If you’re good at keeping documents and want to play a role in maintaining the accuracy and security of patient records in the healthcare setting, you can consider becoming a medical records technician. In this profession, you will have the opportunity to keep medical records organized, secure and accessible only to authorized personnel. More specifically, you will be responsible for the maintenance and protection of the health information records of all patients. That means you need to ensure that the patient’s medical history, diagnoses, laboratory test results, treatment plans and other relevant medical data of each patient are correctly included in their corresponding files.
While there are some institutions that still rely on paper records, many institutions are now converting to electronic health systems. Yet no matter what form of recordkeeping the hospital is observing, it’s important for medical records technician to ensure that all data is complete, forms are accurately filled out and all files are accessible only to those who are authorized to view them. This requires coordinating with other departments of the hospital to ensure the completeness and accuracy of a patient’s records. For example, if there are deficiencies in a patient’s health portfolio, medical records technicians immediately notify the attending physician so that the information can be completed.
In addition to maintaining patient portfolios, these professionals also keep data on patient safety, treatment outcomes and disease patterns and maintain a registry for cancer patients. The latter is especially important because the registry will make it possible to monitor survival and recovery rates for Big C patients and even identify areas where certain cancers are prevalent. A well-maintained database will also help the hospital identify possible patients who could benefit from clinical trials for certain drugs.
Why Become A Medical Records Technician
A career as a medical records technician is well-suited for those who have a penchant for accuracy and are able to pay attention to the smallest details. This is also a profession for those who don’t have problems maintaining the confidentiality of information since there are legal provisions on who should have access to these. This is a profession that also pays well and provides positive employment opportunities in the next few years.
Medical Records Technician Work Environment
Medical records technicians work for general medical and surgical hospitals and physician’s offices. They may also work for nursing and residential care facilities and the government. The work is fulltime and done during regular hours although they may need to take evening, weekend and overnight shifts since hospitals typically take operate 24 hours a day.
The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of medical records and health information technicians is $37,710.
Medical Records Technician Career Outlook
The job outlook for medical records technicians is very positive in the next few years. Projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the employment rate of medical records and health information technicians is set to grow 22 percent in the decade covering 2012 to 2022. This rate is faster than the average for all job types. The demand is brought about by the growth of the aging population who will need to obtain more medical tests and services which will consequently lead to more paperwork and patient records. Medical records technicians will be required to maintain and process the latter.
Medical Records Technician Degree
The entry point for a career as a medical records technician is a post-secondary certificate or associate’s degree in health information technology. They can also improve their chances of employment by getting a professional certification such as that of a Certified Tumor Registrar or Registered Health Information Technician. These can be obtained from different organizations after passing a test and/or graduating from an accredited program.