Becoming a Top Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Nebraska: A Career Roadmap

Pursuing a role as a certified electronic health record specialist in Nebraska? Learn the precise steps for certification, the vital skills required, and what job opportunities await in this healthcare niche. We will navigate you through training programs, exam details, and the significance of this role within modern healthcare—all crucial for you to establish a successful career in EHR management in Nebraska.

Key Takeaways

  • Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS) manage patient data and must be proficient in healthcare IT skills, EHR systems, HIPAA compliance, and patient engagement to perform effectively.
  • To become a CEHRS in Nebraska, candidates need an HS diploma/GED, to complete a training program or have work experience, pass a nationally recognized exam with 70% or higher, and comply with recertification requirements every two years.
  • The CEHRS market in Nebraska shows promising job growth and provides various career opportunities in healthcare settings with advancement paths for those with higher education and leadership aspirations.
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Exploring the Role of a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist

Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist working with patient records

Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS) play a crucial role in today’s healthcare ecosystem. They:

  • Manage patient visits
  • Handle the master patient index
  • Manage service payment information
  • Handle scheduling
  • Facilitate patient communications through patient-focused tools like patient portals and personal health records.

These specialists have proven their worth in managing patient data efficiently and adapting to new health service delivery methods, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Essential Duties

CEHRS professionals spend their days performing the following tasks:

  • Charting patient information using EHR templates
  • Streamlining documentation and managing routine patient data including visits, follow-ups, prescriptions, allergies, and medications
  • Ensuring active engagement with patients, maintaining eye contact, and listening actively while building their EHR as part of care management to improve patient confidence and satisfaction.

Furthermore, understanding functional, content, and vocabulary standards related to electronic health records is a critical duty of a CEHRS, which involves managing summary lists and ensuring accurate record-keeping within office workflows.

Compliance and Privacy

Given the sensitive nature of healthcare data, a CEHRS must be proficient in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and understand how to implement these guidelines within EHR systems, maintaining patient privacy and security. The HIPAA Security Rule obligates healthcare entities to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (e-PHI), ensuring its protection through responsible handling and transmission.

To adhere to the HIPAA Security Rule, healthcare organizations must review the security and implement a blend of technical, physical, and administrative safeguards designed to protect e-PHI from various threats and unauthorized access. EHR systems must be equipped with adequate security measures to address privacy concerns such as potential data loss due to disasters or cyber-attacks, ensuring patient data remains secure in all scenarios. One crucial aspect to consider is the security of your connection when accessing these systems.

Technology Proficiency

The rapidly evolving digital age demands a wide range of technical skills from a CEHRS. They need to be proficient in:

  • EHR architecture
  • Hardware, software, networks, and interfaces
  • Use of human-computer interface devices
  • Management of hybrid health records
  • Data coding and entry
  • Medical terminology
  • Database construction and management
  • Understanding of healthcare compliance standards

These skills are essential for a successful career as a CEHRS, including verifying you are human in various online interactions.

Even for tech-savvy users, improving computer and typing skills can enhance clinical effectiveness, and they can benefit from learning shortcuts within EHR systems.

Pathway to Certification in Nebraska

CEHRS certification process in Nebraska

What are the steps to becoming a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Nebraska? The first step is to have a high school diploma or GED. While not mandatory, post-secondary education is beneficial for understanding the complexities of health information technology.

To be eligible for CEHRS certification in Nebraska, candidates must:

  • Complete a training program or have one year of work experience in the field
  • Take a certification exam consisting of 100 to 110 questions
  • Have two hours to complete the exam
  • Score 70% or above to pass
  • Retake the exam after a waiting period if they do not pass, allowing for additional study and preparation time.

Educational Foundations

The journey to become a CEHRS begins with a solid educational foundation. The education program is designed specifically to prepare learners for the National Healthcareer Association’s Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) certification exam.

Having a strong educational foundation in health information management can greatly benefit aspiring CEHRS professionals.

Certification Process

Though rigorous, the CEHRS certification process in Nebraska is immensely rewarding. The exam is administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), which measures qualifications for becoming a CEHRS. Eligibility to sit for the exam requires having completed a program with electronic health records training within the last 5 years at an accredited or state-recognized institution and holding a high school diploma or equivalent.

The exam encompasses topics like:

  • non-clinical operations
  • clinical operations
  • revenue cycle/Finance
  • regulatory compliance
  • reporting

The exam consists of 100 questions and 10 pretest questions. Candidates are allotted one hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam and must achieve a passing score of 390 out of a 200-500 scale. The cost for taking the exam is around $117, with results being posted on the NHA account page within two days and the printed certificate sent within two weeks.

If a candidate fails the exam on the first attempt or within seconds on the second attempt, they may re-apply after 30 days; however, following a third failed attempt, the waiting period extends to 12 months before re-taking the exam. So, it’s crucial to take a few seconds to prepare well and avoid multiple failures, ensuring verification successful waiting.

