Career Spotlight: Medical Records Manager

In-depth look into the career of a medical records manager

Medical professionals know that the best care comes from a clean environment. Staff constantly check to make sure that everything providers and patients might touch is organized and sterile.

While medical records managers may not interact directly with patients, they also play an important part in keeping the medical system running cleanly—by practicing good data hygiene. Dirty data, just like a dirty surface, can be hazardous to your health and result in wrong diagnoses, incorrect medications, and improper treatment plans.

Medical records professionals work behind the scenes in health care facilities and anywhere else patient data is kept. They serve as a link between providers, clients, and patients and are the gatekeepers to your protected health information.

Medical records management is a strong career choice for someone looking to put a bachelor’s degree in health care management to work and break into the administrative and informatics side of health care.

Medical Records Manager Job Description

Doctors count on having an accurate record of a patient’s health and health care history to make decisions about medications, tests, and other medical steps. Patients need to know their sensitive information is secure, accurate, and accessible to any provider they visit, and insurance companies rely on medical records to keep a detailed account of what care a patient has received and what it has cost. Keeping track of it all are medical records managers.

Years ago, this process used to be done with rooms filled with paper folders and files, but today, medical records are entirely electronic and medical records managers are responsible for managing the complex technology systems and products that keep them organized.

Most medical records manager positions are in large-scale health care facilities like hospitals, but they can also be found in physician’s offices, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health facilities, and public health agencies. Organizations you might not expect to handle patient data such as pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms, and health product vendors employ medical records managers as well.

Good communication skills and attention to detail is a must in this position. As a medical records manager, you’ll be working with and possibly supervising a staff of medical billing and coding personnel to make sure sensitive medical records are maintained correctly.

You’ll be responsible for developing, maintaining, and evaluating existing systems, creating reports, and dealing with records requests. Security is essential for anything having to do with medical records, so you will also need a solid understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) regulations to ensure that you comply with all financial, legal, or administrative requirements.

Medical Records Manager Education Requirements

To pursue a career as a medical records manager, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and ideally some previous experience in medical billing or coding.

A bachelor’s degree in health care management gives you in-depth knowledge of practical approaches to the business side of health care as well as other skills you’ll need to advance your career, such as departmental budget preparation, health insurance payment and reimbursement systems, financial reporting, health regulation compliance, electronic documentation, and digital data systems.

Specialized certifications such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®) or Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®) credentials from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) are also recommended for boosting your career.

Medical Records Manager Salary reports that the average salary range of a medical records manager falls between $81,048 and $116,769 but can vary depending on education, certification, and years of experience.

The field of medical records management continues to expand along with other related jobs in health data and health care informatics. Technology is always changing, and more of these data-driven health care professionals are needed to keep pace.

If you’re interested in starting your career as a medical records manager or want to explore more growing careers in the health sciences, contact an Excelsior admissions counselor to start a conversation about how to reach your goals.