Associate in Science Degree Health Information Technology


Health information professionals care for patients by caring for their medical data. They ensure that all of a patient’s health information is complete, accurate, and protected, yet readily available for healthcare providers when needed. There are three professional and academic areas of health information that you can learn about below: Health Information Management, Health Information Technology, and Health Informatics. Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. Health information technology (Health IT) refers to the framework used to manage health information, and the exchange of health information in a digital format. Health Informatics (HI) is a science that defines how health information is technically captured, transmitted and utilized. Health information management professionals work in a variety of different settings and job titles. They often serve in bridge roles, connecting clinical, operational, and administrative functions. These professionals affect the quality of patient information and patient care at every touchpoint in the healthcare delivery cycle. Having skilled HIM professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information available when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality, and security. They are vital to the daily operations management of health information and electronic health records. Because health information coding is at the heart of both health care reimbursement and clinical analysis, this extremely important aspect of health information management requires a highly trained and accurate professional who can assign numerical codes to diagnoses, symptoms, and procedures using the current diagnostic coding and procedure classification systems which include ICD 9-CM, ICD-10-CM and ICD 10-PCS and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). Most third party payers, including the federal government and private insurance companies, require submission of diagnoses and procedure codes as part of the hospital and/or physician billing process. Diagnoses and procedures codes are needed for comparing and tracking diseases, clinical research, statistical reporting, market data and planning. Professionals who work in health IT (information technology) are focused on the technical side of managing health information, working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient data. Health IT professionals are usually from Information Technology backgrounds, and provide support for electronic health records and other systems HIM professionals use to secure health information. A career in HIM/Health IT/HI is right for you if you:

  • See yourself in a career that offers diverse opportunities.
  • Would like to work in health care, but not directly with patients.
  • Have an aptitude for science, but also like management, law, and computers.
  • Enjoy working with professionals: physicians, nurses, lawyers, administrators and executives.
  • Want a career where you can choose to work on your own, with others, or some of both.

HIM programs incorporate the disciplines of medicine, management, finance, information technology, and law into one curriculum. Because of this unique mixture, HIM graduates can choose from a variety of work settings across an array of healthcare environments. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Graduates of the Program are, therefore, eligible to take the national examination leading to certification as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).

Minimum Standards for Applicants

  1. Eligibility for admission to Cypress College.
  2. Completion of ENGL 100 C with a grade of “C” or better or transcript showing course in progress.
  3. Completion of CIS 111 C Computer Information Systems with a grade of “C” or better or transcript showing course in progress.
  4. Completion of HS 145 C Survey of Medical Terminology with a grade of “C” or better or transcript showing course in progress.
  5. Eligibility for MATH 120 C Introduction to Probability and Statistics or transcript showing appropriate Math course in progress.

Application Procedures

  1. In addition to the Cypress College application form, a separate application is required for admission into the Health Information Technology Program. Applications must be completed online. Please see the Health Science Application link on the Health Information Technology home page.
  2. Qualified students are selected each spring and fall semester. Applicants may exceed the available seat space. Prioritization of qualified applicants will determine acceptance.
  3. Applicants are responsible for submitting all documents (records, forms and transcripts) indicating minimum standards and prerequisites have been met to the Health Science Counseling Office.

Selection Procedures

Students will be selected using a point system based on the number of general education/graduation courses completed at the time of application. Criteria are subject to change. For information see a Health Science Counselor.

Special Requirements and Expenses Incurred By Health Information Technology Students Before Assignment to Clinical Facilities/Agencies

This information is intended to assist those who are planning enrollment in the HIT program prepare for educational expenses. In addition to enrollment fees PAYABLE AT REGISTRATION, the HIT student incurs additional expenses. Clinical practice sites are located throughout Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Clinical assignments are scheduled during the day. The student will need reliable personal transportation in order to travel to assigned agencies at least one day a week in each directed practice course. All enrolled students must meet the same health and safety standards required of agency employees in the contracted clinical facilities. For this reason each student enrolled in the HIT program must complete specific requirements at his/her own expense prior to agency assignment. Information regarding the specific requirements in place at the time of initial enrollment into HIT Program is provided at a mandatory orientation scheduled for applicants selected each semester.

  1. Physical examination with health clearance indicating good physical and mental health status with no physical limitations which would impede the ability to operate a computer keyboard; read a visual display terminal; and sit for a long period of time.
  2. Proof of current immunizations or immunity by titer.
  3. Testing for communicable diseases including, but not limited to, the following: tuberculosis, rubella, rubeola, varicella, hepatitis.
  4. Professional liability insurance.
  5. Clean background checks.

Required Curriculum

Transferability of health information course work is determined by the individual receiving college. To earn an Associate Degree, students must complete:

  1. all major course requirements with a grade of C or better
  2. Cypress College Native General Education requirements; California State University General Education Breadth requirements (CSU GE Breadth) or IGETC General Education requirements
  3. the cultural diversity and reading requirements
  4. any elective courses to complete a minimum of 60 units, and
  5. have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

At least 50% of all major course work must be completed at Cypress College. To earn a certificate, students must:

  1. document a minimum of an Associate Degree, and
  2. complete all major course work with a grade of C or better.
CIS 111 CComputer Information Systems3
HS 145 CSurvey of Medical Terminology3
ENGL 100 CCollege Writing4
Eligibility for MATH 120 C
HI 100 CTrends in Health Care Delivery3
HI 101 CHealth Information Management3
BIOL 210 CAnatomy and Physiology5
MATH 120 C Introduction to Probability and Statistics4
HI 102 CLegal Aspects of Health Care3
HI 103 CHealthcare Data Analysis3
HI 114 C Beginning ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Coding3
HS 147 CSurvey of Disease3
HI 203 CMedical Quality Management3
HI 214 CCPT/Ambulatory Care Coding3
HI 225 CInformation Technology3
HI 230 CDirected Practice I 13
CIS 236 C Introduction to Oracle: SQL and PL/SQL3
HI 224 C Advanced ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Coding3
HI 240 CDirected Practice II 14
HI 245 CCoding Skills Lab2
Total Units61