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Healthcare In Five: Medical Records Specialist

Medical records provide important insights and information into a patient’s past and current medical history. Ensuring records and accurate and up-to-date can play an important role in the facilitation of accurate and targeted medical care and diagnosis. Medical records specialists play a critical role in maintaining and proofing records for review and reference. Continue reading to learn more about medical records specialists and how you can become one today.


What is a Medical Records Specialist?

Medical records specialists are medical professionals responsible for maintaining medical records for a healthcare facility or network of facilities.


What does a Records Specialist do?

Medical records specialists work to maintain medical records and ensure they are both accurate and up to date with the latest patient information and correct medical coding. The majority of a specialist’s job will be centered around electronic medical records, especially as digital medical records management systems have become widely integrated throughout healthcare. Some common responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing medical records for accuracy
  • Updating electronic medical records following a patient visit
  • Ensuring patient diagnosis and prescription orders are correctly coded
  • Fielding and releasing medical information in compliance with federal law
  • Managing and maintaining databases containing medical records


Where do Records Specialists work?

Medical records specialists are commonly found working in larger healthcare institutions and can be found mainly in hospitals or physician offices. However, specialists can also be found working anywhere that facilitates patient care or patient services, including medical clinics, labs, specialist offices, and in some cases even insurance offices or administrative offices.


How do you become a Records Specialist?

The pathway to becoming a medical records specialist can vary depending on the hiring organization, and the specifics/requirements of the position. While aspiring specialists are required to hold a high school diploma, secondary education is not required for all positions. Since many record specialist positions are entry-level, employers provide on-the-job training as well as support in guiding employees through the process. In some cases, additional post-secondary education or professional certification can help to provide candidates with a baseline knowledge and understanding and may even provide an advantage over candidates who do not have educational or professional certificates.


Medical Records Specialist Career Outlook?

There are many ways to branch off from a medical records specialist position to take on greater challenges and opportunities in healthcare. Both clinical and administrative opportunities await specialists who choose to return to school for education or pursue professional certification pathways. Those who wish to work closer with patients can return to school for medical assisting or nursing while those seeking more advanced administrative positions can earn a degree in healthcare administration. To advance within the field of medical records a certificate in informatics can help leverage data to drive decision making within healthcare.

The University of Providence provides multiple undergraduate certificate and degree programs for those looking to start, advance, or enhance their career in healthcare.