Career Development

What Does a Medical Records Clerk Do?

Find out what a medical records clerk does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a medical records clerk.

Medical records clerks are responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date medical records. They commonly work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that all patient information is properly documented and stored.

Medical records clerks may also be tasked with retrieving or delivering medical records as needed by various staff members. This might include sending a copy of a patient’s chart to another doctor who will be treating them in the future, or providing copies of charts to patients so they can review their own medical history at home.

Medical Records Clerk Job Duties

A medical records clerk typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating and maintaining medical records using computer software programs such as Epic or Cerner
  • Providing information to patients about their medical conditions and treatment options
  • Recording patient information such as name, address, birth date, race, religion, and insurance information
  • Requesting medical reports from physicians and other medical providers
  • Receiving requests for records from attorneys regarding past medical history of clients involved in litigation
  • Working with insurance companies to verify coverage for procedures or treatments
  • Conducting interviews with patients regarding their medical history
  • Reviewing patient charts to identify errors in treatment plans or procedure compliance
  • Maintaining confidentiality of patient records by ensuring only authorized personnel have access to them

Medical Records Clerk Salary & Outlook

Medical records clerks’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company they work for, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $39,500 ($18.99/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $86,500 ($41.59/hour)

The employment of medical records clerks is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

An aging population will require more medical care, which should lead to greater demand for medical records clerks. As people age, they are more likely to have chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, that require regular doctor visits. Medical records clerks will be needed to organize and store information about these conditions and treatments.

Related: 25 Medical Records Clerk Interview Questions and Answers

Medical Records Clerk Job Requirements

A medical records clerk typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most medical records clerks hold at least a high school diploma or GED. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field. These programs teach students how to use electronic health records and how to manage patient information.

Training & Experience: Most medical records clerks receive on-the-job training, which may last for a few weeks to a month. During this time, they learn the specific procedures and software used by the facility. They also learn how to organize and file patient records.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not always required for this role, obtaining certifications can improve an applicant’s chances of getting a job and increasing their earning potential.

Medical Records Clerk Skills

Medical records clerks need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for medical records clerks, as they must ensure that all information is accurate and complete. This skill allows them to ensure that the records they create are of the highest quality. Medical records are often used to make critical decisions about patient care, so it’s important that the information in them is correct.

Communication skills: Medical records clerks often work in teams with other clerks and medical professionals. Effective communication skills can help you work with others to share information and complete tasks. You can also use communication skills to answer questions from patients and their families.

Knowledge of medical terminology: Medical records clerks should have a basic understanding of medical terminology to be able to read and understand medical records. Medical records clerks should be able to identify medical conditions, treatments and procedures to be able to properly file and organize medical records.

Computer proficiency: Medical records clerks should be familiar with basic computer skills, including how to use a mouse, keyboard and other common computer programs. Medical records clerks should be able to navigate through a database, enter data and manipulate files.

Organizational skills: Organization is another important skill for medical records clerks. They must be able to keep track of patient information, including medical history, test results and other documents. They must also be able to organize files and folders in a way that makes it easy for other medical professionals to find the information they need.

Medical Records Clerk Work Environment

Medical records clerks work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices. They typically work full time, and some may have to work evenings or weekends to keep up with the demands of the job. Medical records clerks spend most of their time sitting at a desk or computer, inputting data into the medical records system. They may also be responsible for filing paper medical records and retrieving them when needed. The work can be repetitive and sometimes stressful, but it is also important in ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

Medical Records Clerk Trends

Here are three trends influencing how medical records clerks work. Medical records clerks will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Electronic Medical Records

The use of electronic medical records (EMRs) is becoming increasingly popular in the medical field, as it allows doctors and nurses to access patient information quickly and easily. This trend is likely to continue, as EMRs are seen as a way to improve patient care and reduce errors.

As EMRs become more common, medical records clerks will need to learn how to use them effectively. This includes learning how to navigate through the system and find the information that is needed. In addition, they will need to be able to manage patient data securely and ensure that it is kept confidential.

More Focus on Patient Experience

The healthcare industry is shifting its focus towards patient experience, which means that medical records clerks will need to be familiar with new technologies that can help improve this experience.

One example of this trend is the increasing use of video conferencing technology in hospitals. By using video conferencing, medical records clerks can communicate with patients from remote locations, which can help to improve communication between patients and their families. In addition, video conferencing can also be used to provide education and support for patients who are going through difficult times.

Patient Privacy Concerns

As medical records become more digital, there is an increased risk of patient privacy being breached. This is because medical records contain sensitive information about patients, such as their diagnoses, treatments, and financial information.

Medical records clerks are in a unique position to protect patient privacy by ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to medical records. They can also educate other staff members about the importance of protecting patient privacy and what to do if they suspect that it has been compromised.

How to Become a Medical Records Clerk

A career as a medical records clerk can be both rewarding and fulfilling. It’s a great way to get started in the healthcare field, and it offers many opportunities for growth. As a medical records clerk, you’ll have the chance to work with a variety of patients and professionals, learn about different medical specialties, and help people in need.

To become a medical records clerk, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some experience working with computers. Many hospitals and clinics also require that you take certification courses in medical coding and transcription.

Advancement Prospects

Medical records clerks typically start out in entry-level positions and advance to higher-level positions as they gain experience. With experience, medical records clerks may move into supervisory or managerial positions, or they may specialize in a particular area, such as coding or transcription.

Some medical records clerks may choose to further their education and become medical transcriptionists, medical billers, or medical records and health information technicians. These positions usually require postsecondary education, and some may require certification.

Medical Records Clerk Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that our patients’ medical records are confidential and must be handled with the utmost care and attention to detail. We are seeking a medical records clerk to join our team and help us maintain our high standards of patient care. The ideal candidate will have experience working with medical records and be able to handle them with confidentiality and accuracy. He or she will also be responsible for maintaining the medical records system, filing and retrieving medical records, and assisting with medical billing and coding.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain confidentiality of patient information in accordance with HIPAA regulations
  • Process incoming and outgoing medical records requests in a timely and efficient manner
  • Scan, index, and upload medical records into the EHR system according to established protocols
  • Verify accuracy of scanned documents and ensure all required fields are completed
  • Monitor and track the status of medical records requests using the organization’s tracking system
  • Follow up with requesting parties as needed to obtain missing information or documentation
  • Prepare medical records for off-site storage in accordance with organization policy
  • Retrieve medical records from off-site storage as needed
  • Process discharge summaries and other clinical documentation according to established protocols
  • Assist with quality improvement initiatives related to medical record processing
  • Train new staff on medical record processing procedures
  • Perform general clerical duties as needed, such as answering phones and filing

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 1-2 years of experience in a medical office setting, handling patient records
  • Familiarity with medical terminology
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Solid interpersonal skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in health information management or related field
  • RHIT or RHIA certification
  • 3+ years of experience in a medical office setting, handling patient records
  • Working knowledge of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems
  • Bilingualism


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