Medical Records Clerk: Job Description, Salary and Requirements

Oct 29, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a medical records clerk. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as a medical records clerk job description and prospective salary to find out if this is the career for you.

What Does a Medical Records Clerk Do?

Medical records clerks manage medical information records, which include both electronic data and paper files. They organize and keep track of patients' medical histories and test results, both for doctor and insurance company use. Medical records clerks may also be known as 'health information technicians' or 'medical records technicians'.

Required Education Post-secondary certificate or associate's degree
Other Requirements Certification
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 11% (Medical records and health information technicians)
Median Salary (2018)* $40,350 (Medical records and health information technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Medical Records Clerk Job Description

Medical records clerks work in health care institutions but do not have any interaction with patients. The job is characterized by office work at a typical 40 hours per week.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records clerks organize and maintain medical records by collecting information about patients. This information can include test results, diagnoses, exam results, recommended treatments, prior medical history and other relevant data. Medical records clerks must be sure that these records are well-organized, and they should be able to provide quality reports. Security and accuracy of the records is also crucial, as a small mistake could result in a large liability.

Medical Records Clerk Salary

According to the BLS, the median yearly income of medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 in May 2018. Job opportunities for medical records and health information technicians are expected to increase 11% from 2018-2028 as a result of an aging population needing more medical procedures.

Medical Records Clerk Requirements

The BLS indicates that most employers prefer to hire medical records clerks with a medical records technician certificate or associate's degree. Medical records clerks may earn an associate's degree that includes courses in coding systems, health care reimbursement, anatomy, physiology and data systems. In addition, several professional organizations offer credential and certification programs.

Certification, Credentials and Continuing Education Courses

Medical records clerks may earn professional credentials or certification in health information, coding and cancer registry services. These credentialing programs are typically exam-based. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) sponsors the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential. Specialized certification programs and continuing education opportunities are offered by the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS), the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC), the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA).

Proficiency in computer applications, data security and data analysis are becoming increasingly important to medical clerks and technicians as electronic health records (EHR) become more prevalent. Medical records professionals often complete continuing education sessions to keep their knowledge and skills current to ensure the continued accuracy and quality of medical reports and data.

Medical records clerks organize and manage health information, which includes ensuring accuracy, accessibility, and security of data. A post-secondary certificate or associate's degree may be required. The median annual salary for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 in 2018.

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