Medical Records and Health Information Technician Jobs
A medical records and health information technician is responsible for organizing patient records. Unlike most health care jobs, a medical records and health information technician has almost no contact with actual patients, communicating primarily with doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Medical records and health information technicians generally work a standard 40-hour week in offices in private practices, public health clinics, and hospitals.
They are responsible for maintaining patient files, including patient history, examination results and diagnoses, laboratory test records, general records of medical treatments and prescriptions administered, and any surgeries the patient may have had. A medical records and health information technician is responsible for keeping this information accurate and organized.
The amount of work and number of duties and technician has will depend largely on the work environment. In larger facilities, for example, a technician may specialize in a specific area, while in smaller offices a technician may be in charge of overseeing the organization of an entire patient records department.
General Requirements and Training
Most medical records and health information technicians enter the field with an associate’s degree, usually a two-year degree from a community or junior college. Many medical records and health information technicians receive their degrees via online distance-learning courses. Coursework includes instruction in data coding, statistics, health data standards, computer science, and legal aspects of health information.
Some technicians may choose to take a written exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association in order to become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs).
To qualify to take the exam, one must have completed a two-year accredited associate degree program. This generally improves opportunities for employment and advancement.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median earnings of medical records and health information technicians was $30,610 as of May 2008. According to Salary.com, the mid-50% earnings range for medical records and health information technicians is $29,978 to $34,372. Payscale.com reports that a technician is one to four years experience can expect $10.16 to $13.87 hourly, increasing to $12.40 to $17.29 hourly after twenty years of experience.