In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Director of Medical Records is responsible for maintaining the records of patients, in accordance with federal government regulations regarding patient privacy. Administration and oversight of the medical records program along with an understanding of the latest computer software and technology are key responsibilities of the position.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

A bachelor of science in health information management is a degree aimed at preparing one for a career in information and data management, among other areas. Following the completion of this degree, graduates are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator Certification (RHIA). Although not required, a master’s degree in health information management or a similar area will provide one with the knowledge and skill set needed.

CORE COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS

■ Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to effectively communicate with persons throughout the organization, including clinicians
■ Ability to plan, direct, and evaluate staff
■ Ability to read, analyze, and apply laws, regulations, and procedures, as related to medical records
■ Excellent verbal and written communication skills
■ Ability to understand and use the latest computer software and security
■ Ability to hold subordinates accountable for organizational goals
■ Ability to develop and maintain a department budget

 

COMPENSATION

A Director of Medical Records may earn in the range of $80,000 to $120,000. However, this figure varies depending on a number of variables including the size of the hospital and the region of the country in which the hospital is located. Directors of Medical Records of smaller hospitals in more rural areas tend to earn less than their counterparts at large, urban hospitals.

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK

The outlook for Directors of Medical Records is expected to increase in the coming years. The consistently changing landscape of health IT will require this position to adapt and grow.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

■ Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos103.htm)
■ American Health Information Management Association (http://www.ahima.org/Default.aspx)

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