Advance Your Career as a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Georgia

To excel as a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Georgia, begin with understanding the state-specific certification and training landscape. This detailed guide breaks down the essentials: the pathway to becoming certified, the current job climate in the healthcare industry, and the best educational programs available in Georgia for aspiring professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS) in Georgia are essential for managing electronic health records, with varied responsibilities that include healthcare documentation integrity and medical billing, and the job market for these professionals is expected to grow by 13.5% by 2026.
  • CEHRS certification, provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), requires candidates to be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or equivalent, focusing on essential skills like EHR software proficiency, medical terminology, and coding systems.
  • In Georgia, CEHRS must adhere to HIPAA regulations and state-specific legal requirements for patient health information, including mandatory retention of medical records for a minimum of ten years and granting patients the right to obtain their records in paper or electronic form.
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Becoming a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Georgia

Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Georgia

As a CEHRS, you serve as a key member of a health information management team in Georgia. Your responsibilities include:

  • Auditing electronic health records
  • Compiling reports for patient tracking
  • Coordinating healthcare systems to facilitate efficient information management

Your role is even more critical in Georgia, given the state’s robust healthcare industry and the growing demand for certified professionals who can efficiently manage electronic health records.

Role and Responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a CEHRS include:

  • Managing health records
  • Arranging patient visits
  • Issuing prescriptions
  • Tracking patient allergies and medications
  • Interpreting health records and reporting public health information
  • Managing complex healthcare systems
  • Excelling in medical billing, including navigating insurance and Medicare/Medicaid complexities

Job Market and Demand

The demand for health records professionals in Georgia is on the rise, with a projected growth of 13.5% between now and 2026. Add to this, Atlanta, the state’s capital, has been identified as one of the top cities in the nation for health IT jobs, showcasing a flourishing market for CEHRS professionals within the state.

Essential Skills and Knowledge for a Successful CEHRS

Utilizing Electronic Health Records Software

Becoming a successful electronic medical records technician requires a unique blend of skills and knowledge. Apart from understanding medical terminology, you need to:

  • Ensure healthcare documentation integrity
  • Demonstrate proficiency in various EHR software programs
  • Be detail-oriented to secure the accuracy of the electronic health records you’re responsible for.

Some essential skills for managing patient data and maintaining efficient healthcare record-keeping systems include:

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Knowledge of medical terminology and coding systems
  • Vocabulary patient visit management

In addition, effective communication skills are a must for working with various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients.

Medical Terminology and Coding

Knowledge of medical terminology and coding systems such as ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS is a fundamental requirement for a CEHRS. Accurate coding of diagnoses, procedures, and services is crucial to adhere to healthcare regulations and ensure proper reimbursement. As medical billing specialists, you employ medical codes to record conditions, treatments, and medications for insurance purposes, guaranteeing accurate coverage and billing.

Moreover, Clinical Documentation Integrity (CDI) specialists play a pivotal role in verifying the accuracy of clinical documentation and the appropriateness of the medical codes applied.

Healthcare Documentation Integrity

As a CEHRS, you’re entrusted with the critical task of maintaining healthcare documentation integrity by ensuring that records are complete, accurate, and compliant with legal and regulatory standards. Regular auditing of patient records and quality checks help identify and correct inconsistencies or errors in personal health records. Care record ongoing training is essential for staying up-to-date with the latest industry practices and regulations.

High-quality data from Clinical Documentation Integrity (CDI) supports positive patient outcomes and leads to a more efficient reimbursement process for healthcare claims. Tools like Natural Language Processing (NLP) can assist in extracting valuable insights from unstructured data in patient records, further enhancing clinical documentation integrity.

Utilizing Electronic Health Records Software

EHR proficiency is pivotal in enhancing efficiency among healthcare providers. For instance, pediatricians who are proficient in EHR spend less time on the system per appointment. As a CEHRS, you must navigate and use various EHR software programs effectively to:

  • Manage patient information
  • Input and update medical records
  • Schedule appointments
  • Communicate with other healthcare providers
  • Generate reports and analyze data

By mastering these skills, you can contribute to the smooth operation of healthcare facilities and provide quality care to patients.

The ability to customize and optimize electronic health record management systems, such as using efficiency tools like chart search, SmartTools, and QuickAction, is linked to higher satisfaction among EHR users. Continuous learning and training in EHR software are vital to keeping abreast of the latest functionalities and best practices.

Certification Process and Requirements

Certification Process and Requirements for CEHRS

Certification for electronic health record specialists, including electronic medical records specialists, is crucial for validating expertise and knowledge in the field, particularly in Georgia where the healthcare industry seeks qualified professionals. Candidates seeking NHA certification for CEHRS must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and must be at least 18 years old.

National Healthcare Association (NHA)

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers the Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) certification and sets industry standards for allied health certifications, including electronic health records specialists. Established in 1989, the NHA collaborates with numerous educational institutions to train and validate the qualifications of healthcare professionals. Those who pass the NHA certification exam receive the designation of Nationally Certified Healthcare professionals, including a certification ID card and a formal certificate.

Candidates who pass the CEHRS National Exam obtain their results online within 24 hours and have access to academic advisors for preparation and review.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the CEHRS certification, candidates must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additionally, candidates must be at least 18 years of age.

