Health Information Management Clerk: Job Description and Requirements
Health information management clerks are responsible for keeping patient medical records organized and updated. These professionals work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and physicians' offices. Many prospective health information management clerks earn a 2-year associate's degree in health information management. Additionally, some individuals go on to receive certification in a health information specialty.
Job Description for a Health Information Management Clerk
Health information management (HIM) clerks maintain and update patient records, which include medical histories, treatments and examinations. They are also responsible for filing and storing records as well as the process for releasing patient medical records. They confer with doctors and other healthcare providers to ensure that patient records display the most updated information. Some health information management clerks are trained in medical billing and coding, which requires them to enter correct coding for insurance and reimbursement purposes. Depending on the employer, HIM clerks might perform additional administrative duties.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projected that employment opportunities for health information technicians would grow 20% between 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS indicated there were several reasons for this growth, the most significant being a large aging population. This population is expected to require more medical procedures, which will lead to a need for health information clerks to handle and organize medical records. The growing use of electronic records may also increase demand for individuals with knowledge of computer software and technology, as it relates to medical health records.
Job Requirements for a Health Information Management Clerk
The minimum education requirement for working as a health information management clerk is a high school diploma. Though it's not uncommon for some employers to require some college or even an associate's degree in health information management. These programs teach students to use various computer programs for organizing and retrieving data as well as medical terms integral to recording medical procedures. Additional training credentials are typically not required for most entry-level positions, although some candidates go on to become certified in a specialty, such as privacy and security, coding or data analysis. Obtaining a position as a health information management clerk might require a drug screening test and criminal background check.
Several certification opportunities are available in the field of health information management. Becoming a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) requires graduating from an HIM program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). The RHIT credential is offered through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). AHIMA also offers additional certification options for HIM graduates, including Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA).
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