Given the recent debates and news reports that revolve around the status of the health care system, health care professionals and patients are naturally worried about what the future will bring, as concerning news regarding employment and access to health care seem to pour from every direction. On the other hand, future perspectives for certain health specialists seem to be flourishing, if we take a look over the data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all, one career seems to be quite stable on the market and to grow annually, in what it seems to be a move toward synergy with the technological developments in the field of medicine and the greater focus on providing patient care and treatment. This job implies the medical records and health information technicians, the specialists that patients see very seldom, but who are ones of the most important professionals in the health care system.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a medical record and health information technician “compiles, processes, and maintains medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the heath care system.”
However, if we take a look at the occupation descriptions in the field, we can easily see that this type of work also requires not only to have a certain level of education, training and certification, but also a set of personal skills that are absolutely necessary in this line of work:
- Technological skills
- Ability to adjust to and implement new technological developments
- Orientation to detail
- Ability to keep the attention focused on more than one task
- Ability to work under pressure of deadlines
- Good communication skills, adaptable to all potential communication partners: doctors, nurses, colleagues, patients
- Ethical integrity regarding patient confidentiality
If you believe that you fit this profile, you can start searching for a position of medical records and health information technician in the state you live in, as the employment opportunities and career outlook is quite good. For instance, last year, the top state with the highest employment level in this occupation according to BLS statistics was California, while the state with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients was Montana.
In 2012, the medical industries that ranked the first top places in detaining the highest levels of employment in this occupation and the highest concentration of employment were the General Medical and Surgical Hospitals and Offices of Physicians, followed by Outpatient Care Centers and Specialty Hospitals. In the next years, the BLS considers that the medical and the technological developments will make room for future employment opportunities in this particular field, as “additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, should lead to an increased need for technicians to organize and manage the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry.”
Lifelong Learning and Advancement Opportunities
Many fear that getting involved in a job that requires the management of patient files means to literally get stuck behind a computer monitor, with little hope of advancement. This is however, not true in the case of the medical records and health information technician. Taking into account that the health care system faces the problem of the aging population, major changes in public and private health insurance claims, the rise of medical technology in the shape of mobile applications focused on both patients’ daily use and medical technicians’ in-house implementation, opportunities to advance to higher positions or larger medical settings will become at hand for those who are experienced, trained and updated to the latest medical trends.