Becoming a registered health information technician requires you to sit for the RHIT exam. However, it’s quite a difficult position to handle. You would be an entity responsible for storing and analyzing the accuracy of medical records. However, they’re all electronic ones.
Moreover, most RHITs also aid in analyzing data and helping with analysis whenever needed. The primary purpose of such a position is to keep tabs on all medical health reports to ensure the efficiency and precision of diagnosis.
Since one has to take the exam before becoming a certified RHIT, this article aims to discuss the various elements associated with it. It includes details about the exam’s outline, what to anticipate, how to prepare, and the difficulty of the exam. Read on to learn all the details you need.
What Does the RHIT Exam Consist Of?
While traditionally, health technical administrators mainly worked in hospitals, RHIT personnel can also work in office-based practices. Various options are available: nursing homes, public health agencies, and even mental health facilities.
The thing about the RHIT exam is that it qualifies you to leverage technology for the benefit of the medical society. You’ll be responsible for keeping records, ensuring the accuracy and safety of the data, and organizing it all. The RHIT exam qualifies you to do the following:
- Verifying medical and health records through proper entry into digital systems and checking for accuracy.
- More often than not, an RHIT also specializes in coding diagnosis. That aids in future research within the institute and even outside. For instance, many RHITs resort to working as cancer registrars.
- You’ll be proficient in computer applications and coding, so you’ll be responsible for keeping records straight. That works on enhancing patient care and even working on budgets and costs.
Moreover, if you choose not to work in a medical institute, many pharmaceutical and law companies hire RHIT candidates. Hence, you have many options to choose from if needed.
The RHIT certification and exam are administered by AHIMA. This organization is a nationwide dedication to the health and safety of patients. It works primarily on keeping management practices and standards intact.
Outline of RHIT Exam
The outline of the RHIT exam covers 6 main domains. Each has numerous subtopics under it. Some examples are listed below. However, to access the complete design, check out the official one provided by AHIMA.
The 6 domains that are included in the RHIT exam:
- Domain 1 – Data Content, Structure, & Information Governance: creating forms, applying health guidelines, maintaining legal health records, and auditing content
- Domain 2 –Access, Disclosure, Privacy, & Security: conducting both privacy and security audits, educating customers, determining someone’s right of access to any records, and retaining data
- Domain 3 –Data Analytics & Use: analyzing and compiling all information from data, audits, and measurements
- Domain 4 –Revenue Cycle Management: managing denials, providing coding education, and handling code documentation
- Domain 5 –Compliance: refining the departmental procedures, assessing risks, monitoring all data and regulations, and reporting any health information noncompliances
- Domain 6 – Leadership: providing technical expertise when needed, creating and modifying procedures and policies, and establishing any workflows and charts required
Eligibility Requirements for RHIT Exam
To qualify for the RHIT exam, you must satisfy one of these two requirements:
- Successfully complete a program that’s accredited by the CAHIIM, which is the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
- Successfully graduated from another program approved by a foreign association that has agreements with AHIMA.
As a member of AHIMA, you earn numerous benefits. One is a discount on the examination. Usually, when you apply as a non-member, the total price for the exam is $299. However, if you’re an official member, the fee is decreased to $229.
Moreover, you can apply for the RHIT exam early if you’re a student in a CAHIIM-accredited HIM program. For that, you must be a current student in their last term, successfully completed your study but haven’t graduated yet, or you’re waiting for your transcript after graduation. Hence, this allows you to apply for the exam without waiting for official graduation.
How Long is the RHIT Exam?
The RHIT exam’s duration is 3.5 hours. It’s composed of one session without any breaks. As for how many questions on the RHIT exam, it is 150 questions. Of those, 20 are simply pretested questions. These are often used to evaluate future examinations and determine whether formats should be changed.
Now, each domain has a different weight in the exam and is divided as shown:
- Domain 1 (Data Content and Information Governance): 19-25%
- Domain 2 (Access and Security): 14-18%
- Domain 3 (Data Analytics and Use): 12-18%
- Domain 4 (Revenue Cycle Management):19-25%
- Domain 5 (Compliance):13-17%
- Domain 6 (Leadership):9-12%
The RHIT exam is a CBT examination. That means that it’s administered through a computer. Moreover, it’s a multiple-choice exam.
What Score Do You Need to Pass the RHIT Exam?
The passing score of the RHIT exam is 300 out of 400. The score is determined according to scaled criteria. Once you sit for the examination, you’ll receive your result immediately after the exam’s termination. Hence, you’ll know whether you passed or failed.