Exam Preparation and Resources

Aspiring CEHRS professionals must possess a thorough knowledge of health information technology to succeed in their certification exams. They can enhance their medical terminology skills through various courses offered by:

  • colleges
  • universities
  • trade schools
  • online programs

These courses will help them prepare for the certification exam, covering essential topics such as practice reports coding.

Top Online CEHRS Programs in Georgia

Top Online CEHRS Programs in Georgia

Georgia boasts some of the nation’s best online Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) programs offered by institutions like the University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, and Agnes Scott College. These programs are designed to equip students with the skills required for effective electronic health records management and prepare them for the certification process.

Course Content and Objectives

The programs aim to empower students with the skills necessary to select and utilize the proper EHR systems and practice management systems for healthcare practices, as well as to prepare them for the NHA’s CEHRS certification exam.

The University of Georgia’s program covers extensive topics including:

  • Managing patient visits
  • Caring for follow-ups
  • Prescriptions management
  • Allergies and medications
  • Interpreting health records
  • Reporting public health information

Instructors and Support

The success of these programs is largely attributed to the expertise and dedication of the instructors. For instance, Rachael Delekta, an MBA holder in Healthcare Administration and a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist, serves as an instructor, bringing her in-depth experience in dealing with healthcare insurance to the program. Alongside her is Jennifer Della’Zanna, who contributes her multifaceted experience as a medical transcriptionist, practice administrator, biller, and coding specialist to enrich the program.

Registration and Enrollment Process

Enrolling in these programs is straightforward. For instance, Georgia Southern University’s online CEHRS program costs $2,075.00, with a financing option available through Affirm, allowing monthly payments as low as $101.

While the Agnes Scott College CEHRS course does not have prerequisites, a high school diploma or GED is required for CEHRS exam eligibility.

Practical Experience and Networking Opportunities

Practical Experience and Networking Opportunities for CEHRS

Beyond academic learning and certification, practical experience and networking opportunities are pivotal to your career growth as a CEHRS in Georgia. Some ways to gain practical experience and network with other healthcare professionals include:

  • Attending local meetups and conferences
  • Joining professional organizations and associations
  • Participating in volunteer work or internships
  • Seeking out mentorship opportunities
  • Engaging in online forums and communities

Regular interaction with other healthcare professionals, including those in medical practice, can lead to valuable mentorship opportunities and career advice.

Internships and Job Placements

Internships provide hands-on experience, enabling you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings and understand daily operational workflows in healthcare facilities. These experiences often lead to professional references, which are highly valuable when seeking employment.

In some cases, internships can even lead to job offers from the healthcare facilities where the internships were completed, providing a direct path to employment.

Professional Associations and Events

Membership in professional associations, such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), can offer you access to specialized resources, job boards, and industry news. Attending conferences, seminars, and workshops specifically focused on electronic health records and healthcare information technology can result in enhanced industry knowledge and a broader network.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

As a CEHRS in Georgia, you must adhere to strict legal and ethical standards. This includes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, which require the protection of patient’s health information to ensure privacy and confidentiality.

HIPAA Requirements

HIPAA lays down stringent standards for protecting sensitive patient health information. As a CEHRS in Georgia, you have the responsibility to ensure HIPAA compliance and maintain patient confidentiality as part of your role in managing electronic health records and personal health record communication.

The HIPAA Authorization Form in Georgia must include the following essential elements:

  • Specific information to be used or disclosed
  • Identification of the authorized persons
  • The purpose of the use or disclosure
  • An expiration date
  • The individual’s signed consent

State-Specific Regulations

In addition to federal HIPAA regulations, Georgia law mandates the retention of patient medical records for at least ten years from the creation of each information item. Tangible copies produced from Georgia’s electronic health records are recognized as original for various legal and administrative uses.

Patients or authorized persons in Georgia have the right to request and obtain copies of their medical records in either paper or electronic form.

Summary

In conclusion, becoming a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) in Georgia offers a rewarding career in a growing field. As a CEHRS, you play a pivotal role in enhancing healthcare delivery and outcomes by managing electronic health records efficiently. However, it requires a blend of skills, knowledge, and dedication. From understanding medical terminology, ensuring documentation integrity, and becoming proficient in EHR software, to adhering to stringent legal and ethical standards, the journey to becoming a CEHRS is indeed challenging but ultimately fulfilling.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get EHR certified?

To get EHR certified, you can follow these 5 steps: 1. Apply for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) exam online. 2. Set a date for your exam. 3. Prepare thoroughly for the exam. 4. Take the exam. 5. Obtain your results.

How do I become an EHR specialist?

To become an EHR specialist, you can follow a certification process through an accredited program. No prior experience is required, and the certification can be completed in as little as six months (or up to two years) with a flexible schedule.

How much does the CEhrs exam cost?

The CEHRS exam costs about $117. You can find more information on the NHA website.

Who is responsible for EHR certification?

The federal government, specifically the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), regulate and oversee the certification of EHR technology.

What is the role of a CEHRS in Georgia?

The role of a CEHRS in Georgia includes auditing electronic health records, compiling patient tracking reports, and coordinating healthcare systems for efficient information management.