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Career and Education Opportunities for Health Information Systems Technicians in Chattanooga, Tennessee

For those living in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, there are many career and education opportunities for health information systems technicians. There are currently 3,390 working health information systems technicians in Tennessee; this should grow 22% to 4,130 working health information systems technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than 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.

Health information systems technicians earn about $13 hourly or $27,530 per year on average in Tennessee and about $14 per hour or $30,610 per year on average nationally. Earnings for health information systems technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Healthcare Technical in Tennessee and not quite as good as general Healthcare Technical category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: filer, medical records director, and medical record coder.

The Chattanooga area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree 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 Chattanooga 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.
  • 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

Chattanooga State Technical Community College - Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga State Technical Community College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097. Chattanooga State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,488 students. Chattanooga State Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a less than one year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers - Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers, 3805 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37411-3742. Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers is a small college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 186 students. Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers has a one to two year program in Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician which graduated fifty-one students in 2008.

Virginia College-School of Business and Health - Chattanooga, TN

Virginia College-School of Business and Health, 721 Eastgate Loop Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37411. Virginia College-School of Business and Health is a small college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 562 students and an admission rate of 91%. Virginia College-School of Business and Health has a one to two year program in Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder which graduated six 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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.