Online Medical Records Degrees

U.S. law requires that all medical records be computerized by 2014, which should expand the role of information management in health services. Studies at the associate, bachelor's or master's level could lead to online medical records degrees. Coupled with the proper certifications, a degree in medical records could open the door to work in a variety of health care settings.

Medical Records Health Information Administration

Careers in medical records

Medical records technicians, also known as health information technicians, are responsible for patient health information, including medical history, test results, symptoms reported, treatment given, and any other data that might be included in a physician's report on the patient. Medical records technicians ensure the accuracy, security, accessibility and overall quality of patient records. Related careers include medical transcription, medical office administration and health services management.

Medical records: education and training

An associate degree is typically required for medical records technicians. Certificates are also available, based on coursework in medical terminology, legal issues in health care, records management and information technology. Many employers look for a Registered Health Information Technician credential, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other credentials, such as those in medical billing and coding, can enhance employment qualifications, and a bachelor's or master's degree could lead to a role in health services management. Online medical records degrees can help build the groundwork for more advanced studies. Training in emerging technology and medical software can provide a competitive edge, no matter the degree level.

Career outlook and salary

As the population continues to age, medical records are expected to grow both in volume and complexity. In September 2010, the BLS projected a 20 percent increase in jobs for medical records technicians between 2008 and 2018, with employers seeking candidates trained in electronic data management. In 2010, the mean annual wage for a medical records technician was $35,010.

Trends in the medical records field

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, calls for all medical records to go digital by 2014. Though electronic records are already commonplace in many doctors' offices, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, this trend could give anyone involved in a patient's care quick access to a complete medical history. As more health care facilities move to digital records, medical records technicians who have a deep understanding of computer software are expected to be in high demand.

Medical Records Schools

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  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
  • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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  • Provides a 24/7 myCampusLink system that lets students access their records, e-mail, communicate with faculty, and more.
  • Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Offers career education in nursing, dental, business, information technology, and more. 
  • Has 44 campus locations across 15 states, with online options as well.
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