Health Information or Medical Records Technician
Medical records and health information technicians organize and manage health information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. All technicians document patients' health information, including the medical history, symptoms, examination and test results, treatments, and other information about healthcare provider services.
Medical records and health information technicians' duties vary with the size of the facility in which they work. Although medical records and health information technicians do not provide direct patient care, they work regularly with physicians and other healthcare professionals. They meet with these workers to clarify diagnoses or to get additional information to make sure that records are complete and accurate. The increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to change the job responsibilities of medical records and health information technicians. Technicians will need to be familiar with, or be able to learn, EHR computer software, follow EHR security and privacy practices, and analyze electronic data to improve healthcare information as more healthcare providers and hospitals adopt EHR systems.TCC programs that are right for you:Health Information Management Programs
Most medical records and health information technicians work in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Some work for the government. Technicians typically work at desks or in offices and may spend many hours in front of computer monitors. Most medical records and health information technicians work full time. In healthcare facilities that are open 24 hours a day, technicians may work evening or overnight shifts.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages. An aging population will need more medical tests, treatments, and procedures. This will also mean more claims for reimbursement from private and public insurance. Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, should lead to an increased need for technicians to organize and manage the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry.
Career information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.