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Career and Education Opportunities for Health Information Systems Technicians in Worcester, Massachusetts

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for health information systems technicians in the Worcester, Massachusetts area. There are currently 5,640 working health information systems technicians in Massachusetts; this should grow by 14% to about 6,400 working health information systems technicians in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for health information systems technicians are expected to grow by about 20.3%. 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.

Health information systems technicians earn approximately $16 per hour or $33,640 per year on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $14 hourly or $30,610 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as health information systems technicians in Massachusetts earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Health information systems technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: medical insurance coding specialist, bill pay clerk, and hospital unit clerk.

There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Worcester area, including two within twenty-five miles of Worcester 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 Worcester include:

  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Pharmacist Technician. Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, and record amounts and dosages of medications.
  • 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

Lincoln Technical Institute - Lowell, MA

Lincoln Technical Institute, 211 Plain St, Lowell, MA 01852. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 260 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

Salter College-West Boylston - West Boylston, MA

Salter College-West Boylston, 184 West Boylston Suite # 1, West Boylston, MA 01583. Salter College-West Boylston is a small college located in West Boylston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 852 students. Salter College-West Boylston has a one to two year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated 104 students 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: Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester, Massachusetts photo by Yassie

Worcester is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 175,011, which has grown by 1.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Worcester, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Worcester cost $108,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-one new homes were constructed in Worcester, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Worcester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 23.3% of Worcester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Worcester is 9.9%, which is greater than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Worcester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Burncoat Baptist Church, United Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Church are among the churches located in Worcester. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Worcester is home to the Tatnuck Country Club and the Massachusetts Biotech Research Park as well as Ty Cobb Park and General Foley Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, Mid Town Mall and Norwich Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Worcester can choose from Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Maple Manor Hotel for temporary stays in the area.