In this day and age, patient records are moving to electronic formats. What exactly does that mean and who are the people that work with electronic records? Let’s explore these questions and more as we take a closer look at the medical records technician career path.
Let’s start with the basics:
- Examine the typical tasks performed by a medical records technician
- Discover where medical records technicians work
- Understand what makes for a successful medical records technician
- How to train to become a medical records technician
Medical Records Technician Daily Tasks
As a medical records technician, you’ll perform tasks that support healthcare organizations and patients, by working with patient records. These records will typically be in electronic format and your job will be to keep them confidential and maintain accuracy so that patients receive proper care.
Let’s break this down a bit further.
Medical records technicians, or “MRTs” are typically responsible for managing medical records for lab procedures, x-rays and more. They usually assign these procedures a special code called, “ICD-10” to help insurance companies understand how much to reimburse the healthcare facility and how much money a patient will owe.
These medical records are computer-based, so MRTs use computer software to keep records organized and secure.
Medical Records Technician Work Environment
As a medical records technician, you might work at a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, nursing care facility or insurance company. Some MRTs might even work in public health organizations. The work environment for medical records technicians is typically a desk with a computer and phone. MRTs typically work 40 hours per week (that’s 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday) and can be paid hourly or receive a fixed salary.
This type of work environment is great for someone who does not want to be standing on their feet all day (like working retail or food service), or someone who wants a standard schedule without typically having to work nights and weekends.
In some cases, MRTs might have an opportunity to work from home or travel as part of their role in an organization. However, these types of opportunities are less common.
Is a Career as a Medical Records Technician for You?
The traits and skills that will make you successful in a career as a medical records technician include:
- Attention to detail
- Honesty and integrity
- Comfort with typing and computers
- Friendly, positive attitude
How to Become a Medical Records Technician
To become a medical records technician, many people will go back to school to obtain a diploma or associate degree. A medical records technician associate degree can be earned online, part-time an in under two years. Online is a great option if you are currently working, but want to train for this career, have children you must care for, or you don’t wish to spend time and money driving to a college campus.
Once you obtain your associate degree with a school like the Institute of Medical and Business Careers (IMBC), you will be prepared to seek various certifications. These include:
- Nationally Registered Certified Coding Specialist (NRCCS)
- Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS)
Some schools will even cover the cost of your exam, like IMBC. Certification exams are not required for employment; however, they may help you gain employment, as they will separate you from candidates that lack the certification and it demonstrates your knowledge of the subject material.
Getting started is easy. Just contact a school like IMBC to learn more and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding career.