Who is a Health Records Officer?
A health records officer is a professional trained in health records or closely related field. Health records can be described as a confidential documentation of important facts related to individual health history, including present and past medical conditions, illnesses and treatments. Health records officers collect, organize, store and retrieve patient’s records used in diagnosis and treatment.
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Health record specialists are the ones responsible for safeguarding the most confidential patient data including; laboratory test reports, medical histories, diagnoses records, treatment plans, insurance information, medications and the notes of doctors and nurses regarding the patient’s wellbeing.
Other closely related titles
- Health records & information officer
- Medical records officer
What is the work environment?
Health record officers’ work in hospitals or doctors’ consulting offices among other environments.
What are some career opportunities?
Health record officers can find employment in both government and the private sector. Some areas of employment include; hospitals, research institutions, health management organizations, health insurance organizations, ministry of public health and sanitation, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, health consulting businesses among other areas.
These professionals can also use their creativity and start their own businesses.
How to become a health records officer
High school subject selection
To pursue a career as a health records officer, a good performance in the following cluster subjects is required.
- Subject 1: ENG/KIS,
- Subject 2: MAT A / MAT B
- Subject 3:any GROUP II or any GROUP III,
- Subject 4:a GROUP II or a GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP V
In addition, candidates must score at least C (Plain) in MAT A / MAT B, (Source; JAB/ Kuccps).
Education and Training Routes
If you work hard and score good grades in the above subject’s combination with an overall, KCSE mean grade C+ (plus) and above, you can pursue this career directly in the university; (University route).
However, if you do not qualify for direct university admission for this career option, you can still pursue it through a different pathway; the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET route). Under this route, you can pursue a relevant diploma course that can help or enable you to further your education within this field after a successful completion of the diploma course.
So what course(s) can you pursue in either route?
- Bachelor of Science in Health Records and Informatics
- Or similar/ related course(s)
An approved diploma in a relevant discipline
Some important skills to have
- Analytical skills
- Accuracy and detail oriented
- High level of integrity & confidentiality
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Technical skills
- Computer literacy skills
- Among other skills
How to Join College and or university
There are two ways you can follow to join training institution(s) in pursuit of your career of choice. The majority way is applying through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). This is a state owned agency that admits/ places government sponsored students to colleges and universities. One of the advantages of applying through Kuccps is that, upon successful placement, you will pay subsidized fee as a government sponsored student.
To be placed through Kuccps you must have attained a certain pass mark required for various education levels for such as degrees, diplomas, certificates among others. For more details on placement criteria, visit Kuccps website. The second approach is applying directly to training institution of your choice. Students who opt to apply this way do not get government fee subsidy and are therefore self-sponsored.
How to fund your post-secondary education.
If you are a needy student, upon application, you can get education loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), a state owned institution that gives education loans to students joining technical colleges and universities. You can also access education bursaries from your local Member of Parliament (MP) or the County Government among other sources.