Maintaining Certification

Achieving certification is just the beginning. To maintain CEHRS certification, certified specialists must complete 10 continuing education credits and pay a recertification fee of $169 every two years. Joining professional organizations such as the NHA can provide access to study materials, practice exams, and opportunities to connect with other professionals, aiding in continuing education.

Attending EHR conferences provides CEHRS professionals with opportunities to earn continuing education credits, which are crucial for maintaining certification and staying updated with industry changes.

Training Programs and Resources

University-based CEHRS program at the University of Nebraska Omaha

As we journey further into the path of becoming a CEHRS, let’s highlight the various training programs and resources available to aspiring professionals. These programs offer a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field.

University-Based Programs

One such program is offered by the University of Nebraska Omaha. This Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) program is tailored for individuals aiming to enter the field of health information management. The course prepares students with the necessary skills to work effectively on health information management teams.

As part of the educational pathway, the course facilitates preparation for the National Healthcareer Association’s CEHRS certification examination, ensuring students are ready to become certified professionals upon completion.

Online Learning Platforms

In today’s digital age, online learning platforms also provide a convenient and flexible route towards CEHRS certification. These platforms offer a comprehensive education in EHR systems, with the flexibility to start at any time and the convenience of being 100% online. The curriculum typically includes:

  • An overview of EHR and CEHRS roles
  • Introduction to EHR software
  • History of EHRs
  • Steps to EHR implementation
  • HIPAA requirements
  • Patient visit management
  • Coding and billing
  • Patient communications
  • Practice reports

These courses aim to prepare individuals for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist exam offered by the National Healthcareer Association, ensuring that they receive both theoretical and hands-on experience.

Courses may include instruction on:

  • HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules
  • Detailed medical record content
  • EHR framework, which encompasses EHR architecture, hardware, software, networks, and interfaces.

Additional Study Materials

In addition to traditional and online programs, additional study materials can enhance one’s preparation for the CEHRS certification. These materials include training in EHR systems, which often provide hands-on experience using actual EHR software. Courses frequently cover important topics like coding for reimbursement claims, processing Release of Information (ROI) requests, reviewing patient records for accuracy, and collecting demographic and insurance information.

For individuals interested in remote work opportunities, becoming a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist is considered suitable, with most employers requiring strong, secure internet connections and certification. Instructors for online CEHRS courses often bring years of healthcare industry experience, providing students with insights into practical applications and industry expectations.

Recommended study resources for exam candidates include:

  • ‘CEHRS Exam Study Guide’
  • Interactive tools like flashcards, practice tests, and case study questions
  • Comprehensive review books
  • Online forums and study groups

These resources can help you establish a connection before proceeding with your exam preparation, increasing your chances of success. It’s essential that one needs to review these resources available on the website and respond accordingly to ensure a strong connection. By verifying and submitting your progress for evaluation, you can further enhance your preparation. Don’t forget to bookmark the www to easily access these valuable resources.

Career Opportunities and Growth

Career opportunities for CEHRS professionals in Nebraska

Earning a certification opens up a plethora of opportunities for a CEHRS. The demand for Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS) is rapidly growing in Nebraska, reflecting nationwide trends in healthcare employment. Job growth for CEHRS professionals in Nebraska is projected to remain strong as healthcare providers increasingly rely on electronic records.

A variety of healthcare settings in Nebraska, such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices, are actively seeking certified EHR specialists.

Job Market Insights

The job market for CEHRS professionals is promising. Here are some key statistics:

  • Employment of medical records specialists, including Certified Electronic Health Records Specialists (CEHRS), is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032.
  • There is an expected average of 15,000 job openings each year over the next decade.
  • As of May 2022, the median annual wage for medical records specialists was $47,180.
  • The average annual salary for health information and medical records technicians, including CEHRS, was $40,350.
  • The top 10% of earners in this field make more than $66,260.

Individuals who complete their CEHRS certification can pursue careers such as:

  • Health information clerks
  • Medical records coordinators
  • Electronic medical records technicians
  • Electronic medical records specialists

Employer Types

Healthcare settings that hire CEHRS professionals are diverse. Some examples include:

  • Hospitals
  • Physician’s offices
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Nursing homes

These are primary healthcare settings that hire Certified Electronic Health Records Specialists (CEHRS).

Furthermore, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and health information management companies also employ CEHRS professionals.

Advancement Paths

Once they’ve broken into the field, CEHRS professionals can aim for career advancement. They can progress to positions such as health information manager, health information technology instructor, or supervisor. For advanced career opportunities, a bachelor’s degree is often required, and leadership roles typically necessitate a master’s degree.

In these advanced roles, CEHRS professionals may take on diverse roles involving the management of medical records, serving as liaisons between healthcare providers and technology vendors, or overseeing training and supervision.

