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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

  • $44,530

    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 jobs

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Medical Records Clerk Career Paths

Medical Records Clerk
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Billing Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Billing Specialist
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit And Collections Analyst Collections Specialist
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Operations Manager Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Network Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Management
10 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Instructor Operations Manager
Managing Director
11 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Physician
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Clinical Manager Practice Manager
Practice Administrator
10 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Specialist Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Office Manager Operations Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Home Health Aid Case Manager
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Medical Coder 3.5 years
Schedule Clerk 3.1 years
Radiology Clerk 3.1 years
Records Specialist 3.0 years
Medical Assistant 2.9 years
Records Clerk 2.8 years
Records Custodian 2.8 years
Medical Auditor 2.7 years
Medical Clerk 2.5 years
Contract Clerk 2.5 years
Clerk 2.3 years
Medical Internship 0.7 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 8.4%
Internship 3.8%
Secretary 3.1%
Clerk 2.7%
File Clerk 2.1%
Top Employers After
Cashier 6.1%
Internship 2.6%
Secretary 2.5%

Medical Records Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

85.0%

Male

13.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

78.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.3%

French

6.0%

Tagalog

2.3%

Russian

2.2%

Portuguese

2.1%

German

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Hindi

1.5%

Polish

1.4%

Hmong

1.4%

Italian

1.3%

Chinese

1.0%

Carrier

0.8%

Japanese

0.8%

Urdu

0.7%

Mandarin

0.5%

Cantonese

0.5%

Korean

0.4%

Gujarati

0.4%
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Medical Records Clerk Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

27.6%

Kaplan University

6.9%

Ashford University

5.4%

Strayer University

5.1%

Liberty University

4.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.4%

American InterContinental University

4.3%

Rasmussen College

3.9%

Grand Canyon University

3.8%

Everest Institute

3.5%

Houston Community College

3.4%

Temple University

3.1%

Miami Dade College

3.1%

Hinds Community College

2.8%

Capella University

2.8%

Trident Technical College

2.7%

Colorado Technical University

2.6%

Broward College

2.6%

South Texas College

2.5%
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Majors

Health Care Administration

23.3%

Business

17.7%

Nursing

9.2%

Medical Assisting Services

9.0%

Computer Information Systems

4.6%

Psychology

4.5%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

General Studies

3.4%

Accounting

3.3%

Management

2.4%

Nursing Assistants

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Education

2.0%

Information Technology

2.0%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.8%

Biology

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.6%

Communication

1.6%

Human Services

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

33.9%

Bachelors

24.2%

Associate

19.8%

Certificate

9.5%

Masters

7.0%

Diploma

4.0%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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

DataEntryPatientRecordsPatientInformationCustomerServiceHipaaMedicalChartsHippaPhoneCallsInsuranceCompaniesHealthInformationSchedulingAppointmentsPatientCareMedicalRecordsInformationFrontDeskAuditMedicalRecordsDepartmentPatientFilesEmergencyComputerSystemMedicalRecordsRequests

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Top Medical Records Clerk Skills

  1. Data Entry
  2. Patient Records
  3. Patient Information
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted in setting up filing systems, data entry, filing, obtained confidential data for physicians and various hospital staff.
  • Maintained patient confidence by keeping the patient records information confidential.
  • Delivered pertinent patient information for scheduled surgeries.
  • Provide customer service to the public on behalf of the HIM Department.
  • Release of information to physician offices, other health care facilities, and customers per HIPAA, policy and procedure guidelines.

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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