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How Do I Become a Medical Record Clerk?

Medical record clerks are usually required to have some data entry experience.
Medical record clerks file and organize patient files.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A medical record clerk works to keep patient records in order in hospitals and other health care facilities. There are no across-the-board educational requirements for a person who wants to become a medical record clerk. Most employers do require new hires to be high school graduates or have general educational development (GED) diplomas, however. Usually, a person who wants to become a medical record clerk won’t need any type of licensing or certification to land a job in this field. He may not even need related training, as many employers provide on-the-job training for their new medical clerks. Candidates may improve their chances of obtaining employment by completing an associate's degree in a health-related field, however.

Medical record clerks perform tasks critical to keeping patient records in order and accessible at any given time. The primary task a medical record clerk has is filing patient records. This person may also be responsible for updating records and retrieving them when necessary. While this work may sound very repetitive in nature, it can be critical to the success of a health care facility. A lost or misplaced medical record has the potential to cause serious problems for the patient and his doctors and nurses.

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Though a person who wants to become a medical record clerk may not need a minimum level of education, he typically does need some basic skills. For example, he’ll usually need good organizational skills, the ability to follow directions, and a talent for paying close attention to detail. He should usually have at least a basic understanding of filing documents using paper filing systems as well as computerized filing mechanisms. Many employers also expect their medical record clerks to be computer literate and have good communication skills. A person may make himself a more attractive job candidate by learning medical terminology as well.

While many employers don’t require their new medical record clerks to secure any related education or training, there are some who prefer to hire applicants who have completed programs related to health information management. Sometimes a person who wants to become a medical record clerk goes to school to earn an associate's degree in health information or medical records management, which may lead to the title of health information technician. After completing a two-year degree in this major, a person may take an exam to become certified. Certification as a health information technician may improve an aspiring clerk's job prospects or boost his chances for advancement. Additionally, gaining some experience with filing or other office tasks may boost a person’s chances of securing a job.

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