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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

  • $46,013

    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 Videos

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Medical Records Clerk Career Paths

Medical Records Clerk
Billing Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Nursing Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Collector
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Management
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Records Director Director Of Information Management
Health Information Management Director
7 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Medical Coder
Health Information Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Billing Specialist
Medical Billing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Staff Nurse Physician
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse Patient Care Manager
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Legal Assistant Medical Transcriptionist
Medical Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Records Director
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Records Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Night Auditor Front Office Manager
Revenue Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Schedule Clerk 3.2 years
Radiology Clerk 3.1 years
Medical Clerk 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Medical Records Clerk
Cashier 9.4%
Internship 3.8%
Teller 3.6%
Secretary 3.2%
Clerk 3.1%
File Clerk 2.2%
Top Careers After Medical Records Clerk
Cashier 6.8%
Secretary 2.9%
Teller 2.7%
Internship 2.7%
Clerk 2.7%

Do you work as a Medical Records Clerk?

Medical Records Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

85.7%

Male

12.5%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.5%

French

6.2%

Tagalog

2.3%

Russian

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

German

2.1%

Hmong

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Polish

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Hindi

1.4%

Italian

1.2%

Carrier

0.9%

Chinese

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Urdu

0.7%

Greek

0.5%

Armenian

0.4%

Swahili

0.3%

Gujarati

0.3%
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Medical Records Clerk Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

27.8%

Kaplan University

7.1%

Ashford University

5.5%

Liberty University

5.1%

Strayer University

4.8%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.7%

American InterContinental University

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.2%

Rasmussen College

3.9%

Houston Community College

3.7%

Grand Canyon University

3.5%

Hinds Community College

3.3%

Miami Dade College

3.3%

Everest Institute

3.2%

Broward College

2.8%

Temple University

2.7%

Capella University

2.6%

Trident Technical College

2.5%

Community College of Philadelphia

2.5%

Colorado Technical University

2.5%
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Majors

Health Care Administration

23.9%

Business

17.5%

Medical Assisting Services

9.1%

Nursing

8.1%

Psychology

4.6%

Computer Information Systems

4.4%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

General Studies

3.6%

Accounting

3.5%

Management

2.4%

Nursing Assistants

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Education

2.1%

Information Technology

2.0%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.9%

Human Services

1.6%

Computer Science

1.6%

Communication

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

34.6%

Bachelors

23.6%

Associate

20.4%

Certificate

9.7%

Masters

6.1%

Diploma

4.2%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Medical Records Clerk Videos

Medical Coding and Billing Salary | Health Information Tech Job Overview, Income, Education

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians - Career Profile

Medical Record Video

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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 Wilshire Cardiology Group, APC Los Angeles, CA Jan 11, 2016 $36,878
Medical Records Clerk Canaan Medical Supply, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 05, 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. Medical Records
  2. Patient Information
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed patient's medical records for completeness, accuracy and regulatory compliance.
  • Prepped, scanned and indexed patient information into electronic medical record.
  • Verified informed consent for release of information requests and performed data entry.
  • Prepared and organized charts for clinic visits Screened incoming phone calls and recorded detailed messages Managed and completed medical record requests Filed
  • Received short-term assignments that included secretarial and administrative work, customer service, and database management.

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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

Medical Records Clerk Videos

Medical Coding and Billing Salary | Health Information Tech Job Overview, Income, Education

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians - Career Profile

Medical Record Video

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