TSTC’s Health Information Technology program trains students to ensure the safety and confidentiality of patients’ records in health care settings. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Health Information Technology program can be seen as the cybersecurity of health care.

“We’re behind the scenes in health care,” Sarah Brooks, TSTC’s interim director of alignment for Health Information Technology, said. “We take care of patients by ensuring that patient information is accessible when needed and keeping it private and secure at the same time.”

The program, which is offered 100% online, includes an Associate of Applied Science degree and two certificates of completion. 

“People in health information need to know the business side, the information technology side, as well as the health science side,” Brooks said. “Anyone in our program will take classes in all those areas.”

Graduates are eligible to work in a variety of health care settings, from hospitals to government positions.

Brooks herself has an extensive background working in hospitals, doing everything from medical coding to staffing and training physicians. She said the Health Information Technology program prepares students for an increasing number of available jobs.

“The field is growing just like any health-related field,” she said. “With advances in technology (and) people living longer, we’re going to see growth in Texas as well as the United States in this field.”

Liza Perea, of El Paso, has been coding for the home health care field for the past 20 years. Knowing it was time for a change after her children had grown up, she joined TSTC’s Health Information Technology program to further her career.

“I was a little worried about getting back on schedule and learning everything again, but TSTC made it very convenient for me to do so,” Perea said. “I can’t wait to get my diploma with my name on it that says ‘TSTC.’ I’m proud of it.”

Perea plans to graduate in fall 2024.

According to onetonline.org, health information technologists and medical registrars earn an average of $70,610 a year in Texas. The website predicted that the number of such jobs in the state would grow 22% from 2020 to 2030.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

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