Hospital Patient Registration Specialist: Job Description & Salary Range

Find out more about the work of a hospital patient registration specialist. Get to know the education and certification requirements, the necessary skills, the projected job growth, and the median income to help determine if this career is right for you. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Hospital patient registration specialists are tasked with organizing patient records and maintaining efficiency in a hospital's information system. This allows nurses, physicians, and insurance companies to quickly access a patient's health records. In the table below, you'll find the education and certification requirements as well as the projected job growth and the median income for this industry.

Education Required High school diploma or equivalent; associate's degree commonly required for most positions and for certification
Education Field of Study Health information management, Health information technology
Certification Most employers require a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification
Required Skills Detail-oriented, interpersonal skills, integrity, technical skills
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 13% (for all medical records and health information technicians)*
Median Income (2017) $39,180 (for all medical records and health information technicians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Hospital Patient Registration Specialists Do?

Hospital patient registration specialists are responsible for ensuring that all patients that come into a hospital are signed in and are asked to fill out the correct forms to ensure that they provide the necessary information for their visits. They are tasked with providing patients with assistance in the registration process, answering any questions they may have, and reviewing the information provided to ensure it has been accurately and completely filled out. They are then responsible for inputting the information into the hospital's electronic registration system in a manner that makes it well-organized and easy for physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to access. Hospital patient registration specialists also use classification software to aid in the process of health insurance classification and reimbursement for patients. Throughout their work, it is essential that hospital patient registration specialists maintain patient confidentiality.

What Type of Education is Required?

Most employers require that hospital patient registration specialists complete either a post-secondary certification program or an associate's degree program in health information technology or health information management. These programs include coursework in medical terminology, health data standards, statistics, and computer management systems. A high school diploma may be substantial for entry-level positions, but most employers will require that these candidates simultaneously continue their education in the field of healthcare systems and management. The successful completion of either a post-secondary certification program or an associate's degree program will equip students with the necessary knowledge and skill set to gain certification in the field.

How Do I Earn the Necessary Certification?

The healthcare industry commonly requires hospital patient registration specialists to become certified in order to ensure that these employees are up-to-date on their knowledge of patient confidentiality and health insurance standards. The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIM) offers a hospital patient registration specialist certification known as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification. In order to qualify for this certification, candidates must complete an accredited associate's degree program in health information management. They are then required to pass an exam on healthcare standards and guidelines as well as legal health record and document control.

What Skills Do I Need to Have to Pursue this Career?

Being detail-oriented is essential for success in this career because hospital patient registration specialists must be able to identify any information that is not complete or needs clarification. It is their role to ensure that medical staff has all the necessary records on patient health and history. Hospital patient registration specialists also need interpersonal skills, as they are required to interact both with patients as well as with medical staff to ensure that information has been accessed accurately and efficiently. Because patient records are stored in electronic systems, they are also required to have technical skills in order to navigate the necessary computer and database management systems. Integrity is required for legal reasons, as it is the job of the hospital patient registration specialist to ensure that all patient information is kept confidential.

What is the Salary and Job Outlook of Hospital Patient Registration Specialists?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that all individuals employed as medical records and health information technicians earned a median income of $39,180 as of May 2017. Between 2016 and 2026, employment is expected to grow by 13%, which is faster than the average compared to all other occupations. This increase comes from an aging U.S. population; as the population ages, the demand for medical treatments in hospitals increases as well. Thus, hospital patient registration specialists will be required to maintain database management and aid in the insurance claim and reimbursement processes.

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