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Medical records and health information technicians have an important role managing the wealth of documents that pass through hospitals, physicians' offices, and other healthcare facilities. In an age where data is king, these professionals perform a critical job, processing and organizing the constant influx of essential details. As electronic health records become more commonplace, the role of the medical records and health information technician will evolve accordingly, giving these professionals a key place at the forefront of many new innovations in the field of healthcare management.
If you're looking for a position in healthcare that's easily accessible with a short educational program, this job may offer everything you're after. You'll work closely with nurses and various health technicians managing the critical data that equips these providers for success.
A medical records and health information technician is the person in a medical office who manages the office records and data. This is important because physicians and health care facilities are constantly collecting data. They store everything from your personal vital signs to overarching health statistics for your community. Whether it's tracking instances of the flu this season or evaluating your treatment history over the last few years, having the right information on hand makes every aspect of a doctor's job easier.
Medical records and health information technicians help manage all this data. They collect, organize, and store essential health information in paper files and electronic systems. They and others in the healthcare system may later refer to this data to:
Medical records and health information technicians are not licensed to provide healthcare, but they work closely with nurses, physicians, and others who do. As a health information technician, you'll play a vital role in keeping data accurate, easily accessible to healthcare providers, and secure from others.
To become a medical records and health information technician, you'll need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent and a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree. You should look for a program that offers courses in:
The Medical Reimbursement and Coding associate degree program from Bryant & Stratton College is a good example of a well-rounded educational path that will equip you for a career in medical records and health information.
Careers related to medical records and health information technology can go by many names. With your associate's degree in Medical Reimbursement and Coding, you'll have the necessary requirements for many positions in this area. During your job search, you should look for related titles such as:
These are all reported job titles associated with the position of a medical records and health information technician. Job responsibilities will be similar to those outlined here, though these will naturally vary with the size of the practice and scope of the medical services that are provided there.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase 13 percent between 2016 and 2026. This is faster than the national average of 7 percent for all occupations.
As the baby boomer generation ages, there will be a greater need for healthcare professionals of all kinds. The transition to electronic health records will also contribute to the growing need for health information technicians to manage these repositories of data.
Medical records and health information technicians can work anywhere that there is medical data to collect and manage. This includes hospitals, physicians' offices, research facilities, nursing homes, and other similar locations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36 percent of professionals in this field work in a hospital setting. Another 19 percent work in physicians' offices. These professionals typically work in an office setting, though some have the opportunity to work from home.
This is usually a full-time job. If you're employed in a hospital or other facility that's open 24 hours, you may have to work evenings, overnight, on weekends, or on holidays. In a physician's office that has limited hours, you'll probably enjoy a more predictable daytime schedule.
Please note that all data provided from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is based on statistical averages only. This is not a guarantee of salary offerings or employment opportunities. It is intended to give prospective job seekers a general overview of the profession.
If you're interested in a career as a medical records and health information technician, you can begin preparing for your future now. Our program is available in every state except Ohio and meets the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) standards, so you will be equipped to earn certification from either of these bodies upon graduation. For more insights into the field of Medical Records & Health Information, visit the Healthcare Degrees section on the blog for further career insights.