How To Become A Medical Records Technician: A Complete Guide
Choosing to become a medical records technician can be a great career choice. Click here for a guide on how to become a medical records technician.
Are you interested in a career in the medical field? Do you like detail-oriented work? A medical records technician may be a great fit for you.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 215,500 medical records technician jobs in the US in 2018. They predict an increase of 23,100 jobs over the next 10 years.
Does this pique your interest? Keep reading to learn how to become a medical records technician.
Is the Medical Records Technician Career Right for You?
Each person has different interests and personalities. Thus, some career choices are better than others. The following are positive qualities for an individual working as a medical records technician.
Medical records technicians must have an interest in learning detailed information. This includes developing a working knowledge of medical documents and diagnoses. You must also be able to learn and understand medical terminology
Many positions need you to assign insurance codes to medical diagnoses and procedures. This requires precise and accurate completion.
Attention to Detail
Have you heard the saying, “There’s a place for everything and everything has a place”? This applies to management of medical records. Every piece of patient information about visits, tests, diagnoses, and more must be in its specified place.
There is no room for messiness. Retrieval of key data about a patient can be a life or death matter.
Proper coding of diagnoses and tests impacts insurance billing and payments. If this is incorrect, the financial ripple effect is huge.
All individuals involved in the medical profession must adhere to high levels of personal integrity. The protection of patient information is now required by law. Anyone failing to meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) regulations, risks their job and career.
You must also be a strong enough person to bring errors to the attention of your managers. It’s more important to get things right for the patient’s sake than to try and hide a mistake and hope no one finds out.
Communication skills via verbal or written means are important in healthcare occupations. You need to be confident in discussing patient information, any discrepancies, and the need for data. You may be speaking with nurses, physicians, finance personnel and others.
You need to be comfortable working with computers and learning new software programs. The medical records technician interacts with the medical coding and classification software. Also, you must learn the electronic healthcare records system used in the organization.
Proficiency in keyboard skills makes you more efficient in your work. If this is a deficit for you, there are many online tools you can download or buy to help you learn to type.
How to Become a Medical Records Technician
Training for medical record technicians can vary in length. It often takes one and a half to two years to complete the programs.
You may take online or in-person classes. Many programs include an internship that provides real-world experience.
Medical records are now often kept in digital form. Thus, you must learn to use current software programs.
You’ll learn how to prepare, maintain, and secure patient medical records. You will also learn to adhere to the HIPPA regulations.
Courses will include information about medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. You will take general educations courses including psychology, public speaking, and more. Students also work with a variety of electronic healthcare records (EHRs) as well
Are You Required to Get a Certification?
Most employers prefer applicants who have passed a certification exam.
The National Healthcareer Association administers The Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) exam. CEHRSs are in high demand in hospitals, physician’s clinics, nursing homes, and government facilities.
To qualify for this exam, you must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Successful completion of a program within the previous 5 years that included electronic health records training
The National Association for Health Professionals administers The Nationally Registered Certified Coding Specialist (NRCCS). NRCCSs make it possible for hospitals and clinics to properly code procedures. This results in the correct payment from the insurance company for services provided.
Completions of the NRCC demonstrates a high level of knowledge and ability. This is important to colleagues, patients, employers, and the public. Hospitals and clinics trust coding professionals to manage the diagnostic, procedural, and medical coding and billing.
Medical records technician training programs prepare you to take either exam.
Does This Career Field Offer Upward Mobility?
The medical records technician serves as an entry-level position. Thus, you have a wide opportunity for advancement.
- Earn an Associates Degree if your program did not offer the degree
- Complete a national certification examination
- Specialize as a Medical Coder
- Complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Information Management
- Become certified as a Registered Health Information Administrator
- Complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health and Human Services or Health Care Informatics Systems
- Earn a Master’s Degree in Health Information Management
- Complete your Doctorate in Healthcare Administration
Completion of further training and certification provides opportunities for career advancement. You are in control of your career path.
Are You Working to Build Your Business or Career?
You may be an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned professional. Regardless, new trends and technologies necessitate ongoing learning. You can’t just do things the way you’ve always done it.
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