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Become A Medical Service Technician

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Working As A Medical Service Technician

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

  • Repetitive

  • $63,565

    Average Salary

What Does A Medical Service Technician 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 Service Technician

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 Service Technician Jobs

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Medical Service Technician Career Paths

Medical Service Technician
Technician Service Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse MD Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Technologist Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Physician Medical Director
Chief Medical Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Supply Technician Contracting Officer
Chief Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Non-Commissioned Officer Security Officer Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Non-Commissioned Officer Operations Manager Assistant Director
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Instructor Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Surgical Technician Clinical Specialist Medical Science Liaison
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Technologist Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Case Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Claim Processor Specialist Operation Supervisor
Operations Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Claim Processor Office Manager Practice Manager
Practice Administrator
10 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Service Manager Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Operations Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Medical Service Technician?

Medical Service Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

58.6%

Female

40.2%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.7%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

French

7.4%

Russian

7.4%

Filipino

3.7%

German

3.7%

Tagalog

3.7%

Dutch

3.7%

Polish

3.7%
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Medical Service Technician Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

21.5%

University of Phoenix

7.5%

Ashford University

7.5%

Midlands Technical College

6.5%

Excelsior College

5.4%

Trident University International

5.4%

American University

4.3%

Strayer University

4.3%

Columbia Southern University

4.3%

Grand Canyon University

4.3%

Wayland Baptist University

3.2%

Texas State University

3.2%

Pensacola State College

3.2%

Kaplan University

3.2%

Houston Community College

3.2%

Keiser University

3.2%

Saint Leo University

3.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.2%

University of Florida

2.2%

University of Nevada - Reno

2.2%
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Majors

Nursing

14.5%

Business

14.2%

Health Care Administration

10.2%

Medical Technician

9.2%

Health Sciences And Services

5.6%

Criminal Justice

5.0%

Medical Assisting Services

5.0%

General Studies

4.6%

Biology

4.0%

Psychology

3.6%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

3.3%

Public Health

3.0%

Management

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Education

2.3%

Computer Science

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Nursing Assistants

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

31.3%

Other

30.6%

Associate

18.5%

Masters

10.0%

Certificate

6.5%

License

1.3%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Medical Service Technician

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  1. Emergency Care
  2. Medical Equipment
  3. Medical Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored and reported patient symptoms and determined patient needs for emergency care.
  • Coordinated with medical professionals, case managers, durable medical providers and insurance companies to ensure payment for medical equipment.
  • Maintained detailed and professional documentation for clients requesting initial and ongoing medical services.
  • Provided supervised and managed patient care of beneficiaries to include flying and special operational duty personnel.
  • Conducted quarterly Infection Control informational training sessions and oversaw quarterly hand-washing compliance surveys as the clinics Infection Control Monitor.

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