Certificate programs for medical records technicians are primarily offered through community colleges, universities, and vocational schools. Such programs typically take 1-2 semesters to complete and are designed to provide students with an understanding of how to manage records and information in a healthcare environment. In addition to learning basic computer, keyboarding, and administration skills, aspiring medical records technicians learn about medical billing and coding techniques, medical terminology, and health center organization.
Aspiring medical records technicians enrolled in a certificate program learn to manage and operate the newest electronic records systems being used by healthcare facilities. They also learn old-fashioned filing, record retrieval, and sometimes even transcribing techniques. Graduates may qualify for certification in medical coding procedures. Many organizations prefer medical records technicians to have an associate degree, but some accept entry-level employees who have earned certificates, especially if they hold professional certification.
- Program Levels for Medical Record Technicians: Certification program
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; SAT or ACT scores may be required
- Program Length: One to two semesters
Medical Records Technician Certification
Certificate programs in medical records technology include classroom lectures on healthcare administration and medical concepts as well as practical training in actual record-keeping procedures. Some examples of class topics include:
- Medical terminology
- Medical office administration
- Healthcare and the law
- Introductory computers
- Health information record systems
- Billing and coding
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing care facilities and other healthcare organizations employed about 186, 300 medical records and health information technicians in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for the profession in that year was just over $35, 900, per BLS data in May 2014.