This fall, the Health Information Technology program at OTC became the first HIT program in the state to be offered completely online.
And judging by the enrollment numbers of this first year, the move has been a good one. The program is at capacity with between 250 and 300 declared majors enrolled in either full or part time in classes.
“This program is really meeting the needs of the students,” said Sue Kirk, HIT program director.
“Online offers the program to those people who don’t live within an easy traveling distance to the college. They have childcare issues, they work full-time or they cant afford the gas prices.”
The program has drawn students from across the country, including some from Las Vegas and Omaha, Neb.
“I get calls all the time from people who are looking for an online option of the program,” Kirk said.
HIT is a program that is in demand by both students and employers like local health providers Mercy and CoxHealth.
“Students see healthcare as a reliable job and there is a huge push in the healthcare industry for all patient information to be in an electronic transmittable format,” Kirk said.
Plus, healthcare providers are looking to free up space to offer more services and those in medical records or auditing positions can work from home.
Thats what Brian Gray does as a senior compliance specialist in the revenue compliance department for Mercy.
Gray, who graduated from OTC in 2009, said staying focused at home can be a challenge but having access to his work 24/7 helps him to complete it.
“I can dress a little more casual. I don’t work in pajamas. Getting dressed reminds me that I am at work and doing work. Sometimes, I do go out and talk to doctors about accounts Im auditing,” he said.
Nancy Chambers, who graduated from OTC in 201o, is a clinical coding auditor/educator in the Audit & Compliance Department for CoxHealth.
“Im glad I made the choice to enter this field. The program is tough and the expectations are high so I had to push myself,” said Chambers, who had worked in other fields.
“There’s a lot of variety to my job and I enjoy what do.”
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