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Medical File Clerk: Job Description and Requirements

Medical file clerks, also known as medical records clerks, perform administrative tasks, which require knowledge of detailed record maintenance systems. Clerks typically hold a certificate or associate degree in medical billing and coding or health information technology.

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Job Description for Medical File Clerks

Medical file clerks are responsible for organizing and maintaining patient's medical records, including personal information, medical history and billing records. Clerks enter medical and financial information into databases, create and implement filing systems, and ensure that the records are being managed according to industry standards. They also confirm with physicians or other medical personnel that the records are complete and correct.

Required Skills

The information contained in medical records is highly sensitive and a small mistake can directly affect a patient's care; therefore, clerks must be extremely detail oriented and knowledgeable about the particular practices in the office where they are employed. They must be excellent communicators and perform their tasks exactly as instructed. Medical file clerks may also be required to learn how to use advanced computer software for tracking medical and financial data.

Job Requirements for a Medical File Clerk

Positions as a medical file clerk may only require a high school diploma and on the job training; however, some positions may require the completion of a certificate or associate degree program in health information technology or medical record technology. Programs in health information technology typically include courses in information systems, coding, medical terminology, legal issues, health insurance, risk management and physiology. A bachelor's degree or master's degree is required to advance from a clerk to a managerial position.

Certification

Most employers prefer technicians who have obtained the Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) credential offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Students must pass an AHIMA examination and have completed a 2-year program at an institution accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Several organizations, such as the American Academy of Professional Coders, offer specialized coding credentials, which are also obtained by passing an examination.

Job Outlook and Salary Information for Medical File Clerks

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects medical records and health information technicians, also known as medical file clerks, will see above-average demand at 21% between 2010 and 2020. The BLS shows the average salary for medical records and health information technicians was $36,770 in 2012, with individuals working in high-paying states like New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, California and Colorado earning average salaries between $42,110 and $55,130 that year.

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