The University of New Mexico, Gallup Branch

UNM Gallup logo


AS Health Information Technology - HIT

CAHIIM Accredited Program

The UNM Health Information Technology Associates Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management. CAHIIM-accredited programs have undergone a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and have met or exceeded the minimum Associate-level Accreditation Standards as set by the CAHIIM. The UNM-Gallup HIT Associates' Program is proud of its CAHIIM accreditation, with our original accreditation date of May 2005.

CAHIIM, 233 N. Michigan Ave, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60601-5800; Telephone: 312.233.1100

Health Information Technology Program Mission Statement

"The University of New Mexico-Gallup Health Information Technology Program develops Health Information Professionals,to become an integral part of the healthcare delivery system, through demonstrated competencies, while maintaining cultural sensitivity, and confidentiality for all communities served."
Modified and accepted by Advisory Committee on 4/29/2016

Notice of non-discrimination: "Students are admitted to the HIT Coding Certificate and Associates Program without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local regulations."

The Associates Degree in Health Information Technology is a two-year (six semester), full time program, that begins in the Summer or Fall semester, and finishes in the Spring of the second year. Admission is on a first-come, first serve basis for incoming students in good academic standing. Students must meet the regular UNM Gallup admission criteria for entrance into the program, and must complete specific coursework in each semester of this six-semester program. To sign up for this program, please (1) first visit the Student Services Center to become enrolled in our college, and to find out about available financial aid or other types of assistance, as well as to obtain the required college testing at our Testing Center. (2) Next, please complete the HIT Program Admission form, and bring it to the HIT Program Office for application to the HIT Associates. (3) At the time of meeting with the HIT Program Office, an individual Plan of Study will be developed for the student, to ensure the appropriate sequencing of HIT coursework (many HIT courses are only offered one semester per year). Please refer to the HIT Program Handbook (see right column) for information on the HIT Associates Program. The HIT Program Handbook also contains information on the HIT Coding Certificate Program.

Associate of Science - Health Information Technology (71 credits)

The Associate of Science degree in Health Information Technology (HIT) is designed to prepare students to maintain patient paper records and more commonly, electronic health records, within every healthcare setting including acute care, long-term care, ambulatory care, federal agencies, Health Information Exchanges, and even Remote Release of Information. . After successful completion of the HIT Associates program, the graduate is awarded an Associate of Science in Health Information Technology (HIT), and is eligible to take the national RHIT certification examination through AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). (Students in their final semester of the Associates Program are eligible to take the RHIT exam, as long as in good academic standing.) What is Health Information Management? http://www.ahima.org/careers/healthinfo?tabid=what

Upon successfully passing the RHIT examination through AHIMA, the graduate is certified through AHIMA as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Individuals who graduate with an Associate’s Degree, who choose to pursue an AHIMA Coding Credential, are eligible to sit for the CCA Exam (Certified Coding Associate) through AHIMA. Graduated students who have prior coding experience, are eligible to sit for the CCS exam (Certified Coding Specialist), after an intense period of self-study for this challenging exam. Graduated HIT students can also seek credentialing for the CPC Exam (Certified Professional Coder) through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) https://www.aapc.com/certification/ . More information on certifications can be found on the following link: http://www.ahima.org/certification/RHIT.

UNM-G Coding Certificate: Students who have completed the Coding Certificate program receive a UNM Coding Certificate, and the course content provided in the HIT Coding Certificate program prepares the student to sit for the AHIMA CCA exam (Certified Coding Associate certification), which certifies individuals for entry-level coding positions at some healthcare facilities (check with each employer on their hiring guidelines). Further information can be found at: www.ahima.org , then click "Certification".

Courses in the HIT Associate or HIT Coding program with an asterisk (*) before the course number are considered technical, vocational, occupational, or developmental and may not be transferable to a non-HIM baccalaureate program. The CAHIIM website (www.cahiim.org ) lists Baccalaureate four-year HIM programs - please consult this site if you are interested in transferring your Associate HIT coursework into a four-year HIM Baccalaureate program. Please consult with your advisor for current transferability information. For students transferring from another CAHIIM-accredited HIT Associates program, please contact the HIT Program Office regarding your HIT coursework from another HIT program.

Registration has now completed for Spring 2016

Spring 2016 courses are:

HCHS 115 Pharmacology for Health Occupations - 3 CR
HCHT 121 - Health Information Technology - 4 CR
HCHT 211 - ICD/CPT Coding - 4 CR
HCHT 221 - MedicoLegal - 4 CR
HCHT 233 - Practicum - 6 CR

*Students taking HIT online courses will need regular and consistent access to the internet in order to submit and complete assignments if a course is online. The HIT Program has a hybrid program, meaning some courses are offered in person while others are offered online. This may change each time a class is offered, so although one course may be offered online one term, it may be taught in person the next time the course is offered.

*Some courses will require a "Vlab Access Code". The Vlab is the Virtual Lab through AHIMA, that allows students to electronically access and use a variety of HIM Medical Records Office tools, similar to those in healthcare settings, including an encoder, a Master Patient Index, an Electronic Document System, and the Cerner Electronic Health Record system. Vlab Access Codes are available for sale at the UNM Bookstore. Beginning September 1, 2014, only one-year Vlab Access codes can be sold to students. If your course has Vlab in it, this will be listed as a "required" book or subscription.

Criminal and/or background checks, Immunizations, Drug Screenings, Health Screenings for Associate Practicum Placement Sites - HIT Associate students completing their final HIT course (the HCHT 233 Practicum HIT Associates) will be placed at a 96-hour on-site Practicum site at a local inpatient or outpatient healthcare setting. Each healthcare setting will determine its own screening requirements, but students may be asked to submit to a criminal and/or background screen, to submit updated Immunizations, to submit to a drug screen, or to submit to a health screen in order to be placed in a healthcare setting, at the student's own expense. (NOTE: Some facilities will provide a free PPD screening, depending upon facility.).