What is Medical Records Technology?
Medical records technology is a field of study focused on the secure exchange of health information using computer systems. The health information is often exchanged between a number of stakeholders including the consumer, health care provider, quality monitors, health care payers, and insurance providers.
Based on a series of recent studies, health information technology and medical records technology has been cited as the most important component for improving the quality and safety of health care. As such, the overall costs and safety will ultimately lead to a more efficient system for all. When prudently utilized, the proper use of electronic health records and electronic medical records software can substantially:
- Improve health care effectiveness
- Help prevent medical errors and improve overall safety quotient
- Reduce health care costs
- Improve the flow of quality information between stakeholders
- Reduce paperwork and inefficiencies
- Bolster real-time information for providers and consumers
- Improve health care quality of care
What is Health Information Technology?
Health information technology is the business function involving the electronic exchange of health information. HIT or Health IT, as it is commonly known, is utilized by small and large medical providers to help improve the overall quality of healthcare and reduce the cost of healthcare. Health information technology allows for the efficient transmission of medical records which reduces the propensity for human error. Health IT also allows for expanded access to more affordable health care programs.
What Does a Health Information Technician Do?
A health information technician is commonly referred to as a medical records technician. These individuals maintain and organize healthcare data and health information. Job duties include the storage and accessibility of medical records in both print form and digital versions, as applicable. Security and accuracy of medical records and sensitive health information is a pillar of health information technicians.
It is common for health information technicians and medical records technicians to be employed by several medical offices. Health information techs organize data, securely store information, update patient medical charts, and track changes for patients. Data is aggregated to be utilized by clinical databases and registries as applicable.
Educational Requirements in Medical Records Technology
In terms of educational requirements, degree and certificate programs can be quite different. The certificate for a medical records clerk will include different classes than a health information management degree. Likewise, the criteria for a registered health information technician (RHIT) will not be exactly like the medical information technology degree.
There are a number of overlapping classes that students will take to become proficient at their jobs. The following medical records and health information technician courses were found to be part of core curriculum in many medical records programs across various higher education institutions.
- English Language
- Computer Networking
- Database Management
- Business Management
- Public Health
- Computer Systems Technology
- Healthcare Administration
- Data Processing Technology
Health Information Technology Jobs
Medical records jobs and health information technology jobs are flourishing. The rapid advance in technology coupled with legislative activity spurring the industry, health information jobs are poised to grow at a rapid rate in the coming ten year reporting period.
According to the BLS, health information technician jobs are estimated to swell by 13%. A thirteen percent growth in employment will create approximately 28,000 new jobs. Employment growth of this magnitude will not only create entry-level jobs but upward mobility for those seeking additional responsibilities.
Career options can be for direct-entry into health information technician positions or adjacent jobs. Examples of affiliated jobs include information clerk, information technology professional, medical transcriptionist, medical coder, health manager, and database manager.
Health Information Technology Salary
Health information technician salary and medical records specialist salary have been growing at a rapid rate. The demand for qualified, trained employees and macroeconomic factors have helped rise the tide in the field. Medical records technician salary numbers have grown to $42,820 a year on average.
Top employers of health information technicians include hospitals, surgical centers, physician's offices, nursing facilities, and outpatient care centers. States offering the highest health information technology salaries are New Jersey and Alaska followed by California and DC. Learn more about your educational options by searching for accredited programs below with our school finder and degree locater tools.