Medical Record Technicians

Records Technician Speaks with Physician

In any hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, permanent records are created and maintained for all the patients treated by the staff. Each patient's medical record describes in detail his or her condition over time. Entries include illness and injuries, operations, treatments, outpatient visits, and the progress of hospital stays. Medical record technicians, also known asĀ medical records and health information technicians and health information management technicians, compile, code, and maintain these records. They also tabulate and analyze data from groups of records in order to assemble reports. They review records for completeness and accuracy; assign codes to the diseases, operations, diagnoses, and treatments according to detailed standardized classification systems; and post the codes on the medical record. They transcribe medical reports; maintain indices of patients, diseases, operations, and other categories of information; compile patient census data; and file records. In addition, they may direct the day-to-day operations of the medical records department. They maintain the flow of records and reports to and from other departments, and sometimes assist medical staff in special studies or research that draws on information in the records. There are approximately 188,600 medical records technicians employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Cancer Registrars, Data Abstractors, Health Information Management Technicians, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Medical Record Coders
Duties Compile, code, and maintain patients' medical records
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but are best in metropolitan areas
Minimum Education Level
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Health
Experience Supervised clinical experience
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Organized
  • Computer
  • Information Management
  • Organizational
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Medical Record Administrator or Consultant
  • Experienced Medical Record Technician
  • Entry-Level Medical Record Technician

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