According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical data entry positions in health information and medical records are predicted to grow at a faster-than-average rate through 2018. This increase in demand for medical data entry workers is attributed to expansion in the varieties of medical treatments and testing procedures available and the growing number of seniors seeking medical care.
Traditional data entry positions have evolved beyond straight key punch entry in recent years to include additional administrative responsibilities such as medical coding, report tracking, printing and preparing invoices and posting payments. Operating office machinery--ranging from scanners to copiers, printers and postage machines--is now among the daily duties at some workplaces.
Medical data entry work environments are as diverse as the people who work in the field. A front end medical office environment supports one-on-one patient communication via telephone and in person. A back end medical office data entry employee focuses on accounting and input of financial data or medical transcription. Working from home is also a possibility, in which case you focus on key entry work required to support an office elsewhere. No matter the opportunity, work could be full-time, part-time, contract or temporary.
Hospitals, research facilities, medical offices, insurance companies, insurance billing providers and transcription services are some of the places that hire medical data entry workers. Job titles may include the words medical coding, medical billing or medical transcription in the listing description.
Entry-level data entry positions are generally available to people with a high school education. Mastery of word processing, spreadsheet and accounting software programs aid in your initial job search. College coursework in medical terminology and proof of certification in medical procedure coding (CPT) and disease classification coding (ICD-9) increase employment opportunities. Associate's degrees and certifications in transcription are available through many community, four-year and online colleges.
Medical data entry provides a way to get a foot in the door in the medical field and then grow in administrative responsibility to a supervisory or managerial role. Many hospitals and other employers that hire medical data entry personnel offer tuition reimbursement to help people grow in knowledge and career. Even some registered nurses and doctors began their careers in medicine doing transcription, data entry or working in a file room.
2016 Salary Information for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual salary of $38,040 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical records and health information technicians earned a 25th percentile salary of $29,940, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $49,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 206,300 people were employed in the U.S. as medical records and health information technicians.