When a patient is seen by a health care professional at a medical facility, patient information and visit details are created as a record. In larger clinics and hospitals, health information management (HIM) clerks ensure records are properly created and stored and that they are easily accessible to medical professionals as needed for ongoing care. The HIM clerk typically handles computer records, although physical files may be part of their work as well. In all their duties, these clerks must follow the instructions of supervisors and follow organizational standards and practices (such as procedures for handling records and confidentiality requirements). All patient information must be entered accurately and include necessary updates as provided. In some facilities, the HIM clerks' main duties include converting physical documents into computer-based records as well.
The HIM clerk also assists information technology (IT) professionals on regular updates and maintenance to records software and systems. The clerk typically executes steps designed by IT to make changes or continue efficient maintenance of records retrieval and storage software. In some cases, the HIM clerk also performs coding work for billing and insurance processes. In these cases, the HIM clerk must have an excellent understanding of relevant terminology, as the accuracy of this data entry and coding helps determine the efficiency of reimbursement to their facility.
HIM clerks typically must possess some sort of postsecondary training in the medical information technology (field. Many larger hospitals prefer HIM clerks have relevant experience as well. HIM clerks typically work full time in a clinic environment, but they may also be part of a computer annex as part of the medical facility as well.
Health Information Management (HIM) Clerk Tasks
- Organize and file all patients' medical records including charts and reports in order to compile documentation of conditions and treatments.
- Assist with departmental audits and research.
- Release information to persons and agencies according to regulations.
- Process and forward patient and physician record requests; utilizes paper and electronic systems.