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Health Records Specialiist


Description

Health records specialists, also known as health record technicians, process all of the information doctors and nurses record about their patients. They assemble a complete medical history for each patient, compiling notes, prescriptions, test results and medical charts, all the while ensuring the forms have been identified and signed by the right people. If they work in smaller clinics or hospitals, they may compile the data for all the patients, but if the hospital is very large, they might concentrate on only one department.

Health records specialists and the data that they record are important to hospitals for a number of reasons. They are used to evaluate treatments and research, and when the hospital is dealing with insurance claims and legal actions.

Along with recording information, these specialists also process admission and discharge documents, and put the information into various computer software programs designed to sort, classify, and present the findings and records in different ways. These technicians must therefore be familiar with sophisticated computer programs, and be ready to learn new ones as they go.
 
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Platt College
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Administrative Specialist

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
n/a
 
Median Salary:
$26,104
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
n/a

  Interests and Skills  
Health records specialiists are good typists with excellent computer skills. They should have an interest in compiling and analyzing data, and are able to do it quickly and efficiently, knowing that they could be helping develop treatments, or secure funding. Health records specialists are comfortable with high levels of responsibility and stress, and possess a terrific memory. They also need to be precise and accurate with details.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Collect, classify, store, retrieve, and analyze health information from various sources
  • Ensure the information being processed and the programmes being used are kept safe
  • Analyze data, presenting the results in graphs and charts
  • Follow instructions from supervisors
  • Use complicated computer software
  • The health records specialist is a vitally important, member of a hospital or health clinic staff. This individual spends a lot of the time alone, at a computer, using complicated software, analyzing doctors' reports and patients' charts. There may or may not be a number of specialists on staff. The job takes place indoors, with opportunities to use computer skills. Because the records are important to the hospital, the job is high pressure, as the work needs to be done as quickly as possible.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Health records specialists most often work at hospitals, but can also be employed by the government, health care centers and clinics, old age care facilities, and insurance companies. They usually work a standard workweek, unless the facility is open longer, requiring evening hours and weekends. Depending on the facility, there may be a supervisor, or coworkers, to share the responsibilities.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Health records specialists can start their career in a health center or hospital, working their way up to supervise the technical recorders. They can take an administration program, and become the administrator of the department. If they tire of working in hospitals, they might choose to work for the World Health Organization, traveling the globe or collecting data internationally.
 

  Educational Paths  
To become a health records specialist, you must complete a two- or three-year health records technician program at a community college or institute of technology.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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