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Career and Education Opportunities for Health Information Systems Technicians in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for health information systems technicians. About 1,880 people are currently employed as health information systems technicians in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow 17% to about 2,190 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for health information systems technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.3% over the next eight years. In general, health information systems technicians compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system.

Income for health information systems technicians is about $13 per hour or $27,770 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $14 per hour or $30,610 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as health information systems technicians in Iowa earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Jobs in this field include: medical biller coder, release of information specialist, and health information management clerk.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a health information systems technician. Health information systems technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a health information systems technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Health Information Systems Technician

Health Information Systems Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, health information systems technicians compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. They also process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.

Health information systems technicians retrieve patient medical records for physicians or other medical personnel. They also protect the security of medical records to insure that confidentiality is maintained. Finally, health information systems technicians release data to persons and agencies in line with regulations.

Every day, health information systems technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for health information systems technicians to inspect records for completeness, accuracy and adherence to regulations. They are often called upon to formulate, design, maintain and operate a variety of health record indexes and storage and retrieval systems to collect, classify, store and analyze data. They also identify, compile, abstract and code patient data, using standard classification systems. They are sometimes expected to train medical records staff. Somewhat less frequently, health information systems technicians are also expected to compile and maintain patients' medical records to document condition and treatment and to furnish data for research or cost control and care improvement efforts.

Health information systems technicians sometimes are asked to process patient admission and discharge documents. They also have to be able to transcribe medical reports and oversee the department and supervise clerical staff, directing and controlling efforts of personnel in the medical records department. And finally, they sometimes have to release data to persons and agencies in line with regulations.

Like many other jobs, health information systems technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Health Information Systems Technician Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician which graduated four and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Coder: A Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the AAPC).

For more information, see the American Academy of Professional Coders website.

Certified Professional Coder-Payer: A Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the Academy).

For more information, see the American Academy of Professional Coders website.

Certified Professional Coder-Hospital : A Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H) is an individual of high professional integrity who has passed a coding certification examination sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (the AAPC).

For more information, see the American Academy of Professional Coders website.

Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Certified Coding Specialist: Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Coding Associate: American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recognizes that the demand for coders has never been greater, and this need is expected to continue for some years to come.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Medical Administrative Specialist: This certification is for medical administrative specialists who serves a key role in medical office, clinic and hospital settings.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Registered Medical Transcriptionist: AHDI offers a voluntary credentialing exam to individuals who wish to become Registered Medical Transcriptionists (RMTs).

For more information, see the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity website.

Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist: The Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) is typically employed or contracted by a health care organization including, but not limited to, health plans, group practices, credentialing verification organizations or hospitals (health systems).

For more information, see the National Association of Medical Services Staff website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.