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Become A Medical Records Clerk

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Working As A Medical Records Clerk

  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Medical Records Clerk Do

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:

  • Review patients’ records for timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of data
  • Organize and maintain data for clinical databases and registries
  • Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
  • Use classification software to assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis 
  • Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
  • Maintain confidentiality of patients’ records

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:

  • Review patient information for preexisting conditions, such as diabetes
  • Assign appropriate diagnoses and procedure codes for patient care, population health statistics, and billing purposes
  • Work as a liaison between the health clinician and billing offices

Cancer registrars typically do the following:

  • Review patients’ records and pathology reports to verify completeness and accuracy
  • Assign classification codes to represent the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and benign tumors
  • Conduct annual followups to track treatment, survival, and recovery
  • Compile and analyze cancer patient information for research purposes
  • Maintain facility, regional, and national databases of cancer patients

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How To Become A Medical Records Clerk

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.

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Medical Records Clerk Career Paths

Medical Records Clerk
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Administrator Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Team Leader Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accounts Receivable Supervisor
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Substitute Teacher Executive Assistant
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Management
10 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Medical Coder
Health Information Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Customer Service Supervisor Service Supervisor
Patient Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Medical Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Medical Technologist Medical Technologist, Generalist
Medical Technologist Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Coder Health Information Manager
Medical Records Director
5 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Account Representative Medical Coder
Medical Records Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Records Clerk 3.1 years
Medical Clerk 2.7 years
Front Office Clerk 2.3 years
Medical Scheduler 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Medical Records Clerk
Cashier 11.7%
Internship 3.7%
Secretary 3.0%
Clerk 2.9%
File Clerk 2.5%
Volunteer 2.0%
Top Careers After Medical Records Clerk
Cashier 9.0%
Clerk 2.7%
Secretary 2.6%
Internship 2.3%

Do you work as a Medical Records Clerk?

Medical Records Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

75.2%

Unknown

12.5%

Male

12.3%
Ethnicity

White

60.0%

Hispanic or Latino

18.6%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.5%

French

5.6%

Tagalog

2.4%

Russian

2.1%

Portuguese

2.0%

German

2.0%

Hindi

1.3%

Italian

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Polish

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hmong

1.0%

Japanese

0.8%

Chinese

0.7%

Mandarin

0.6%

Carrier

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%

Cantonese

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Gujarati

0.4%
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Medical Records Clerk Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

27.7%

Kaplan University

7.4%

Ashford University

5.9%

Everest Institute

5.7%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.1%

Strayer University

4.8%

Houston Community College

4.4%

Rasmussen College

4.0%

Remington College

3.9%

The Academy

3.4%

Miami Dade College

3.3%

Community College of Philadelphia

3.1%

Liberty University

3.0%

American InterContinental University

2.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.7%

Grand Canyon University

2.6%

Keiser University

2.6%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

2.6%

Concorde Career College

2.6%

Baker College

2.4%
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Majors

Health Care Administration

25.0%

Business

16.6%

Medical Assisting Services

11.2%

Nursing

8.6%

Psychology

4.1%

Computer Information Systems

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

General Studies

3.5%

Accounting

3.3%

Management

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Nursing Assistants

2.0%

Education

1.9%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.9%

Information Technology

1.7%

Insurance

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.6%

Computer Science

1.5%

Human Services

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

34.5%

Bachelors

22.3%

Associate

20.7%

Certificate

10.5%

Diploma

5.4%

Masters

5.2%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$22,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Shriners Hospitals for Children
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Medical Records Clerk make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Medical Records Clerk in the United States is $32,601 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $47,000.

Real Medical Records Clerk Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Medical Records Extraction Coordinator Starpoint Solutions NJ Mar 26, 2014 $104,350
Medical Records Specialist Priority One Home Health Services, Inc. Montclair, CA Oct 01, 2010 $60,502
Medical Records Specialist Priority One Home Health Services, Inc. Montclair, CA Oct 01, 2010 $56,474
Medical Record and Billing Specialist Majestic Home Health Care, Inc. CA Mar 22, 2016 $45,115
Medical Records and Health Information Coordinator Alliedmedix Resources, Inc. Islandia, NY Nov 01, 2011 $42,032
Medical Records Clerk Canaan Medical Supply, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 05, 2016 $36,878
Medical Records Clerk Wilshire Cardiology Group, APC Los Angeles, CA Jan 11, 2016 $36,878
Medical Records Clerk Incare Medical Services Inc. North Palm Beach, FL Nov 18, 2016 $34,133
Medical Records and Health Information Stuart Katchis Md PC New York, NY Dec 08, 2010 $34,102
Medical Records Coordinator International Vein & Skin Institute Park Ridge, IL Apr 15, 2016 $34,008

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Top Skills for A Medical Records Clerk

  1. Patient Care
  2. Medical Records
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Release information for patient care following establish guidelines.
  • Coordinated requests for medical records from medical institutions/ physicians offices and state legal subpoena's.
  • Performed data entry, digital scanning and tracking of records ensuring confidentiality and proper storage/destruction of files were maintained.
  • Provide administrative support including typing/word processing, mail preparation, copying, distribution and directing telephone calls.
  • Distributed transportation to customers to ensure continuity of services provided while providing customer service.

What is it like to work as a Medical Records Clerk

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August 19, 2019 on Zippia

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Medical Records Clerk.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Medical Records Clerk?

Always something new to do, and learn, always changing... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Being taken over by computers, job is going away office staff is becoming smaller and smaller or out sourced to 3rd party companies... Show More

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Top 10 Best States for Medical Records Clerks

  1. New Jersey
  2. Connecticut
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Oregon
  5. Alaska
  6. Minnesota
  7. Massachusetts
  8. North Dakota
  9. Maryland
  10. Wyoming
  • (554 jobs)
  • (169 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (204 jobs)
  • (313 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (219 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)

Top Medical Records Clerk Employers

Jobs From Top Medical Records Clerk Employers

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