Medical records administrators set up medical record systems, develop and maintain medical records for patients, ensures consistency of records, and makes sure records are complete and confidential. Medical records administrators use codes to keep track of diagnosis and treatment of each patient. They are experts in the technical, legal and ethical aspects of health information management.
Medical records administrators work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, government agencies, private consulting firms, research centers, and more. Nearly half of all medical records workers are employed in hospitals, and enjoy regular 40-hour weeks, and clean, comfortable work environments. Medical records personnel normally have no direct contact with patients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, openings in this career area are expected to grow much faster than average over the next several years. According to Salary.com, the median salary for medical records administrators in the United States is $65,823.
Things You Will NeedTo become an administrator you will need a degree in health information systems.
A good match?First, decide if this is the right career choice for you. This career path requires specific education and training, which in turn requires serious commitment. You may want to visit a career coach or take an aptitude test. To be a successful medical records administrator, you must be detail-oriented, ethical, and work well with both computer information systems and people.
Get the right education.To become a records technician, an associate's degree in medical records technology or a related field will suffice, and many people will want to "ease into" the field in this way. However, to work in the administrative level, you need a bachelor's degree in health information or medical records administration. CAHIIM, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, maintains a list of accredited programs. There are dozens of bachelor's degree programs across the United States.
Get certified.Become a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) by taking the RHIA certification exam from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The fee is $299, and the computer-based exam is administered by the testing firm Prometric at their various locations throughout the United States. AHIMA members receive a substantial discount on the test fee.
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