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The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) is the new name of what was formerly the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT). The organization tries to set high standards for education and practice in the health data field. As of 2011, it offers three types of certifications in different levels to promote professionalism and public safety. All AHDI certifications are voluntary and are not required by state licensing boards.
Registered Medical Transcriptionist
AHDI’s registered medical transcriptionist (RMT) exam covers the core knowledge and skills needed for this job. The RMT certification is classified as level one and is especially recommended for those new to the profession, such as new graduates or medical transcriptionists with fewer than two years of experience. Medical transcriptionists who desire to take the certified medical transcriptionist exam must either have RMT certification or demonstrate professional competency at this level. The RMT certification is valid for three years.
Certified Medical Transcriptionist
The certified medical transcriptionist (CMT) credential is AHDI’s level two certification. The CMT exam tests more advanced transcription knowledge, editing skills and interpretive judgment. Before you can take the exam, the organization recommends that you have more than two years of experience and have worked in a multiple-specialty environment. The CMT certificate is valid for three years.
Once reaching level two, medical transcriptionists are responsible for continuing education credits if they want to keep their credentials current. CMTs must complete a minimum of 30 professional continuing education hours during the three years before their certification is due for renewal; 24 of these hours must be in clinical medicine, medical legal issues, technology in the workplace and medical transcription tools. The last six hours can also be either in these core areas or in the areas of professional development, the health-care industry or complementary medicine. CMTs can gain continuing education hours through online training courses and web presentations offered by the AHDI or by attending the AHDI Annual Convention and Exposition.
RMTs do not have to accrue continuing education hours, but those who want to keep the RMT designation must renew their credentials when their certifications expire every three years. To do this, they must take an RMT recredentialing course and pass its final exam before their expiration date. An RMT can attempt the CMT exam at any time.
As of 2011, ADHI certification tests are offered through Kryterion testing centers. Kryterion is located at many colleges and business centers across the United States. Test takers need to register in advance and bring their personal test taker authorization code with them when arriving for their exams. Candidates will also need to bring acceptable forms of identification, such as a state driver's license, passport, college student ID or military ID. Though credit and debit cards are also accepted as identification, Social Security cards are not.
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Amber D. Walker has been writing professionally since 1989. She has had essays published in "Fort Worth Weekly," "Starsong," "Paper Bag," "Living Buddhism" and more. Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas and worked as an English teacher abroad for six years.