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Health records technology programs prepare people to keep and protect patient records. Students learn how to set up records and enter data. They also learn to maintain privacy and quality in health records.

Did you know that it takes between five and 53 facial muscles to smile? That's a lot of muscles for so simple an action, don't you think? The human body is made up of complex and intricate systems, almost too many to count. And the steps it can sometimes take to stay healthy are just as innumerable.

When you think of healthcare, you may think of the work that doctors and nurses do. But many other people play key roles in this field. Health records technicians are one example. These are the people who help make sure that your health records are up-to-date and organized.

Why is this work so important? Your health records consist of many different kinds of information. They contain your medical history, your medication record, and your treatment record. They also include a record of all your lab test results, any consultations you've sought from specialists, and your health insurance information.

This information helps a doctor make a diagnosis, avoid prescribing an ineffective medication, and plan the most effective treatment for a patient. It helps a hospital improve the treatment and care of its patients. Moreover, it helps protect the legal and financial interest of both you and your healthcare provider. All of this information, like the many muscles that work together to produce to a smile, helps keep healthcare running smoothly.

As a student of health records technology, you learn to organize health records and make sure that they're up-to-date. You learn to transcribe information about patients from recordings that doctors make on cassette tapes. You study methods of analyzing health information in order to make conclusions that doctors and healthcare organizations can use to improve their services.

Over 100 schools offer programs in health records technology, which is also known as medical records technology and health information technology. You typically earn an associate degree in this program, which takes about two years of full-time study after high school.

You can also earn a certificate in certain aspects of the program such as medical coding. This qualifies you to be a clerk or an assistant in health records technology. A certificate program usually takes about one year of full-time study after high school.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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