Since there are 130 graded questions and 20 pretests, you should be aware that you won’t be able to distinguish between both. Hence, you should not be tempted to skip any of the questions, as it’s impossible to know which questions are pretest questions.
But what is the pass rate for the RHIT exam? Usually, it’s around 76%. Data collected from the United States and Canada shows that for 2020, 78% of first-time testers passed the exam. As for the previous two years, it’s been 76%. Hence, assuming that the percentage would span that range is safe.
Is the RHIT Exam Difficult?
Most candidates wonder how hard it is to pass the RHIT exam and whether it requires ample preparation and studying. Well, when the pass rate of an exam is consistently below 80%, one cannot expect it to be a piece of cake.
So, is the RHIT exam difficult? It depends on your preparation and whether you’ve had enough training and practice through your education.
Most people wonder whether they should strive for an RHIT or a CCS certification. CCS stands for Certified Coding Specialist. It also involves working in the medical field. However, it’s a mastery-level certification of coding. Hence, the CCS involves much more coding than the RHIT.
However, they both have pretty low pass rates. Also, the main difference is that to obtain your RHIT certification, you must study a certified program before applying for the exam. Moreover, numerous people who have received their RHIT choose to later advance their skills by taking the CSS examination.
How to Pass the RHIT Exam?
Most people ask: how hard is the RHIT exam? Well, the real question should never revolve around the difficulty of the exam. Instead, the most crucial aspect of any exam is the ideal method one must use to prepare for it. Even if the exam is challenging, it’s much simpler once you hone your skills and figure out how to prepare.
Below are our top 5 tips to pass the RHIT exam.
Check the Outline
One of the most critical aspects is checking what to expect on the RHIT. First, since the exam lasts 3.5 hours, it’ll be pretty draining. That’s why checking on the format and outline of the exam is absolutely necessary. It allows you to know what to expect.
Moreover, go through all the subjects that you’ll be asked about. These are the six domains and all their subtopics. They include compliance, leadership, data analytics, data content, revenue cycle management, and privacy issues.
Know What to Study
Many students wonder whether memorizing the formulas is required. Well, the good news is that you’re not. Having procedures in the RHIT exam is knowing how to apply them to real-life situations. Hence, you’ll be provided with a list of required equations for the exam. You can check out a list of statistical formulas provided by AHIMA press.
You might be asked to calculate the number of beds, find different percentages, calculate the mortality rate, or many more. Hence, simply practice your statistics, but there is no point in memorizing them by heart. Aim to understand each equation, as you must know how to calculate it in the exam.
Moreover, don’t forget to review the cases, laws, and dates. There are no specific cases you’ll be asked about in the exam, as each test varies in its content. While it would be easier to know which topics are more likely to be asked about, it’s impossible to predict. So, study all of the content to avoid any difficulties.
Don’t Skip Questions
We know there are 20 pretest questions on the exam, but that doesn’t give you a free pass to skip 20 questions. These are simply used to determine whether new questions can be integrated into future exams, depending on whether test-takers can answer them.
However, it’s not possible to figure out which questions these are. Hence, skipping anything on purpose is a terrible idea. Instead, if you cannot figure out a question, use the process of elimination. Take out the least likely correct answers, then work your way up to the best choice.
For instance, if you have four options, the chances of you getting the correct answer by chance are 25%. However, if you eliminate one, that increases to 33%. Even better, if you’re only torn between two answers, the chance of you getting the correct one shoots up to 50%.
Optimize Your Resources
You already have your own RHIT study guide through the education you’re obliged to take. However, even with that, sometimes you simply need extra resources. A great alternative is taking an additional course provided by AHIMA. Alternatively, a complete RHIT study guide is provided by AHIMA for those who would rather have a hard copy to study from.
To wrap it up, after you familiarize yourself with the outline and the format, you commit yourself to study for at least 2 months. We encourage you to solve as many practice tests and samples as possible during that time. Check out some sample flashcards from Quizlet.
Wrapping Things Up: How Hard is the RHIT Exam?
The bottom line is that the RHIT exam is not entirely difficult. The main problem seems to be the length of the exam, as 3.5 hours of continuous question-solving can be incredibly draining.
Hence, the ideal way to deal with this is to get enough sleep the day before, relax before the exam, and find the best way to stay focused. If you feel like you need to take a breath during the exam, feel free to do so, as long as you come back even stronger.
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