Real-world Applications and Success Stories

Real-world applications of CEHRS certification

The transformative impact of EHRs on healthcare outcomes is showcased by real-world applications and success stories of CEHRS professionals. Across the country, from New Jersey to Missouri, EHR implementation has enhanced clinical outcomes, improved healthcare quality, and ensured continuity of care even in the face of disasters.

Testimonials from Industry Professionals

Hearing from those who have walked the path provides valuable insights. Industry professionals emphasize the critical importance of CEHRS in streamlining healthcare operations and enhancing patient care. Many credit their initial certification and continuous professional development for providing a path to career progression and leadership roles in health informatics. Obtaining certification was instrumental in gaining the trust of employers and patients, as it demonstrates a commitment to industry standards and expertise.

It also provided the opportunity to participate in more significant projects and initiatives within the healthcare facility, leading to greater job satisfaction and career advancement through an enhanced connection with colleagues and management, as well as proceeding in their professional development.

Case Studies

Several case studies highlight the significant contributions of CEHRS experts in healthcare settings. These professionals:

  • Generate practice reports
  • Conduct medical research
  • Manage patient registries
  • Handle reportable health events efficiently through electronic health record systems.

In one Dutch hospital, an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system facilitated and constrained collaboration among healthcare professionals, leading to increased coordination of patient care and shared decision-making. In other instances, a primary care clinic and a metropolitan hospital saw marked improvements in patient throughput and care coordination due to the expertise of a CEHRS.

Lessons Learned

The experiences and challenges faced by CEHRS professionals offer valuable lessons. Lessons from the Dutch hospital case study include the need for organization-wide policies to promote effective collaboration through EHRs, as departments may actualize collaborative affordances differently, affecting mutual awareness and collaboration among medical specialties. The study recommends involving various medical disciplines in decision-making regarding EHRs to ensure shared ownership and understanding, as strict role authorizations and differing system representations can impede interdisciplinary collaboration.

CEHRS professionals have also learned the importance of staying updated with the latest healthcare regulations and technology advancements to maintain the integrity of electronic health records.

Navigating Challenges and Staying Ahead

Despite the numerous opportunities, careers in CEHRS also come with a set of challenges. CEHRS in Nebraska may encounter challenges such as navigating complex EHR systems, staying compliant with evolving healthcare laws, and ensuring patient privacy and data security.

Ongoing training opportunities, mentorship, and staying updated on policy changes can help professionals become unable to overcome error-related challenges.

Overcoming Obstacles

CEHRS professionals have demonstrated adaptability in overcoming workplace challenges. The transition to remote setups for key healthcare IT functions, such as the ‘virtual go-live’ of a Cerner EHR system, showcases this adaptability. However, efficiency tools in EHR systems, meant to streamline clinician workflows, have been linked with potential increases in clinician burnout, indicating the need for strategies that effectively manage workload and support clinician well-being.

Providing ongoing training and technical support for EHR software aids in maintaining a high quality of care and addresses the challenge of keeping healthcare providers adept at using evolving healthcare technologies.

Keeping Skills Current

Staying abreast of medical technology advancements is essential for CEHRS professionals. They must train on various EHR systems to manage diverse and evolving healthcare IT requirements. Continuing education and professional development, including seminars, joining professional organizations, and employer-based training, are essential for CEHRS professionals aiming to advance in their careers.

Networking and Professional Development

Ample opportunities for professional growth and staying informed about industry trends are provided by networking events, professional organizations, and engagement with EHR vendors. Networking opportunities provided by professional organizations can lead to job growth and a deeper understanding of industry standards and practices. Attending conferences allows CEHRS professionals to present research, share best practices, and gain insights into overcoming field challenges, thus contributing to professional advancement.

Engaging with EHR vendors and experts can facilitate professional development and provide insight into challenges concerning EHR implementation and usage.

Summary

In conclusion, becoming a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist in Nebraska is a rewarding and fulfilling career path. The journey involves comprehensive education and training, rigorous certification, and continuous professional development. Armed with the right skills and knowledge, CEHRS professionals play a critical role in transforming healthcare operations and improving patient care. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the demand for CEHRS professionals is expected to grow, offering ample opportunities for career advancement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the name of an organization that certifies electronic health record systems?

The organization that certifies electronic health record systems is the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

What is an electronic health record specialist?

An electronic health record specialist mainly focuses on the electronic documentation of a patient’s care and condition, including auditing patient records for compliance with regulations and abstracting clinical information for reporting purposes. They also act as liaisons between healthcare providers and insurance or billing offices.

How much does the CEhrs exam cost?

The cost to take the CEHRS exam is about $117. You can find more information on the NHA website.

What does a Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS) do?

A Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS manages patient visits, handles patient information, and schedules appointments, while also facilitating patient communications using patient-focused tools.

What are the education requirements to become a CEHRS?

To become a CEHRS, you need a high school diploma or GED, and post-secondary education is beneficial for understanding health information technology. Additional education can be advantageous but is not mandatory.