At a Glance:

Walker: Donna Estes
Donna Estes, Health information Technology instructor/Program Director
Office: 6213
Phone: 706-764-3835
Campus: Walker County Campus
Department: Health Information Technology

Health Information Technology (HI13)

Offered at the Following Campus

  • Walker County Campus

Program Overview

The Health Information Technology program is a sequence of courses designed to provide students with the technical knowledge and skills necessary to process, maintain, analyze, and report health information data according to legal, accreditation, licensure and certification standards for reimbursement, facility planning, marketing, risk management, utilization management, quality assessment and research. Program graduates will develop leadership skills necessary to serve in a functional supervisory role in various components of the health information system.

The Health Information Technology program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Education (CAHIIM). Upon graduation from a CAHIIM accredited HIT program, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination. Upon successful completion of the exam, students will receive the RHIT credential through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Entrance Dates: Beginning of any semester for pre-occupational curriculum and spring and fall semesters for HIMT occupational curriculum.

Entrance Requirements

Age: 17 years old for entrance into pre-occupational curriculum

18 years old for entrance into occupational program curriculum


1. Completion of application to the HIMT program and related procedures during the semester in which general education and occupational prerequisite courses are completed.

2. Achieve a score of 30th percentile on the Psychological Services Bureau, Inc. (PSB) entrance exam during the semester of application to the HIMT program. If, after the third attempt on the entrance examination, you have not received a score of at least 30, you will need to make an appointment with your advisor.

3. Ability to comply with health related standards and meet essential skill requirements, with or without accommodations, including immunization records if required by Clinical Affiliation.

4. For admission to the HIMT degree program, an average GPA of 2.8 is required for all program related general education and occupational prerequisite courses.

5. Liability insurance payment during the semester prior to the practicum course (HIMT 2460).

6. Background Check during the semester prior to the practicum course (HIMT 2460).

7. Students transferring from other HIMT programs must complete 25% of their coursework at GNTC to receive a degree from GNTC. All HIMT courses taken at other programs must be evaluated for transfer credit to the HIMT program here at GNTC.

Retention Policies:

Students must maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or better. A "C" or (70) or better must be achieved in each course in order to progress to the next semester of the program.

Program Final Exit Point: Program graduates will be eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technical (RHIT) examination

