Medical Records Clerk Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Medical Records Clerk, or Health Information Clerk, is responsible for managing patients’ health records and history. Their main duties include helping conduct audits, gathering and filing patient information and processing discharge papers.


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Medical Records Clerk duties and responsibilities

Depending on the institution, Medical Records Clerks may have different responsibilities. In large institutions, for instance, they may need to work with other people to collect and organize records, while they may have to handle their tasks alone in a smaller facility. Either way, some of their typical daily responsibilities include:

  • Preparing patient charts and gathering information and documents from patients
  • Ensuring that the medical records are organized, accurate and complete
  • Creating digital copies of paperwork and storing the records electronically
  • Filing the paperwork and reports of inpatients quickly and accurately
  • Safeguarding patient records and ensuring that everyone complies with the HIPAA standards
  • Transferring data into the facility’s main system database
  • Processing the records for admitting and discharging patients
  • Preparing invoices


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What does a Medical Records Clerk do?

Medical Records Clerks serve in a medical facility handling patients’ files and making sure their information is transferred and stored properly. They’re typically responsible for collecting patients’ personal information, like their medical history and demographics. Medical Record Clerks have a strong knowledge of laws and regulations in order to legally issue medical files to the allotted people and agencies. 

Medical Records Clerks must also have advanced understanding of the hospital’s policies and procedures to properly keep accurate records. They must also make sure patients’ paperwork, reports and charts are all completed correctly and efficiently. When they have all of the appropriate documents and forms gathered, they’ll provide these to the Nurses on staff.


Medical Records Clerk skills and qualifications 

Medical Records Clerks should be familiar with most medical terminologies and administrative duties, and they should have the following skills in order to handle the job effectively:

  • Strong data entry skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Advanced organization skills 
  • Attention to detail to ensure accuracy
  • Familiarity with medical terminology
  • Basic computer skills to scan, organize and access electronic health records
  • Good time management skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills


Medical Records Clerk salary expectations

Medical Records Clerks make an average of $14.15 per hour. This amount may vary depending on a candidate’s education, previous experience and location.


Medical Records Clerk education and training requirements

Medical Records Clerks are required to have a lot of medical expertise, so applicants should typically have some post-secondary education. Most employers look for candidates who have at least completed an associate degree or a similarly accredited program in health information technology. Some of the courses applicants should have taken include anatomy, data systems, physiology, coding systems and health care reimbursement. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have certifications in this field, such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) or the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS), though these are typically optional.


Medical Records Clerk experience requirements

Medical Record Clerks are usually required to have prior experience in a medical facility. The experience can be obtained through entry-level office jobs, internships or volunteer work. Most employers prefer candidates who have at least 1-2 years of experience in a medical office setting, and some also look for individuals who have experience using computers and data entry software.


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Frequently asked questions about Medical Records Clerks


Who does a Medical Records Clerk report to?

Medical Records Clerks typically report to the Medical Office Manager, who will assign them their daily responsibilities and work schedules. If Medical Records Clerks come across any issues when sorting, handling or filing medical documents, they’ll report this problem to the Medical Office Manager, who will work to resolve it. They’ll also regularly oversee the Medical Records Clerk’s work performance and will provide feedback and guidance that the Medical Records Clerk will follow and use accordingly. 


What settings do Medical Records Clerks typically work in?

There are a wide variety of work environments that a Medical Records Clerk may operate in. Most of them work in medical offices, sometimes with a team of Medical Records Clerks, sorting through and handling various health records and files each day. They may work primarily on a computer, storing and organizing documents using various systems and folders. 

Others may work more closely with patients and other medical professionals to gather patient information and paperwork. There are also Medical Records Clerks who operate in a more fast-paced hospital setting, where they must quickly file or retrieve important medical history for a patient. 


What's the difference between a Medical Records Clerk and a Medical Office Assistant?

Though they both work in a healthcare facility performing clerical tasks, there are some key differences between the responsibilities that a Medical Records Clerk and a Medical Office Assistant hold. A Medical Records Clerk works primarily with patient’s files and records, storing and organizing them. Medical Office Assistants work in the reception area of a medical facility, scheduling appointments, checking patients in and answering phone calls and emails. 

Medical Office Assistants and Medical Records Clerk both typically handle a patient’s file and personal information, but Medical Office Assistants will usually initially input the information for the Medical Records Clerk to store in the proper location for later use by medical professionals. 


What makes a good Medical Records Clerk?

A great Medical Records Clerk must be highly organized to properly file, sort and store medical records in their respective filing locations. They should also have an impressive attention to detail to make sure all medical information is correct and located in the proper locations and folders. Since a majority of their time is spent inputting numbers, it’s also beneficial for Medical Records Clerk candidates to have great data entry abilities and strong computer skills.

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