How to Become a Medical Records and Health Information Technician

What To Do Now? Medical Records Career Training

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Are you known for your attention to detail and interested in the medical field? Retraining for a position in medical records can give you entry into the thriving and growing world of health care. The area of health services does well even in a poor economy, and medical records are an important part of this sector. One way that you can gain the career skills you need for this occupation is through online medical records training courses.

The Career Skills You Need for Medical Records

Working in medical records requires a patient, careful, and detail-oriented person. Much of the day is spent working independently with important health data. It is important that individuals in this field understand the health care system, and be able to communicate with physicians and other medical professionals as necessary. Specialists in medical records are proficient with coding for diagnosis and insurance purposes.

To further improve your skills for this profession, it is helpful to retrain in the use of computers for the health care system because many facilities have moved their data online. Medical records professionals work in a variety of health care settings, with hospitals, clinics, and private doctors' offices being some of the most popular locations.

Medical Records Career Advice

How do you enter the field of medical records? Usually a two-year education is sufficient, although some employers may look for a bachelor's degree. Online medical records training courses have become available as a way to get the classes you need in anatomy, physiology, biology, record keeping, and more. Americans will continue to need health services of all kinds, and medical records is a fundamental way of delivering those services effectively.

Career Outlook

  • Degree required by most employers: Associate's degree
  • Predicted increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022: 22 percent - Much faster than national average of 11 percent.
  • Medical Records personnel working in hospitals: 37 Percent
  • Key skills favored by employers: Direct training and experience in maintaining electronic health records
  • Top certification for medical records professionals: Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)
  • Formal career designations for coding technicians: Health Information Coders, Coder/Abstractor, Coding Specialists, or Medical Record Coders
  • Organization offering recognized professional examinations for records personnel: The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
  • Courses that can increase potential for admissions to qualified program: Computer Science, Biology, Mathematics, Statistics, Health, and Chemistry
  • Highest paying industry: Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Primary employers for medical records personnel: Hospitals, home care services, insurance companies, outpatient care centers, doctor's offices, and nursing care facilities
  • Median Annual Salary: In May 2013, medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $37,710 with top 10% making more than $57,320.
  • Top Paying States: New Jersey, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Alaska.
  • States with Highest Employment: Texas, California, Florida, New York, Illinois.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, May 2013 Wages