Michele Hasper needed to do something different. She’d spent 20 years working as a restaurant general manager and was ready for a new challenge. “I decided I needed a change,” said Hasper. “I decided to attend OCC and start a new career.”
Hasper chose the College’s Health Information Technology (HIT) program. Students who successfully complete the coursework are eligible for employment supporting patient care providers to help ensure complete and accurate medical records. Their duties include facilitating data queries for statistical purposes, transitioning to electronic medical records and record archival, data privacy and security, as well as information governance. They also play a key role in the reimbursement process through their coding activities.
“We tell our students if you like to strategize, investigate and piece together information you will enjoy this,” said Karen Fabrizio, coordinator of the HIT Program. “Our students need to have good communication skills both verbal and written. We look through records to find areas for improvement in documentation and reimbursement. Students have to like biology too.”
The College’s HIT program is celebrating one of its best years ever. All of the May 2015 program graduates who took the credentialing exam earned a passing grade. Fabrizio attributes much of the success to activities outside class. “Our HIT club has made a difference in the togetherness our students feel and how much they work together. They are also very involved with the local HIT association which has helped each of them build up their network.”
Hasper is one of the outstanding students from the May 2015 class. “She was very engaged as a first year student which can be rare,” said Fabrizio. “She got involved right from the beginning, came to meetings for our club, made friends and encouraged them to get involved. She was a real leader among the students.”
“It was important to me to be involved so that I could network and participate in the work community I was hoping to be part of,” said Hasper. “I met so many great people who all helped me in many ways. They supported me in schoolwork, job hunting, career direction and I now have many great friendships.”
Hasper is now a Quality Assurance Review Specialist at Verisma Systems in East Syracuse. “I love what I do. My main responsibility is to maintain privacy and security in the release of information for hundreds of patients a week. I ensure the proper documents are complete and legal, then review the records chosen to make sure the minimum information is given to fulfill each request.”
Even after earning her degree Hasper continued to remain active on the OCC campus. During the fall 2015 semester she worked as a content tutor in the College’s Learning Center.
OCC’s HIT program is offered both in-person and online. You can learn more about the program here.