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Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data by ensuring that it maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files 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.Duties
Health information technicians typically do the following:
Health information technicians document patients’ health information, including their medical history, symptoms, examination and test results, treatments, and other information about healthcare services that are provided to patients. Their duties vary by employer and by the size of the facility in which they work.
Although health information technicians do not provide direct patient care, they work regularly with registered nurses 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 adaptation and use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to change the job responsibilities of 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.
Health information technicians can specialize in many aspects of health information. Some work as medical coders, sometimes called coding specialists, or as cancer registrars.
Medical coders typically do the following:
Cancer registrars typically do the following:
Health information technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate to enter the occupation, although some may need an associate’s degree. Certification is often required.Education
Postsecondary certificate and associate’s degree programs in health information technology typically include courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, classification and coding systems, healthcare reimbursement methods, healthcare statistics, and computer systems. Applicants to health information technology programs may increase their chances of admission by taking high school courses in health, computer science, math, and biology.
A high school diploma or equivalent and previous experience in a healthcare setting are enough to qualify for some positions, but most jobs for health information technicians require postsecondary education.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Health information technicians must be able to understand and follow medical records and diagnoses, and then decide how best to code them in a patient’s medical records.
Detail oriented. Health information technicians must be accurate when recording and coding patient information.
Integrity. Health information technicians work with patient data that are required, by law, to be kept confidential. They must exercise caution and a strong sense of ethics when working with this information in order to protect patient confidentiality.
Interpersonal skills. Health information technicians need to be able to discuss patient information, discrepancies, and data requirements with other professionals such as physicians and finance personnel.
Technical skills. Health information technicians must be able to use coding and classification software and the electronic health record (EHR) system that their healthcare organization or physician practice has adopted.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most employers prefer to hire health information technicians who have certification, or they may expect applicants to earn certification shortly after being hired. A health information technician can earn certification from several organizations. Certifications include the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR), among others.
Some organizations base certification on passing an exam. Others require graduation from an accredited program. Many coding certifications also require coding experience in a work setting. Once certified, technicians typically must renew their certification regularly and take continuing education courses.
A few states and facilities require cancer registrars to be licensed. Licensure requires the completion of a formal education program and the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) certification.Advancement
Health information technicians may advance to other health information positions by receiving additional education and certifications. Technicians may be able to advance to a position as a medical or health services manager after completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree program and taking the required certification courses. Requirements vary by facility.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Health Information Technician
Top Careers After Health Information Technician
Hispanic or Latino12.6%
Black or African American0.7%
Health Information Technician
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University of Phoenix21.8%
Delgado Community College5.5%
Santa Barbara City College5.0%
East Los Angeles College5.0%
University of Illinois at Chicago5.0%
Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater4.5%
University of Washington3.6%
University of Central Florida3.6%
Ferris State University3.2%
Hinds Community College3.2%
University of California - Los Angeles3.2%
Moraine Valley Community College3.2%
Grand Canyon University3.2%
Health Information Technician
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Health Information Technology Exchange Project Man||William Beaumont Hospital||Troy, MI||Feb 13, 2014||$107,000|
|Medical Records & Health Information Technician||Kamal Ramani Internal Medicine PC||New York, NY||Sep 12, 2015||$53,227|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||California Sleep Solutions LLC||Roseville, CA||Jun 27, 2013||$49,000|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technician||MacRo International Inc.||Bethesda, MD||Aug 18, 2008||$48,000|
|Medical Records & Health Information Technicians||Jeffrey Buckner, Md||New York, NY||Feb 11, 2011||$47,861|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Rodolfo Colaco, M.D.||Elizabeth, NJ||Nov 20, 2007||$44,975|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||PRI-Med Care, Pa||Newark, NJ||Sep 24, 2008||$41,970|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Badru Inc.||Lebanon, TN||Apr 16, 2014||$40,747|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Crosspark Medical, PLLC||New York, NY||Apr 07, 2010||$40,237|
|Client Health Information Technician||More Health, Inc.||San Mateo, CA||Sep 06, 2015||$40,000|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technician||Lifelink Health Providers, Inc.||Glendora, CA||Sep 21, 2012||$39,187|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||PRI-Med Care, Pa||Verona, NJ||Sep 16, 2008||$38,610|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||American Dental Offices, P.L.L.C||Hicksville, NY||Apr 13, 2010||$38,088|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technician||DR. Eric K. Wood||Goodlettsville, TN||Sep 26, 2011||$36,272|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Morning Star Residence, LLC||San Francisco, CA||Aug 12, 2013||$36,213|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technician||Infinite Care, Inc.||Southampton, PA||Feb 17, 2009||$35,000|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Stephen T. Ong, Md, CHT, DBA Md Medical Reseach||Oxon Hill, MD||May 08, 2009||$35,000|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Smile Design Dental Clinic, LLC||Germantown, MD||Jul 08, 2008||$33,538|
|Health Information Technician||Phoenix Home Health Nursing Services Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Oct 01, 2011||$33,000|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Pediatric Health Care Associates||Peabody, MA||Dec 18, 2009||$32,870|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technician||Medwin Family Medicine and Rehab, PLLC||Brownsville, TX||Oct 01, 2013||$32,000|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Tri-County Pulmonary & Multispecialty Group||The Villages, FL||Jan 24, 2011||$31,054|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Randy D. Danan||Los Angeles, CA||Nov 10, 2009||$29,120|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Martin J. Milne, Md, Pa||Clearwater, FL||Jan 21, 2009||$28,884|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Golden State Lodge||Lakeview, CA||Nov 01, 2007||$28,175|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||Jobet Corp. DBA Dedicated Home Health Care||Glendale, CA||Aug 07, 2008||$27,674|
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