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Do you have good communication and organizational skills? Are you interested in the healthcare field? Then a rewarding and fun career as a patient coordinator could be just what you have been looking for. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that similar positions will grow over the next decade. Furthermore, all healthcare occupations are growing at a rate much faster than average for all occupations. Demand for patient coordinators will continue to rise as our population ages.
A patient coordinator is responsible for ensuring that patients understand procedures, the use of home health care aids, and terminology. They are often the intermediary between the patient and the health care providers. The patient coordinator is responsible for maintaining a patient's information and must be proficient with today's technology. They can help to determine patient policies and may even write marketing information. Their goal is excellence in patient care.
These duties will vary by employer, but in general, a patient coordinator may:
While it does not speak directly to the career of patient coordinators, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that a similar career, medical records and health information technicians, will see a 13 percent increase over the next decade. And, all healthcare occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are expected to grow by 18 percent between 2016 and 2026. Both are faster than average for all occupations. Demand for workers in the administrative part of health care will continue to rise, in part due to the increased use of electronic health records (EHRs). This practice will require more patient coordinators and like professionals to organize and manage information throughout the health care industry.
This career generally requires at least an associate degree for entry-level positions. A health services administration associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College is just the type of degree employers are looking for.
A health services administration associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College will prepare you for your career as a patient coordinator. You will learn not only about healthcare, but also basic business management skills. Both will be necessary as a patient coordinator.
Having completed this associate degree program, you will be able to work effectively in administrative and managerial roles within clinical settings. You will understand the relationship between health and human services organizations and you will have gained the knowledge to succeed in each. You will be able to apply analytical and behavioral tools in administration settings. You will demonstrate ethical and legal communication techniques that are specific to the health and human services arena. And, most importantly, you will be able to operate as a member of a team in support of the goals and objectives of an integrated healthcare system.
This degree will lay the foundation for your career as a patient coordinator. With the knowledge you will gain here, as well as your own good communication and people skills, you will be well on your way to meeting your career goals.
In addition to your associate degree, it may also be helpful to take courses in anatomy and physiology. Some employers will require prior work experience showing supervisory skills as well as a healthcare background. Some require management experience in patient care.
For those wishing to advance in their careers, there are several options available. You could obtain a bachelor's degree, in Health Services Administration, to make yourself more marketable to employers. You could obtain various certifications in information specialties, such as medical coding or cancer registrars.
About 40 percent of patient coordinators work in hospitals. The remainder primarily works in physician's offices, nursing homes, senior living facilities, and home health care.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top employer in 2016 for medical records and health information technicians, a similarly situated field, was hospitals (state, local and private) at 36 percent. Physician's offices employed approximately 19 percent of these workers. About 8 percent were employed in administrative and support services, while another 7 percent were employed by professional, scientific and technical services. Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) employed about 6 percent at that time.
As you can see, the need for patient coordinators in hospital settings is the greatest. These will be full-time positions for the most part and may even require evening and overnight shifts, depending on your employer.
While this information may help you in determining the right career path for you, understand that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is intended to provide insight into occupational opportunities, and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Bryant & Stratton College cannot guarantee employment in any field.
For insights into a career as a patient coordinator, please visit the Healthcare Degrees section of our blog. Here you will find valuable information about health information administration and becoming a patient coordinator.