Course Overview

Credit Hours
General Core Curriculum (15 hours)
Explores the analysis of literature and articles about issues in the humanities and in society. Students practice various modes of writing, ranging from exposition to argumentation and persuasion. The course includes a review of standard grammatical and stylistic usage in proofreading and editing. An introduction to library resources lays the foundation for research. Topics include writing analysis and practice, revision, and research. Students write a research paper using library resources and using a formatting and documentation style appropriate to the purpose and audience.
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective
Social/Behavior Sciences Elective
Program Spec Gen Ed Elective
and one of the following (3 hours)
Emphasizes algebra, statistics, and mathematics of finance. Topics include fundamental operations of algebra, sets and logic, probability and statistics, geometry, mathematics of voting and districting, and mathematics of finance.
Emphasizes functions using real-world applications as models. Topics include fundamental concepts of algebra; functions and graphs; linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions and models; systems of equations; and optional topics in algebra.
Emphasizes techniques of problem solving using algebraic concepts. Topics include fundamental concepts of algebra, equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, and systems of equations; optional topics include sequences, series, and probability or analytic geometry.
Occupational Prerequisites (13 hours)
Introduces the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the development of a systemic perspective of anatomical structures and physiological processes. Topics include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous and sensory systems.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2113. the laboratory exercises for this course include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classificatins, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous snesory systems.
Continues the study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system,and reproductive system.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2114. The laboratory exercises for this course include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immunie system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reporductive system.
Provides fundamental information concerning common diseases and disorders of each body system. For each system, the disease or disorder is highlighted inlcuding: description, etiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, treatment, management, prognosis, and prevention. Topics include: introduction to disease and diseases of body systems.
and one of the following (2 hours)
Introduces the elements of medical terminology. Emphasis is placed on building familiarity with medical words through knowledge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Topics include: origins (roots, prefixes, and suffixes), word building, abbreviations and symbols, and terminology related to the human anatomy.
Introduces the basic spelling and pronunciation of medical terms, and the use of these terms as they relate to anatomy, treatment, surgery, and drugs. Topics include: word analysis, word elements, spelling, pronunciation, and semantics.
Occupational Curriculum (36 hours)
Introduces the fundamental concepts, terminology, and operations necessary to use computers. Emphasis is placed on basic functions and familiarity with computer use. Topics include an introduction to computer terminology, the Windows environment, Internet and email, word processing software, spreadsheet software, database software, and presentation software.
This course focuses on orienting the student to health information management. Topics include introducing students to the structure of healthcare in the United States and its providers, and the structure and function of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Designed to provide students with computer and software skills used in medical offices. Topics include hardware and software components of computers for medical record applications; database software and information management; specialized information management systems in healthcare; methods of controlling confidentiality and patient rights; accuracy and security of health information data in computer systems as well as future directions of information technology in healthcare.
This course focuses on the study of legal principles applicable to health information, patient care and health records. Topics include: working of the American Legal System, courts and legal procedures, principles of liability, patient record requirements, access to health information, confidentiality and informed consent, the judicial process of health information, specialized patient records, risk management and quality assurance, HIV information, and the electronic health record.
This course provides a study of content, storage, retrieval, control, retention, and maintenance of health information. Topics include: health data structure, content and standards, healthcare information requirements and standards.
Introduces drug therapy with emphasis on safety, classification of drugs, their action, side effects, and/or adverse reactions. Also introduces the basic concept used in the administration of drugs. Topics include: introduction to pharmacology, sources and forms of drugs, drug classification, and drug effects on the body systems.
This course provides the student an introduction to Medical Coding + Classification of diseases, injuries, encounters, and procedures using standard applications of Medical Coding Guidelines to support reimbursement of healthcare services.
This course is a continuation of HIT 1400 (Coding and Classification I). This course provides the student with case studies for in-depth review of inpatient and outpatient record formats as found in current healthcare settings. Advanced coding skills and use of industry applications to apply coding and billing standards will be the focus to develop auditing and compliance strategies in the work setting.
This course analyzes the study of methods and formulas used in computing and preparing statistical reports for health care services and vital records. It also focuses on the study of methods and techniques used in presenting statistical data.
This course introduces the students to the peer review and the role health information plays in evaluating patient care. The course investigates the components of performance improvement programs in health care facilities, including quality assessment, utilization management, risk management, and critical clinical pathways. State and local standards are included as well as review of the federal governments role in health care and accreditation requirements of various agencies.
This course will engage in the functions of a manager, planning, organizing, decision making, staffing, leading or directing, communication and motivating. Further study will include principles of authority/ responsibility, delegation and effective communication, organization charts, job descriptions, policies and procedures, employee motivation, discipline and performance evaluation.
This course provides an introduction to, and application of, codes using CPT/HCPCS system. Codes will be applied to workbook exercises, case studies, and actual outpatient charts. Codes will be assigned manually as well as by an encoder.
This course focuses on how the revenue cycle is impacted by various departments within the facility such as patient access/registration, case management/quality review, health information management, and patient accounting. Subjects include insurance plans, medical necessity, claims processing, accounts receivable, chargemaster, DRGs, APCs, edits, auditing and review. ICD and CPT coding as they relate to the billing function will be reviewed. The importance of revenue cycle management for fiscal stability is emphasized.
This course will allow students to perform advanced functions of a health information management (HIM) department. Students will work in realistic work environments in either a traditional, non-traditional, or lab setting. Activities will include application of all HIT coursework. The student will also learn professional skills to prepare them for employment in the HIM career field.