Online Medical Records Technician Certification

Who are Medical Records Technicians?

Medical records technicians, commonly called health information technicians, are trusted individuals within the healthcare system who maintain patient medical records. They do not provide any hands-on patient care, yet their role is one of the most important in the healthcare industry.

By maintaining patient records within a healthcare facility, medical records technicians provide up-to-date medical records that allow for more accurate patient diagnosis and treatment.

If you consider yourself detail oriented and would like to assist in providing excellent healthcare without interacting with patients, then a career as a medical records technician could be right for you.

Becoming a Medical Records Technician

As technology advances within the medical field more technical skills are needed to work successfully within healthcare. An excellent example of this shift in technology is present in the career of a medical records technician.

Medical records were once filed and maintained by paper. With how integrated technology is in our society now-a-days, that system seems extremely inefficient. That is why there was a huge transition from paper filing to electronic filing. For medical records technicians, this means having relevant computer skills to perform the job, such as the following:

  • Accounting software
  • Categorization or classification software
  • Data base user interface and query software
  • Document management software
  • Medical software

There are programs available that focus on teaching the knowledge required for a career as a medical records technician. If you have no experience with any of the software listed above, it is strongly encouraged that you seek out courses in the field.

Are There Online Courses Available?

There are many online programs that prepare you for becoming a medical records technician. Many of these programs are offered at the associate’s level and are titled health information technology.

For first-time students who are interested in learning the basics in becoming a medical records technician, this degree can be an excellent place to start. An online associate’s degree in health information technology takes about two years to earn and teaches you:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Fundamentals of Health Information Management
  • Health Record Content and Structure
  • Fundamentals of Computer Application
  • Coding I and II
  • Advanced Coding and Reimbursement
  • Health Information System Applications
  • Quality Assessment

After earning your associate’s degree in health information technology, you will be able to either pursue your career as a medical records technician or earn a certification.

If earning a certification interests you, keep reading to find out more.

Is an On-campus Program Better?

On-campus programs are not necessarily better than online programs. Many people avoid online programs for fear that the education they receive will not be as thorough as an on-campus education.

It is understandable to want to receive the best education possible and an on-campus program can seem like a better option. But remember, more people are shifting towards online education. This shift motivates online schools to make sure that they are providing a quality education.

In fact, in an effort to prove their commitment to their students, many online programs for health information technology seek out accreditation to ensure that their educational standards are high. An accreditation requires a standardized curriculum that is tailored to teaching the most relevant and useful information.

Should my Online Program be Accredited?

If you want to earn a certification after successfully completing your health information management program, then your program must be accredited.

When looking to see if a program is accredited it is important to know that there is only one agency that can accredit: the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

You can verify a program’s accreditation by contacting the CAHIIM.

Earning a Medical Records Technician Certification

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the only agency that certifies health information technicians. The certification offered is called the Registered Health Information Technician, or RHIT.

The first step towards earning a certification is making sure that you qualify to take the exam. The only requirement that AHIMA has for candidates is successful completion of an accredited associate’s level program in health information management.

To take the RHIT you will need to apply for the examination. After applying, AHIMA will check to see if your education meets the requirements. If you are approved, you will be eligible to schedule an exam date.

You can expect to be rigorously tested on any of the following topics:

  • Data Analysis and Management
  • Coding
  • Compliance
  • Information Technology
  • Quality
  • Legal
  • Revenue Cycle

Earning a RHIT shows that you are qualified to work as a health records technician. It also enables you to seek out more advanced and higher paying jobs.

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