How to Become a

Medical Records Technician

The complete career guide to be a Medical Records Technician: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $40,430
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 15.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

The job of a medical records technician is to ensure that accurate patient records are maintained. Healthcare providers rely on patients’ medical records (i.e. medical history, symptoms, past diseases and treatments) to diagnose and treat as needed.


What is a Medical Records Technician?

Duties

The following work is done by medical records technicians on a regular basis:

  • Take notes from a doctor and carefully transcribe the details into a patient’s permanent medical records.
  • Utilise computer programs or filing systems to organise medical records and share with doctors or insurance companies.
  • Ensure that a patient’s right to privacy is safeguarded by making certain that authorised access to medical information is maintained.
  • Provide superior customer service by being respectful and attentive towards client concerns.
  • Keep all equipment in the best operating condition and troubleshoot equipment as needed with support from the Help Desk or the IT Department.

Day In The Life

During a day, your role involves working on the computer and using other information systems to manage healthcare information effectively. Thus, entering data forms a big part of the day-to-day responsibilities, such as demographic characteristics, history and extent of a disease or treatment. You also have the authority to process patient admission or discharge documentation, business or government forms in adherence to existing standards and regulations.

As a medical records technician, you will frequently be in conversation with doctors and nurses for creating care plans and carrying out treatment based on previous medical records of patients. Electronic medical records and patient care standards are very strict, which requires technicians to ensure that all HIPAA regulations are complied with. On a normal work day, responsibilities can vary depending on special projects that emerge to essential duties in relation to patient health records and distribution in a secure fashion.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

Most job positions are full-time but in healthcare facilities that are open around the clock, technicians work overnight or evening shifts as required. The most common work setting for medical records technician is a hospital, physicians’ office or clinic, where they work with fellow medical staff to compile patient documentation. Work can involve prolonged walking, standing, sitting or bending as well as reaching high shelves to retrieve medical files.

Growth Of The Job

This job sector is expected to grow by 15 percent between 2014 to 2024, leading to 29,000 jobs for medical records technicians. With the continuous evolution of insurance systems and healthcare regulations, medical coding will be a prized asset. The number of people with access to health insurance will rise due to insurance reforms.

Further, an aging population combined with new advances in healthcare will hike up employment opportunities for healthcare experts tremendously. Special purpose registries might emerge to address illnesses detected and treated later in life as the population becomes older. Prospects will be very good for those with a certification in health information.

Typical Employers

In this role, you will find many job opportunities with state, local and private hospitals, at physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities and other healthcare settings. Other areas where medical information is used also hire technicians in this sector such as insurance companies, software vendors, pharmaceutical companies, rehabilitation centres, home healthcare agencies and government agencies. Specific examples of potential employers are: The US Oncology Network, Aspen Surgical, Catapult Consultants, NANA Development Corporation, Scanstat Technologies, UnityPoint Health, Department Of Veterans Affairs, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Alliance HealthCare Services, etc.

 


How To Become a Medical Records Technician

You must have at least an associate’s degree in medical technology or health information management to find promising employment in this field. Alternatively, you can obtain a certificate in medical technology to showcase your specialisation, which still requires an associate’s degree in a relevant subject (i.e. anatomy, physiology, medical terminology). A common certification attained by professionals includes that of Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), gained by taking an examination by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

In addition to the above, you must demonstrate high levels of attention to detail and extensive familiarity with computer systems and technology. Having a clear idea of medical record procedures and terminology will also give you an edge over other competition. Great interpersonal skills is a must to confidently discuss patient health information, discrepancies and data with experienced staff such as finance professionals and physicians. This career is best suited to individuals keen on following set routines and carrying out data-intensive projects with low risk.


Medical Records Technician Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$29,130

Average

$40,430

High Range

$61,400

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$14/hr

Average

$19/hr

High Range

$30/hr

How do Medical Records Technician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Medical Records Technician's can make an average annual salary of $40,430, or $19 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $29,130 or $14 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #521 Nationally for All Careers


Highest Education Among Medical Records Technicians

  • 0.8%   Doctorate
  • 3.2%   Masters
  • 15.8%   Bachelors
  • 19.4%   Associates
  • 35.5%   College
  • 23.5%   High School
  • 1.8%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

188,600

2024 Est. Jobs

217,600

Job Growth Rate

15.4%

Est. New Jobs

29,000

How does Medical Records Technician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 29,000 jobs for a total of 217,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 15.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #97 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Medical Records Technicians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 55,200 3,900 4%
Offices of physicians 39,300 8,900 9%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 12,600 1,300 1%

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