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What Does a Health Information Assistant Do?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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A health information assistant, also referred to as a health information clerk or technician, is a job in which the employee will work to update and maintain medical records. This is typically an entry-level position, though some larger medical facilities such as hospitals will want their employees to have experience using different types of medical software, particularly medical coding software. Some people who want to become a health information assistant will pursue an associate's degree, or even simply a certificate program in medical coding and billing, or health information, to make themselves more marketable.

The bulk of the job of a health information assistant will be to update patient charts. This may involve simply digitizing patient charts, by entering all the information found on a paper version into a computer system. As patients continue to receive care, or information changes, the health information assistant will continue to update the charts using the computer software. This can include everything from consent forms, to diagnosis information or test results, so it is very important that the technician is discreet and keeps all this sensitive information confidential. He or she must also be very detail oriented and make sure that the information entered is entirely complete and accurate.

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For an entry-level position, this might be the entire job of a health information assistant; maintaining and entering patient information. Others may be given additional responsibility in the coding and billing area, such as entering information to be sent to insurance companies, or to bill the patients themselves. This requires additional software knowledge and knowledge of specific medical terminology. Though it is important to stay up to date with state and federal laws regarding patient care and privacy, it is also important in these more advanced positions to stay up to date with laws and regulations surrounding insurance and billing.

Some health information assistants might also provide general support in the office environment. This can include things such as greeting patients or answering phones, as well as general administrative office help, such as processing mail, making copies, and so on. Though an individual in this position will likely spend much of his or her day working independently, it is also important to be able to work successfully as part of a team, and provide help when needed to other employees. Most health information assistants work fairly regular hours, making it an appealing career for many.

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