Health records staff (also known as medical records staff) collate, organise, retrieve and archive the record of a patient or client, for the purpose of recording and informing their care. They also record the communication of a patient's care between health professionals and ensure all legal, audit and governance requirements are met. Good interpersonal skills and an ability to maintain confidentiality are key to roles in health/medical records.
Additionally, they collect activity data related to all patient/client attendances.
This area is currently undergoing a major transformation, as the NHS introduces electronic health records for every NHS patient, which clinicians will have online access to, at all times.
Health records can be a good basis for staff wanting to later progress into counselling, volunteer work, patient advisory roles and other careers with patient contact. It may also appeal to someone who has a clinical background, but may be unable to continue in such a role, due to poor health.
Staff roles within this group will include:
- health records staff (such as medical records staff, clinical records officers, health records assistants, health records service managers)
- ward clerks
- patient services managers.
There are a variety of job roles in health records and below are some examples.
Medical records clerks often work in general hospitals and may provide administrative cover, including outpatient reception and appointment making, casenote allocation, library storage and a variety of more specialised services.
People working in this area need an ability to stay calm under pressure, be enthusiastic, have a basic level of computing skills and have a good general education.
Admissions clerks take details of patients who are being admitted for treatment.
People working in this area need good interpersonal skills, good typing skills, experience of using computers, communication skills and a tactful manner.
Ward clerks work under the guidance, supervision and instruction of the ward manager and other qualified staff on the ward.
This role involves maintaining paper work, using computers for record keeping and dealing with telephone queries on a ward. Good communication skills are essential to this type of work.
Clinic clerks work in maternity clinics. The role involves answering and dealing with telephone queries, filing blood results and ensuring these results are sent to the appropriate recipient, assisting with forwarding specimens to the laboratory and help midwives to book in patient appointments.
Clinical record officers work with mental health professionals. The role involves obtaining, validating and checking patient data before entering it into a database.
The role also involves preparing patient records for filing, being responsible for ensuring that all files are maintained to the highest standard and that they are correctly booked in and out of the department.