Health Information Technology FAQs

Consult the drop down menu for answers to frequently asked questions (HIT FAQs) about the Health Information Technology Program.

What is the OTC Certificate in Coding Specialist?

The Certificate in Coding Specialist is included in the first year of the HIT.AAS degree. (Don’t confuse the OTC certificate with a coding credential!)

If you receive the OTC “Certificate in Coding Specialist” you may have met the education requirements  to sit for the AHIMA “ Certified Coding Specialist (CCS or CCS-P)” credential exam. 

Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, a CCS credential has become an implicit industry standard.

 Link to the AHIMA CCS and CCS-P test-taking requirements:

Is the HIT Program completely online?

Yes. A student can complete the HIT program online from start to finish!

Are there seated classes in the HIT program?

Yes. OTC offers seated general education courses.

Is there a tool available to help students organize and plan their courses in the HIT programs?

Yes, we encourage students to use the Academic Pathway Planner, which is designed to assist them in creating the best path to graduation.

Do HIT courses have prerequisites?

Most of the HIT courses do have prerequisites.

The only exceptions to prerequisites are:

  • HIT 110 Introduction to Health Information Technology
  • HSC 120 Medical Terminology
  • HIT 116 Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology.

Do I need to apply for admission into the HIT program?

No. HIT is an “open admission” program.

Do I need to be a full time student to be in the HIT program?

No. You can be a part time or full time student. You should anticipate completing the program within 3 ½ years.

What are the student grade requirements in the program?

HIT has a demanding curriculum to assist student success in future career goals.  In the HIT courses, a 75% (“C”) or better is considered passing.

What is the course repeat policy?

If a student has to repeat a required course a third time, it is recommended that the student contact the program director, Denise Baer.

What must a student do if their previous science course is over five years from admission to OTC?

HIT has a 5-year repeat policy for the science course (Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology) requirement. Students in this situation can easily take HIT 116 Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology.

Do HIT students have College Navigators?

Yes. All HIT students are assigned a college navigator to assist them with various needs.

College navigators are content experts in your field of study. When you apply to OTC, you will be assigned a college navigator specific to your program of interest. Your navigator will connect personally with you every semester to review your academic plan and financial aid status and help you plan for the future. Your college navigator is also available to help connect you with any non-academic resources you may need, such as hardship and emergency assistance.

If you have any questions regarding your student account, financial aid, scholarships, or academic planning, you may contact your navigator anytime through email, phone, or by visiting your personal navigator course in Canvas. They are happy to help!

Where can I locate a video to learn more about the HIT Program?

You can learn more about the HIT program by accessing our informational session: HIT Information Video.

Where is information about financial assistance or student services available?

The Student Affairs office is responsible for Student Development, Financial Aid, Records and Registration, Student Services and Veteran’s Affairs. They work diligently to provide students with the resources they need to make the college process easier, friendlier and more pleasant. If you have any questions:

What do I need to know about HIT 285 Professional Practice Experience?

The HIT 285 Professional Practice Experience is the cumulation of the student’s hard work—this course’s primary purpose is to facilitate supervised field-based learning in affiliated healthcare and healthcare-related agencies. HIT 285 is taken in the last semester of the HIT program and is available only in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Students must pass all other HIT courses with a grade of ‘C’ or higher and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50.

In this course, students will:

  • Review AHIMA Domains to reinforce HIT knowledge.
  • Take a Comprehensive Program Exam to assess the retention of student knowledge.
  • Complete a 40-hour professional practice experience (one 8-hour day for five weeks).
    • Clinic sites are assigned by the instructor to students who live within 60 miles of the Springfield OTC campus.
    • Students who reside more than 60 miles outside the Springfield OTC campus will be required to find their clinic site.
      • Information will be provided to assist students in their search for a clinic site.
      • If a student cannot find a clinic site, they may not be able to participate in HIT 285 since the professional practice experience is essential to this course.
  • Participate in a Criminal Background Check and Random Drug Test (included in course student fees)
  • Ensure required immunizations are complete (student responsibility cost).
    • See immunization requirements here.
  • Become an AHIMA student member (student responsibility cost- find more information here).

Does the AAS degree transfer to other colleges?

Yes, after you complete your AAS you can continue your education in Health Information by transferring to a four-year institution. You can find these institutions in the CAHIIM program directory HERE.

How do I know if my courses from another institution will transfer to OTC?

OTC provides a transfer equivalency guide on the OTC website HERE.

For more information regarding the HIT Program, please contact:

Denise Baer
HIT Program Director