Online education can help individuals become medical records technicians

posted on Tuesday, Jun 26 2012

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates than 10 of the 20 fastest-growing career paths in America are within the healthcare industry. With significant job growth predicted in the sector, many individuals are choosing to enroll in online colleges to earn their qualifications. Graduates of online bachelors degree programs can move into exciting careers as medical records technicians, but what does this position involve?

Medical records technicians are responsible for the creation and maintenance of patient health information within electronic health record systems. Also known as medical informatics technicians, these professionals are crucial to the operation of modern healthcare facilities. They are responsible for the transferal, updating and accuracy of patient medical data within large computerized networks in hospitals.

Medical records technicians are also responsible for the input of data to ensure that patients’ data is accurate and up-to-date. This can be vital to patients taking medications for sensitive conditions, or for people who have serious allergies. They will sometimes work with a hospital’s healthcare IT staff to ensure that databases are complete, and that patient medical histories have been signed and authorized by physicians to reduce the risks that patients are treated incorrectly.

For graduates of online bachelors degree programs in healthcare, there is a certain amount of overlap between medical records technicians and billing and coding specialists. These professionals assign patients to diagnosis-related groups to ensure that insurance companies are billed correctly for patient treatment options, and that physicians provide individuals with the correct course of medication or surgery for their conditions.

Individuals who want to enroll in online bachelors degree programs to become medical records technicians should be methodical and computer literate. Software skills are beneficial to these professionals, and students who have a solid understanding of advanced software programs may find such knowledge beneficial during their studies.

As with many healthcare careers, shift work is common, and working nights and weekends is not unusual. Most medical records technicians work within larger healthcare facilities such as hospitals, although some of these professionals also work in primary care physician practices and nursing homes.

Students pursuing healthcare degrees at online colleges may find that their employment prospects are particularly favorable, given the demands that the healthcare industry is currently under. Advances in medical technology and an aging population mean that, for graduates of online bachelors degree programs in healthcare, the future could look bright.

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