What are Electronic Health Records and What Jobs are Available?

About Electronic Health Records

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), physicians and healthcare institutions are now required to maintain our medical records in electronic format rather than on paper. Many practices were already doing this, but the ACA now requires it.

electronic health records programsAn electronic health record (EHR) is the official record of information and events related to your medical care. By retaining these records in electronic format, they are more likely to be complete, assist your physician to provide you with better care, and be easily shared between multiple heath care settings as required. The very fact of improved sharing of medical information can lead to:

  • improved healthcare coordination between healthcare providers including: physicians, hospitals, specialized treatment sites, home care, residential care, hospice care, etc.,
    • instantaneous communication,
    • a single well-organized record of complete medical history (a timeline of health history – immunizations, illnesses, surgeries, etc.),
    • reminders of important facts about the patient that can affect care (ex. patient is claustrophobic)
    • improved healthcare quality,
      • eliminate missed patient care
      • eliminate duplicated patient care (ex. eliminate duplication of tests)
      • greater engagement of patients and families in care and care decisions,
      • safety and efficiency of care,
      • improved preventative services,
        • automatic reminders to patients for testing, immunizations, etc.,
        • assists in developing a long-term care plan for the patient,
        • continuing confidentiality and privacy of the information contained in the EHR.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that despite concerns regarding the initial costs of converting from paper records to EHR systems, in the long term health care expenses with be reduced across the board by this change. To assist with the costs of these conversions, the federal government is providing an incentive program to assist healthcare providers with the expense.

Physicians’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare agencies now need staff properly trained to input and complete their patients electronic health records while still maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the patient. To make your start down this career path, consider obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Electronic Health Records at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology

What Jobs or Careers are Related to Electronic Health Records?

All around us people are talking about the explosion of new job and career opportunities that are opening up because of the advent of Electronic Health Records (EHR). The healthcare field is now required to use EHR instead of paper health records and this has created massive opportunities across the country.

The first step to attaining a position in Electronic Health Records is to obtain an Associates’ Degree in Electronic Health Records. Fortunately for you, the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology now offers the program of study at the Media, PA campus.

Positions related to EHR can be found in a wide variety of healthcare facilities, including: single physician offices, group medical practices, hospitals, medical centers, clinics, specialized care centers, senior living communities, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), etc. Most of these positions are the standard 40-hour a week. Some large organizations may need to staff two or more shifts, so evening or night hours could be possible in some locations.

Entry level positions generally include those titled Medical Records Technician or Heath Information Technician. Depending on the size of the office you are employed by, you may have the opportunity to be promoted to a Section or Shift Supervisor.

If you are working in a single physician office or even a group medical practice, you may have to pursue a position at a larger organization in order to find promotion opportunities. Smaller organizations will provide raises, but increases in responsibility may not be available just because of the size of the organization. Additional education will open more possible positions to you (and your employer may be willing to help pay some of the cost). Medical Records Technicians often pursue a certificate in Medical Billing and Coding to increase their employment options.

With experience, time, and additional education (especially in Management or Healthcare Management), you will have the opportunity to be promoted to a Records Manager position. Additional positions that may become available to you include: Medical Records Administrator, Director of the Medical Records Department, or even other administrative positions.

One recent quick job search for Medical Records Technician resulted in over 15,000 positions nationwide. The jobs are out there. You just need to decide to get started. Click here for more information about P.I.T.’s Associates’ Degree in Electronic Health Records.