The careers usually associated with the health care industry are the obvious, patient care related, fields held by doctors and nurses. One of the most essential duties in the health care industry, taking care of patient records, is the responsibility of specially trained technicians. Medical records technicians have the difficult task of creating, monitoring, and storing the medical files of thousands of patients. Without the help of an experienced medical records technician, it would be extremely difficult for other medical professionals to accurately record or explore a patient’s medical history. The absence of a complete medical history can affect the accuracy of future health treatments.
What Does a Medical Records Technician Do?
There is more to being a medical records technician than filing documents; a medical records technician is involved in all parts of the medical records creation process. After being hired as a medical records technician, the first thing you will learn is how to track incoming records. During the standard work day, hundreds of new medical records are created at a hospital or clinic.
The medical record, or document verifying the completion of a new service, is generated when a physician orders a new procedure for a patient. Medical records technicians are usually sent a copy of the order, or the medical records department is sent a document letting them know an order was generated. This is done to let the medical records department know to expect a new medical record.
Once the medical record is created, a medical records technician is responsible for distributing copies of the completed report. The ordering physician will need to review transcribed copies of the completed medical report. If the patient is currently receiving inpatient care in a hospital, the medical record must be taken to the floor the patient is admitted to and added to their chart for nurses and attending physician to review.
Outpatient medical records are not always immediately placed with the patient’s chart. Instead, the transcribed medial record is sent directly to the medical records department. The medical records technician is then responsible for placing the new record with the completed medical file.
Medical record technicians are also responsible for keeping track of the medical files of various patients. Depending on the age of the hospital or the clinic, the medical files being stored at the facility can contain several years’ worth of a patient’s medical procedure history. A medical records technician must be able to get a medical record for a patient, regardless of how much time has passed since the service or procedure was completed.
Why Should Someone Consider Becoming a Medical Records Technician?
Being a medical records technician is not something many consider, largely because taking care of medical records is generally considered boring. In reality, becoming a medical records technician is one way to become an essential part of the constantly growing health care industry. For someone interested in going to nursing school, or training to be a lab technician, a job as a medical records technician can help one get a foot in the door.
Medical records technicians work with doctors, nurses, administration, and other staff who constantly need to review or add to a patient’s medical file. A medical records technician can expect to speak to dozens of medical specialists each day, learning about their careers and making friends in the health care industry. Doctors and nurses come to rely on efficient medical records technicians who they know can quickly bring, or order, patient files that will help them diagnosis medical conditions.
Individuals who become well respected medical records technician can transition to other health care professions at any time. Having medical records technician experience on a resume will improve your chances of getting another health care industry job. Working as a medical records technician will also get you used to working in a fast paced health care environment.
Things to Prepare For
Before applying to be a medical records technician, you should be always prepare for bumps in the road. Even though medical records technicians have limited experience working directly with patients, they are still held to the high standards associated with patient care. A medical records technician must be able to respond quickly to requests, and will sometimes have to handle patient inquiries.
When patients come to pick up medical records, you must be prepared to deal with the possibility that medical files sometimes go missing. Patients can become agitated when their files cannot be found, so you must be ready to deal with the occasional angry individual. Doctors can also become angry when key documents cannot be found. It is necessary to remember that misfiles do happen, when dealing with frustrated patients, and health professionals is only a small part of the job.
Night and evening shifts are also something that a medical records technician should be prepared for. Hospitals run 24 hours, and medical records technician are needed around the clock. Working night shifts can be tedious, but they can be required during times of staffing shortages or large medical emergencies.
The career of a medical records technician is a rewarding one that can be the first step towards other health care industry jobs. Learning how to properly handle medical records will provide you with useful knowledge regarding the inner workings of hospitals and medical offices. If you are someone who has wanted a career in the medical industry, but did not know where to begin the job of a medical records technician is for you.