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Medical Records & Health
Information Technician Job Description

Having accurate and easily accessible patient records is critical to the operation of every doctor's office and medical facility. Creating, maintain and securing these records is the job of the medical records and health information technician, one possible medical assistant career path.

In years past, medical records and health information technicians worked mostly with paper records and physical files. Today, more and more medical information is being created and stored electronically as electronic health records (EHR). This required medical records and health information technicians to become familiar with specialized EHR software and computer security. In larger organizations, medical records and health information technicians may even help customize EHR software and networks to better accommodate their facility's needs.

Information for which medical records and health information technicians regularly handle can include:

  • Patient personal information (name, address, social security number, etc.)
  • Patient insurance information
  • Medical histories
  • Test results
  • Diagnoses
  • Prescriptions

Working Conditions

Medical records and health technicians tend to work in "back room" positions, meaning they tend to deal more with doctors and nurses and less with the patients directly. Working conditions tend to be very professional. Offices usually are clean, well-lit and air conditioned. Medical receptionists usually work regular, set hours and, if working full time, have established times to leave for lunch. Overtime is rarely required.

Job Prospects

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for medical records and health information technicians is expected to be "much faster than average" for the 2010-2020 period. ("Much faster than average" defined as 20 percent or more over 10 years.) Between 2010 and 2020, employment growth for medical records and health information technicians nationwide is projected to grow from 179,500 to 217,300, an increase of about 37,700, or 21 percent.* Job opportunities will naturally vary from city to city depending on demand and local economic conditions.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Receptionists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/receptionists.htm (visited May 17, 2013).


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