The Scoop on Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

In the medical community SO many jobs are expected to grow faster tan the national average and every time a patient receives care their records are updated.

Medical Record and Health Information Technicians help to maintain those records so that doctors, nurses and therapists can keep about the business of helping patients and will have the most current available information on their patients.

What in the World Does a Medical Record/Health Information Technician Do?

If you're working as a health and medical record tech you would be receiving records all day from Doctor/Patient consultations that nee to be complete and accurate. You might have to ask Doctors to clarify diagnoses; elaborate on notes they made in the patient's chart, or simply code the patient's records for billing purposes.

Depending on the size of the hospital or health clinic you work at you might have to transcribe some records or notes that are voice-recorded or supervise the distribution of records to doctors and nurses.

This job requires a little business know-how and an organizational mentality. IF you don't like having your desk in a clutter this is the right job for you because you'll spend all your time keeping records neat and tidy.

What Kind of Training do I need (A.K.A. - Will I have to go to School?)

You can get a job in health information technology if you have gone to a community college or training program hosted by a hospital. This type of training gets you a certificate in Medical Records Technology. If you go to a junior college you might get an Associate's Degree in Medical Records Technology.

The programs in Medical Records Technology are usually enough to get a job, but if you want to make yourself more attractive to employers you might want to get certified by a National organization. The Board of Medical Specialty Coding, Professional Association of Health care Coding Specialists and American Academy of Professional Coders all offer certification programs that are not required by law but provide you with more training in Medical Records Technology. These sorts of certifications make you a much more desirable candidate for a job (some employers will ONLY hire folks with one of these certifications.)

How Do I get One of These Jobs Anyways?

Jobs in Medical Records and Health Information can be had any place where there are Doctors and Nurses and Patients. Hospitals are the biggest employers in this field, but they aren't the only ones. Nursing homes, Doctor's offices, cancer treatment centers, and independent professionals all need help with Medical Records.

Some people specialize in coding records for insurance and others specialize in transcription. Coders code records for billing and insurance. Cancer Registry Specialists specialize in coding charts for national cancer databases.

Advancement in the field means that you have experience and that you are ready to get into supervision or management. You might be "Director of Medical Records" for a hospital or you might be a region director for a cancer database. Other techs might get into coding at an insurance company or with a billing service. The possibilities that come with different specializations are endless. You could easily elevate yourself to senior management and business positions with a hospital, a health care corporation or a medical billing service with time and hard work.

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Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Overview

Medical Records and Health Information Technician Salary:$30,610
Job Prospects:A-
Education after high school:2 years
# Employed in US:168,650
% Who work Part Time:13%
Physical Difficulty:+
Intellectual Difficulty:+ + +
Emotional Difficulty:+

The Pros of being a Medical Records and Health Information Technician

  • The training doesn't take too long
  • You may not have to deal with any patients
  • You can specialize in different fields (especially if they are meaningful to you)
  • You can advance yourself through promotions or by going to a billing company or insurance company

The Cons of being a Medical Records and Health Information Technician

  • You spend all day at a desk
  • You may have to do some transcription (which is hard when people have funny accents and the like)
  • You have to handle people's private medical information