Amarillo College successfully prepares students for engaging employment in medical offices and hospitals as medical data specialists. The program begins at Amarillo College each fall and entails coursework in areas like medical insurance, business computer applications, human anatomy and physiology, and more. Upon completion of the core courses, students select one of three options leading to the medical data specialist degree: Administration, Coding or Transcription. The Administration and Coding options require a practicum course that focuses on that option, and students are placed in a local medical facility to learn and develop the hands-on skills required for the profession.
Medical offices and hospitals would be lost, especially in the information age, without properly trained medical data specialists. Trained specialists schedule patients, file insurance claims and collate all the files to maintain a patient’s medical record. The medical data entry specialist position is frequently combined with other roles, such as receptionist, medical assistant, transcriber and coder, so it takes a person who likes to work as part of a team. Medical data specialists are often referred to as health information technicians and ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.