The work environment for a medical records and health information technician is typically a comfortable office setting with little or no direct contact with patients. The typical work week for a technician is forty hours per week, but some overtime may be required.
Jobs in this career are frequently found in hospitals, offices of physicians, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, home health care services, insurance firms, public health departments, etc.
The employment opportunities for this career are expected to face above average growth in the next three to seven years with increased retirees and increased patient care needs.
How much does a Medical Records Technician or Health Information Technician make - Salaries and Wages
The base salary for this occupation is anywhere from $32,591 to $50,012 according to U.S. average statistics for this occupation. The average hourly wage in 2007 was approximately $14.08. Bonuses for this job can range from $30 to $46 according to national average statistics. With the median financial statistics for this occupation, the benefits are as follows: base salary is $41,009 (69.5%), bonus is $21 (0.0%), Social Security is $3,139 (5.3%), 401k/403b is $1,477 (2.5%), Disability is $410 (0.7%), healthcare is $5,722 (9.7%), pension is $1,887 (3.2%), and time off is $5,365 (9.1%).
How to become a Medical Records Technician or Health Records Technician
Education and Training
People aspiring to become a medical records and health information technician typically acquire at least an Associate’s degree from a community or junior college. Courses that are commonly taken by people in this field include: medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, legal aspects of health information, health data standards, coding and abstraction of data, statistics, database management, quality improvement methods, and computer science. If one is in high school and considering this career, some courses that one might consider taking include biology, math, chemistry, health, and computer sciences.
One is more likely to be employed as a medical records and health information technician if one becomes a Registered Health Information Technician by passing a written exam that is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). In order to qualify for this exam, one must “graduate from a two-year associate degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) (Bureau of Labor Statistics website).” In addition to on campus medical records degrees, there are many online colleges that offer similar degrees online.
Experienced medical records and health information technicians normally advance by either specializing or moving into a management position. Specialized fields have included coding, cancer registry, and privacy and security. To specialize in cancer registry, it is recommended that you enroll in a formal two-year certificate program approved by the National Cancer Registrar’s Association (NCRA). On the other hand, some schools and employers may offer a one or two week intensive training program in coding or cancer registry.
“Certification in coding is available from several organizations. Certification in coding is available from several organizations. Coding certification within specific medical specialty areas is available from the Board of Medical Specialty Coding and the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialist (PAHCS). The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers three distinct certification programs in coding. The AHIMA also offers certification for Certified Healthcare Privacy and Security because of growing concerns for the security of electronic medical records. Certification in cancer registry is available from the NCRA. Continuing education units are typically required to renew credentials (Bureau of Labor Statistics website).”
In order to advance in this career, one would benefit from between two to four years of experience and completion of a hospital’s in-house training program.
Medical Records and Health Records Technician Resources