required for satisfactory completion of all HITT/HPRS courses.
- A student receiving a grade lower than a "C" in a HITT/HPRS course will be required to repeat that course.
- A student will not be allowed more than a TOTAL of three (3) final grades of "D" or "F" in any HITT/HPRS course or courses.
- When a student receives a third-semester grade of "D" or lower in any HITT/HPRS course or combination of courses, the student will be permanently dismissed from the program.
Students will participate in two professional practice experiences (PPE) during their second year of study.
Clinical I: 160 hours - Online simulation and Online assignments.
Clinical II: 160 hours, 40 hours onsite at a clinical facility, 120 hours online simulation, e-portfolio, research project, job searching skills, and preparation for RHIT certification exam.
- Students must have a minimum of a "C" in all previous HITT/HPRS courses to be assigned to a clinical experience.
- These experiences will take place in a clinical health care facility or office (placement will be determined by the instructor) and online (virtually).
- Students are responsible for transportation to and from the clinical site.
- Students will not be paid for their clinical hours. Students that are otherwise employed by the site WILL NOT receive clinical hour credit for paid employment. Students must be "off the clock" in order to complete their clinical hours. No exceptions will be made.
- Students are responsible for a physical exam, drug screen, immunizations, and any other pre-clinical requirements (including costs) of the clinical site.
- Additionally, students will be subject to a criminal background check prior to beginning clinicals (cost is included in clinical course fees). Any prior criminal offenses may disqualify the student from proceeding into clinicals. Decisions on previous offenses are made on a case-by-case basis and the final decision will lie with the program director and the Dean of Health Sciences.
Courses in Health Information Technology prepare students to become health information specialists. Students are trained in assembling, analyzing, coding, abstracting, and maintaining medical records (paper-based and electronic). Students are also taught basic skills in supervision and management, are introduced to legal and ethical issues affecting health care, learn to compile health care statistics, and utilize computer software related to the healthcare field.
Medical Coding is the transformation of verbal descriptions of diseases, injuries, and procedures into alphanumeric codes. A coding technician reviews and analyzes health records to identify relevant diagnoses and procedures for reimbursement purposes, in the assessment of clinical care, and for support of medical research activities.
Medical coding technicians can work on-site, but many work from home or travel as contractual medical coding technicians.
Health Information Technology Links
What does it take to get into the program?
The Medical Coding Certificate and the Associate Degree in Health Information Technology Program is an open program. Once you have completed all admission requirements and have been accepted to Panola College, there is nothing extra you must do in order to be enrolled in this program. You will meet with Ms. Hanson when advising opens to get registered for classes.
When do new students start the program?
Students may start in either the fall and spring semester. Please note that there are several courses which are only offered in either the fall or spring semester. Medical Coding certificate students starting in the fall semester can complete the certificate as it is listed on the degree plan. Medical coding certificate students starting in the spring semester may have to enroll in an additional spring semester.
When are classes/clinicals?
All classes for the Medical Coding Certificate and the Associate Degree in HIT are offered online. There are two clinicals for the Associate Degree in HIT. The first clinical is offered in the fall semester and normally taken in the third semester of the degree plan. This clinical is online with virtual simulation. The second clinical is offered in the spring semester and must be taken in the student's last semester. This clinical requires students to attend 40 hours onsite at a clinical facility.
What credentials will I be able to sit for with this program?
For the Medical Coding Certificate, students will be allowed to sit for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam during their last semester. For the Associate Degree in HIT, students will be allowed to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam during their last semester.
The Health Information Management accreditor of Panola College is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The College’s accreditation for an associate's degree in Health Information Management has been reaffirmed through 2027.
All inquiries about the program’s accreditation status should be directed by mail to:
200 East Randolph Street, Suite 5100
Chicago, IL, 60601
By phone at 312-235-3255; or by email at email@example.com.