How Do I Become a Medical Data Analyst?

If you are good at mathematics and using computers, you might wonder how to become a medical data analyst. In doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities, medical records must be kept up-to-date and be maintained as accurately as possible to ensure that patients get outstanding care. Medical data analysts are responsible for record-keeping duties in a medical facility setting.

In any health care facility, the number of medical records can be extensive, and data is continually growing as new patients visit the facility and long-time patients undergo health changes. Medical data analysts collect, arrange and update these records as medical histories evolve, examinations and diagnostic tests are performed and new treatment methods are employed. Some medical data analysts are also medical coders. They must accurately fill out or “code” paperwork for insurance purposes.

Medical data analysts may be responsible for reporting on financial data. A medical data analyst may assess trends in patient billing practices and office expenditures, researching more cost-effective ways to purchase medications or determining whether it is beneficial to the employer to accept a particular health insurance plan.

As medical facilities become increasingly reliant on technology, more and more facilities are using electronic health records to keep track of patient and billing information, either instead of or in addition to paper files. For this reason, medical data analysts must learn how to manage these systems, including accessing and updating files as needed.

As with data analysts in other fields, medical data analysts rely on computer programs to assess and categorize information. They often need to hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a subject such as medical information technology, information technology, business, finance or accounting. While pursuing a degree, the student should take mathematics and technology courses that cover mathematics, statistics, medical billing technologies, medical terminology, and health care coding systems.

Healthcare is a prosperous and constantly growing field, so medical data analysts are likely to enjoy a positive outlook similar to that of other careers in the medical and healthcare field. As of May 2010, professionals in the field of medical records and health information earned a median annual salary of $32,350, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary may be dependent upon location and experience. Some medical data analysts choose to pursue an advanced degree through online or traditional courses to enhance their earning potential and increase their opportunities for future advancement.

A career as a medical data analyst is a great way to find job security as part of the growing field of healthcare and help doctors and patients without making the extensive time and financial investment required of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff members directly involved in treating patients. If you have an interest in the medical field and work well with computers and mathematics, knowing how to become a medical data analyst could be the first step toward a career where your analytical skills can earn you great success.

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