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    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
   
 
  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
Academic Catalog (2017 - 2018)

Healthcare Information Specialist (A.A.S.)


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A.A.S. Degree

Program Description

The Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Information Specialist degree prepares graduates for the growing healthcare information field. Due to a shift toward electronic medical records and an aging population, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor anticipates the need for 9,150 trained medical records and health information technicians by 2016.

A medical records analyst would compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. A medical records analyst would also process, maintain, compile, and report patient information for health requirements and standards in a manner consistent with the healthcare industry's numerical coding system.

(This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites, and including, but not limited to accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability or ownership.)

Career Opportunities

Possible job titles include:

  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Health Information Clerk
  • Medical Records Technician
  • File Clerk
  • Medical Records Analyst
  • Abstractor

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Protect the security of medical records to ensure that confidentiality is maintained.
  2. Review records for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with regulations.
  3. Retrieve patient medical records for physicians, technicians, or other medical personnel.
  4. Release information to persons or agencies according to regulations.
  5. Plan, develop, maintain, or operate a variety of health record indexes or storage and retrieval systems to collect, classify, store, or analyze information.
  6. Enter data, such as demographic characteristics, history and extent of disease, diagnostic procedures, or treatment into computer.
  7. Compile and maintain patients' medical records to document condition and treatment and to provide data for research or cost control and care improvement efforts.
  8. Process and prepare business or government forms.
  9. Process patient admission or discharge documents.
  10. Assign the patient to diagnosis-related groups (DRGs), using appropriate computer software.

Obtaining the Degree

To earn the Associate of Applied Science degree, students must:

  • Matriculate into the program.
  • Satisfactorily complete all degree requirements, including General Education and Major Requirements.
  • Achieve a "C" or better in all HSC courses.  (Example: students will not be permitted to advance into HSC 140 Basic Disease Process and Pharmacology if they receive a "D" in HSC 130 Basic Anatomy and Physiology.)  The content of this program builds upon the fundamentals covered in early courses; therefore, it is imperative that students take the classes in sequence and achieve an understanding of the content ("C" or better) to progress in the program.  If a student does not achieve a "C" or better in an HSC course, the student will need to repeat the course before moving forward.  This may extend the time it takes for completion. 

General Education Requirements


Credit hours: 22


Credit hours: 40


Recommended Sequence of Courses


Total Credits (16)


Total Credits (15)


Total Credits (18)


Total Credits (13)


Minimum credits to earn A.A.S. degree: 62


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