A medical data analyst constructs reports related to the healthcare industry. Medical data analysts need to have a good knowledge of the medical field and medical terminology because of the type of data they collect. A certificate or associate's degree is required to enter this field.
Medical data analysts are also known as healthcare, clinical or medical records analysts. They deal primarily with patient records and create statistical data and reports. These reports guide healthcare organizations as they make adjustments based on disease and treatment trends, quality of care, expenses and income.
|Required Education||Postsecondary certificate, or associate's degree in information technology|
|Other Requirements||Professional certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||15% (medical records and health information technicians)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$37,110 (medical records and health information technicians)|
Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Medical Data Analyst Job Description
Data analysts construct spreadsheets and reports that may include information on trends in customer service, billing, cost evaluation and efficiency. These reports aid the analyst's organization by providing statistical data the company can use as a source for determining which adjustments and changes to implement. Much of the analyst's daily activities focus on statistics, including analyzing a variety of data for the specific task at hand.
While data analysts are used in virtually every type of organization and field, the medical data analyst typically has experience in the healthcare field, including knowledge of medical terminology and the organizational structure of the health organization. The medical data analyst's duties may vary depending on the role of her or his employer. For example, some medical data analysts focus on how patient data corresponds to larger trends for the organization's method of treatment. Others may use patient data to monitor quality of care or to track trends in a particular disease and its treatment and costs.
Medical data analysts may also compile and analyze client data to address high costs to clients or over-utilization of certain treatment plans. These activities may help the organization curb the high cost of healthcare. By studying all this data, analysts may also help in the forecasting of growth, customer service and treatment of their clients.
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Medical data analysts examine data and create reports based on specific parameters. Analysts use computer software like Microsoft Excel, Access and Word, as well as SQL, for creating reports, calculations and audits and managing databases. Some healthcare groups may also use proprietary programs for the management and analysis of medical data, according to a December 2010 search of job postings for medical data analysts on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. Data analysts may also be responsible for regularly auditing data input. These audits may involve studying numbers, organization practices and customer feedback.
Analysts manage data and prepare the reports for supervisors or healthcare directors. They may also be asked to provide reports for medical investigators or sponsors, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or organizations focused on specific diseases like cancer. Data abstraction may also involve communicating with physicians and researchers. Analysts are often responsible for attending meetings and presenting on the outcome of reports.
Salary and Employment Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't have salary or employment outlook data specifically for medical data analysts. Since a familiarity with medical terminology and health organizations is key for medical data analysts, those interested in this field might consider starting as medical records and health information technicians. These workers were expected to see 15% job growth from 2014 to 2024 the BLS found. And, working in this field could help aspiring data analysts acquire knowledge of health information data. The BLS reported that medical records and health information technicians earned $37,110 as a median salary as of May 2015.
Medical data analysts are required to have a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree and also need to be certified. The BLS predicts a 15% job growth rate from 2014-2024 for medical records and health information technicians, which is much faster than average when compared to all occupations.