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Medical Records Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Medical records managers, also known as health information managers or health information administrators, work in the medical records department of hospitals, specialty clinics, physician's offices, mental health facilities, managed care companies, and long-term care facilities. They maintain patient data and supervise the employees within that department. Individuals interested in entering this field need to acquire a four-year bachelor's degree and specialty certification.

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Medical Records Manager Job Description

Medical records managers are responsible for maintaining and securing all written and electronic medical records within a facility's medical records department or its equivalent. They also ensure that information contained in the record is complete, accurate, and only available to authorized personnel. Other duties include overseeing personnel for the entire department, which can include medical record technicians (also known as health information technicians), medical coding specialists, cancer registrar coders, medical secretaries, and file clerks. Medical records managers also collect data for medical research and for calculating hospital occupancy rates.

Daily Job Duties

Medical records managers supervise, guide, motivate, and evaluate their employees--all while implementing department policies. They also conduct job interviews, hire staff, and train new personnel. Other ongoing tasks may include keeping abreast of any new computer technologies or new regulations enacted by Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies. This information is then delivered to all employees by e-mail, written correspondence, or interdepartmental meetings. Medical records managers also handle fiscal operations, such as bookkeeping, budget planning, and authorizing expenditures for new equipment and supplies.

Requirements for a Medical Records Manager

To become a medical records manager, an individual must earn a four-year bachelor's degree in health information management through a university program accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Accredited programs ensure that students are eligible to sit for the national certification exam to receive the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential. The RHIA exam is administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and covers such topics as medical ethics, medical law, statistics, medical record privacy procedures, medical coding systems, medical record administration and pathophysiology. The 4-hour exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions, which is scored on a pass-or-fail basis (www.ahima.org).

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers earned median salaries of $88,580 a year in 2012. The employment of such managers is expected to grow by as much as 22% between 2010 and 2020, per the BLS.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics