How to Become a Medical Record Technician

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Medical record technician positions are expected to continue to grow as the baby boomer generation gets older and current employees retire. Medical record technicians typically do not have to deal with patients. They work in hospitals as well as smaller clinics. Any environment where medical records are kept requires some level of consistency, which is why the medical records tech is an important position. The consistency assures that the patients get the same basic care, helps the medical staff easily find documents for follow-up care and is necessary if a legal issue arises. Medical records personnel can have a range of duties depending on the size of the facility they work for. Hospitals often have medical records staff that specializes in areas such as coding, transcription and management. A medical record technician working in a smaller office may have some or all these jobs combined.

  • Gain experience working in the medical field. If finding a position proves difficult, try volunteering first to gain some basic medical skills. The experience will make it easier to find a medical record technician position once training is complete.

  • Choose a community college that offers the program. The school needs to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). Students that do not go to CAHIIM accredited school are not eligible to take the certification exam after the program is completed (see Resources below).

  • Complete a Medical Record program at a local community or junior college. This will consist of basic classes such as English, math and speech, classes such as medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, and more advanced computer classes, some of which will be for creating databases to track patient information. The program will lead to an Associate’s degree and will take approximately 2 years.

  • Take the test administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Once this test is passed, the medical record technician will be considered a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). See Resources below for more information on the test.

  • Create a resume showing medical-related skills and find a position. List your degree as well as the Registered Health Information Technician designation (once the test is passed). Also list any skills relating to communication or people skills, as well as computer knowledge.

Tips & Warnings

  • Patient confidentiality must be strictly adhered to in this profession.
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