Medical records and health information technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $34,160
- 2011, number of jobs: 182,370
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 21 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award
Medical records and health information technicians; what they do:
Without the work of medical records technicians and health information technicians, medical records would not be as accurate, well organized, and correctly filed electronically; in other words, these individuals are a vital cog in the medical field machine.
Medical records technicians and health information technicians code and organize patient information in a variety of ways, creating properly electronically coded paperwork for insurance reimbursement purposes and for the databases and registries that hold people’s medical histories.
Although the specific duties assigned to a medical records technician or health information technician depend on the side of the office they work in, they generally check medical records, assuring accuracy and completeness, then organize the data for clinical databases and registries. Medical records techs and health information techs responsibilities include protecting patient’s health information for confidentiality, authorized access for treatment, and data security.
Medical records technicians and health information technicians do not work with patients directly, but they do regularly interact with physicians and other healthcare professionals, while trying to get any necessary information to complete medical records or assure accuracy.
Medical records techs and health information techs may specialize in a variety of areas, but most work as either coders or cancer registrars.
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Medical records and health information technicians job titles:
- Health Information Tech
- Medical Records Clerk
- Medical Information Technician
- Health Information Clerk
- Medical Records Coordinator
- Medical Records Director
- Medical Records Analyst
- Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
A medical records technician career or a health information technician career generally requires an Associate of Health Information Technology degree or a Health Information Technology certificate. Some schools offer an Associate in Health Information Management degree.
Medical records and health information technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- Healthcare reimbursement methods
- Health data requirements and standards
- Medical terminology
- Classification and coding systems
- Healthcare statistics
- Computer systems
Employers generally prefer medical records technicians and health information technicians with professional certificates. Some organizations require candidates pass an exam, whereas other organizations require candidates graduate from an accredited program. Certification includes Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR). Medical records technicians and health information technicians must renew certification regularly and take continuing education courses.
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Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 21 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for medical records technicians and health information technicians, faster than the average for all occupations.
The aging population requires more medical tests, treatments, and procedures, as well as more reimbursement claims from private and public insurance, increasing the demand for medical records technicians and health information technicians. Also, technicians are increasingly needed to help update and maintain the electronic health records, as they become the norm in the healthcare industry.
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $34,160
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $44,360
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $26,920
- Hospitals; state, local, and private
- Offices of physicians
- Nursing care facilities
- Home health care services