Technical Standards

TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR STUDENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The goal of the Wharton County Junior College’s Department of Health Information Technology (HIT) is to prepare students for the practice in the profession of health information management. Modern allied health education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of essential skills, functions and professional attitudes and behavior. The HIT faculty of Wharton County Junior College have a responsibility to graduate the best possible practitioners; therefore, admission to the HIT educational program in the College is offered only to those who present the highest qualifications for education and training in the art and science of the profession.

Applicants to the HIT program of the College must possess the following general qualities: critical thinking, sound judgment, emotional stability and maturity, empathy, physical and mental stamina, and the ability to learn and function in a wide variety of didactic and clinical settings. Graduates of the HIT program must have the minimal skills, essential functions and knowledge to function in a broad variety of clinical settings. 

The faculty of WCJC’s HIT program have a responsibility for the welfare of the patients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the College as well as for the educational welfare of its students relative to the educational programs of the College. In order to fulfill this responsibility the Department Head for the HIT program of the College maintains that certain minimal technical standards must be present in applicants to the HIT educational program of the College. Candidates for the associate of applied science degree must have the following essentials: motor skills; sensory/observational skills; communication skills; intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and behavioral/social skills and professionalism. The Department Head, in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (PL101-336) has established the aforementioned essential functions of students in the HIT educational program offered by WCJC.

The Department Head will consider for admission applicants who demonstrate the ability to perform, or to learn to perform, the essential skills listed in this document. The College must ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy by students with impaired intellectual, physical or emotional functions. Students will be judged not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the College’s curricula and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners.

The essential abilities listed in this document can be accomplished through direct student response, the use of prosthetic or orthotic devices, or through personal assistance, e.g., readers, signers, note-takers. The responsibility for the purchase of prosthetic or orthotic devices serving a student in meeting abilities noted remains with the student and/or agency supporting the student. The College will assist with this accomplishment, as required by law and institutional policy.

Upon admission, a student who discloses a properly certified disability will receive reasonable accommodation but must be able to perform the essential functions of the curriculum and meet the standards described herein for the program in which the student is enrolled. Possible accommodations include opportunities for individual and group counseling, peer counseling, linkages with community services, faculty advisory committees whose members are aware of disabled students and their needs, career counseling, assistance with job searches and interview skills, and extended test taking time, if and when appropriate. Students seeking accommodations should initiate their request in the Office of the Vice President of Administrative Services, WCJC.

In addition to the general standards described above, the HIT program requires additional specific standards as follows:

ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS  

Empathy, integrity, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities necessary to function in the health information management field in working with other health professionals and supervising employees. Candidates must possess the emotional well-being required for the full use of their intellectual abilities: the exercise of sound judgment; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with their peers, supervisors, subordinates as well as the medical staff and other users of health information management department services. Candidates must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to manage under stress.

Students in the health information technology program must have the following minimum abilities:

  • Ability to acquire and apply information from classroom instruction, laboratory experience independent learning and team projects.

  • Ability to communicate effectively in English in oral and written form with colleagues, clerical employees in health information management departments and other health care professionals as part of the health care team.

  • Ability to communicate effectively in English in oral and written form with patients, attorneys, workers’ compensation representatives, insurance companies and other third party payors and other individuals and agencies who need information from patient records or data bases maintained in health information departments.

  • Ability to use computers and complete computer-based assignments.

  • Ability to function (consult, negotiate, share) as part of a team.

  • Ability to delegate.

  • Ability to read materials used in HIM settings such as coding manuals, policies and procedures, patient medical records.

  • Ability to calculate mathematical information such as hospital statistics, budgets, and productivity information.

  • Manual dexterity necessary to file medical records and cards as well as assemble paper medical record forms.

  • Visual ability and manual dexterity necessary to prepare office layouts and to design forms and computer screens.

  • Ability to operate equipment, word processors, transcription equipment, electronic movable files, copiers, etc.

  • Ability to synthesize information regarding health care outcomes for formal, verbal and/or written presentation to health care professionals.
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