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Become A Records Specialist

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Working As A Records Specialist

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

  • Repetitive

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Records Specialist 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 Records Specialist

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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Records Specialist Career Paths

Records Specialist
Specialist Team Leader Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Records Analyst Records Manager Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Records Analyst Records Manager Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Records Analyst Records Manager Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Executive Assistant General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Executive Assistant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Legal Secretary Executive Assistant
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Supervisor Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Administrator Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Administrator Contracts Administrator
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Analyst Compliance Analyst
Compliance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Consultant Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Consultant Case Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Document Specialist Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Management
10 Yearsyrs
Document Specialist Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Coder Information Management Specialist Information Manager
Records Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Records Specialist?

Records Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.0%

Male

26.4%

Unknown

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.8%

French

6.4%

Mandarin

3.2%

Russian

2.7%

Cantonese

2.7%

Chinese

2.7%

Japanese

2.7%

Hmong

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Tagalog

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

German

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Thai

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Sami

0.5%

Somali

0.5%

Hebrew

0.5%

Indonesian

0.5%
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Records Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.9%

Boise State University

10.2%

Kaplan University

6.5%

Strayer University

5.9%

University of Houston

4.7%

Miami Dade College

4.1%

Houston Community College

3.9%

Ashford University

3.9%

Capella University

3.8%

New Mexico State University

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

Liberty University

3.2%

Florida State University

3.2%

Prince George's Community College

3.2%

Colorado Technical University

3.1%

University of the District of Columbia

2.7%

Arizona State University

2.7%

University of Washington

2.7%

Grand Canyon University

2.7%

American InterContinental University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

28.3%

Criminal Justice

9.7%

Health Care Administration

7.2%

Psychology

6.7%

Accounting

6.2%

Legal Support Services

4.3%

General Studies

3.8%

Communication

3.6%

Management

3.3%

Nursing

3.2%

English

3.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Human Resources Management

2.7%

Computer Science

2.6%

Education

2.1%

Political Science

2.1%

Sociology

2.0%

Medical Assisting Services

1.9%

Information Technology

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.4%

Other

25.4%

Associate

15.8%

Masters

13.8%

Certificate

6.7%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$57,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$32,000
Min 10%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Hoboken, NJ
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Records Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Records Specialist in the United States is $57,574 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $102,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Records Specialist?

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Top Skills for A Records Specialist

  1. Database
  2. Procedures
  3. Medical Records
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform data entry utilizing a tracking database and research and query the system for documentation and information needed by supervisors.
  • Established procedures to increase communication activities with industry managers, customers and associated businesses through scheduled Check-up calls and mailings.
  • Examined medical records and bills, extracting and categorizing documentation.
  • Processed incoming mail, E-mail, information requests, transcripts, applications and transcript requests and all applicant student data entry.
  • Consulted clients monthly regarding updating personnel files to ensure accuracy.

How Would You Rate Working As a Records Specialist?

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Top Records Specialist Employers

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Jobs From Top Records Specialist Employers

Records Specialist Videos

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