Your Guide to Becoming a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Iowa

Pursuing a career as a certified electronic health record specialist in Iowa requires specific steps, certifications, and a comprehensive understanding of the field’s landscape. With this article, you’ll gain a direct outlook on the path to certification, the responsibilities that come with the title, and the promising career potential in Iowa’s health information technology sector. Simplify your journey towards CEHRS certification with our straightforward guide to the essential education and resources you need.

Key Takeaways

  • To become a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) in Iowa, candidates must complete educational programs, pass the NHA certification exam, and engage in ongoing training to maintain their skills and compliance with healthcare advancements.
  • EHR Specialists are crucial in healthcare, tasked with managing patient records, ensuring documentation accuracy, and maintaining compliance with legal standards such as HIPAA, which ultimately support the financial and operational aspects of healthcare services.
  • The job market for EHR Specialists is growing, with a positive outlook and various roles available due to increased demand for health services, technological advances, and a focus on preventive care, thus making it a viable and expanding career path.
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Pathway to Certification: Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) in Iowa

A group of students studying electronic health records management in Iowa

To become a health records specialist CEHRS, or a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist, you need to embark on an educational journey that equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills. Iowa offers several programs to prepare you for this career. For instance, Iowa Western Community College and Eastern Iowa Community College District both offer programs tailored to prepare students for the CEHRS certification exam.

The CEHRS certification exam, administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), is a crucial step in your journey. Achieving a passing score on this exam validates your competency and readiness to perform electronic health record management in a professional setting.

The certification process doesn’t end with the exam. To effectively utilize electronic health records and maintain your certified electronic health record specialist status, care record ongoing training is essential. This not only keeps you updated with advancements in the field but also ensures you are competent in electronic health record management.

Taking the national certification exams can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and resources, it becomes manageable. PSI Testing Center, for example, is recognized for administering certification exams and provides a reliable platform for CEHRS candidates to validate their skills.

The nationally recognized CEHRS designation offers several benefits:

  • Validates your skills
  • Increases your employability
  • Sets you apart in the competitive healthcare field
  • Encourages EHR adoption in healthcare facilities throughout Iowa and beyond.

The Role of an Electronic Health Records Specialist

As a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist, you play a crucial role in the healthcare system. Your primary responsibilities include:

  • Acquiring, analyzing, storing, and protecting patients’ digital records
  • Ensuring that healthcare services are properly documented
  • Managing important elements of patient visits
  • Arranging follow-up care
  • Issuing prescriptions
  • Tracking allergies and medications
  • Interpreting and managing health records to ensure they are accurate and updated

One of your key responsibilities is maintaining compliance with laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This involves vocabulary patient visit management, which includes:

  • Ensuring the confidentiality and security of personal health records through proper personal health record communication
  • Keeping patient records securely
  • Making patient records easily accessible to authorized healthcare professionals.

By serving as a link between healthcare providers and insurance or billing offices, you play a key role in the financial side of healthcare. As an EHR specialist, you ensure accurate charges and reimbursements for healthcare services, improving care delivery and healthcare equity through meticulous data management.

The role of an Electronic Health Records Specialist is vast and varied. Whether it’s auditing patient records, maintaining healthcare documentation integrity, or submitting reimbursement claims, each task is crucial and contributes to the efficient functioning of healthcare facilities.

Integrating Technology in Healthcare: EHR Systems

A modern electronic health records system interface

Technology is transforming healthcare, and Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are at the forefront of this revolution. These systems are key for:

  • Increasing efficiency in healthcare delivery
  • Enhancing the accuracy of record-keeping
  • Allowing the storage and sharing of comprehensive patient information.

The integration of EHRs in healthcare has been significantly advanced by major federal initiatives, which also support research registries. The Federal Health Information Technology Strategic Plan and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA/HITECH) Act introduced financial incentives and meaningful use criteria.

These federal guidelines require providers to utilize EHRs for tasks like e-prescribing, data exchange, and reporting quality data. This has dramatically increased the adoption of EHR systems and practice management systems across the healthcare industry.

The security and privacy of EHRs are paramount. Federal protections established by HIPAA and augmented by technical, administrative, and physical safeguards ensure unauthorized access and breaches are prevented. In this context, adhering to disaster recovery HIPAA requirements is crucial for maintaining the integrity of electronic health records.

In conclusion, integrating technology in healthcare through EHR systems not only improves efficiency and accuracy but also enhances patient care. It’s a key reason why becoming an Electronic Health Records Specialist is a promising career choice.

Career Opportunities and Growth

The career outlook for Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical records specialists, including CEHRS, was $47,180 as of May 2022.

The job market for medical practice professionals is growing faster than the average for all occupations, with employment projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032. This growth can be attributed to an increased demand for health services, advances in health technologies, and a greater emphasis on preventive care.

Not only is the field growing, but it also offers numerous job opportunities. An estimated 15,000 job openings for medical records specialists are projected each year on average over the decade, due in part to workforce turnover such as retirements or career changes.

There are a variety of roles available for Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists, including electronic health records specialists. These roles include:

  • Health information clerk
  • Medical records coordinator
  • Electronic medical records technician
  • Electronic medical records specialist

The opportunities in this field are vast and varied, making it a promising career choice for those interested in healthcare and technology.

Preparing for Success: Resources and Support

To succeed in your journey to becoming a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist, there are numerous resources and support available. For example, Eastern Iowa Community College District offers an online course tailored for individuals aiming to become CEHRS. This course covers essential topics such as:

  • Charting
  • Understanding HIPAA compliance
  • Managing electronic health records
  • Insurance and billing procedures

This comprehensive coverage ensures that you are well prepared for the responsibilities and challenges of a career as an EHR specialist, including practice reports coding.

Taking the certification exams can be daunting, but resources like the PSI Testing Center can help make the process manageable. Recognized for administering certification exams, PSI is a crucial resource for CEHRS candidates upon completion of their training. Preparation for the certification exam is not only about studying but also about problem-solving and understanding the application of the knowledge gained. This is where resources such as technical support and instructor-provided answers to frequently asked questions come in. These resources can assist you in your preparation and problem-solving, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the exam.

In conclusion, preparing for success as a CEHRS requires dedication, commitment, and the right resources. With the support available and the right mindset, you can navigate your way to becoming a successful Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist.


Becoming a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist offers a rewarding and fulfilling career in the ever-evolving healthcare industry. With the right education, certification, and resources, you can contribute to patient care and healthcare efficiency. The demand for this profession is growing, and with a variety of roles available, it offers numerous career opportunities. So why wait? Start your journey today and make a difference in healthcare!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get EHR certified?

To get EHR certified, you should apply for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) exam through the NHA website, set a date for the exam, prepare thoroughly, take the exam, and then obtain your results. Good luck on your certification journey!

How do I become an EHR specialist?

To become an EHR specialist, you can follow these steps: apply for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) exam, set a date, prepare thoroughly, take the exam, and await your results. Alternatively, you can earn a certification through an accredited university without prior experience. This can be completed in six months to two years.

How much does the CEhrs exam cost?

The CEHRS exam costs about $117, as stated on the NHA website.

What is an EMR specialist?

An EMR specialist is responsible for maintaining and managing health records and patient data.

What is the role of a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist?

The role of a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist is to acquire, analyze, store, and protect patients’ digital records, ensuring proper documentation of healthcare services and maintaining compliance with healthcare laws. They also act as a liaison between healthcare providers and insurance or billing offices.