Health Records Careers

How to become Health Records

What does a Health Records do?

Health records clerks create, maintain, file and retrieve patients' documents. They are responsible for keeping patient records up to date and making sure they are available to the staff who need them. Some records are maintained manually but it is also common for health records clerks to use computerised databases and spreadsheets.

Clerks may specialise in one particular area of health records. The main areas are filing/administration, outpatient reception and admissions. It is also possible to specialise in clinical coding which involves coding clinical data using statistical classifications.

Health records clerks often communicate with the public and medical professionals both face to face and over the telephone. Those involved in reception or admissions may also arrange appointments.

What's the working environment like working as a Health Records?

Health records clerks work 37 hours, Monday to Friday. Some hospital departments, particularly accident and emergency, provide a full 24-hour service which may involve shift work or permanent night work. There are usually opportunities for part-time work.

They work in offices, reception areas, filing rooms, medical records libraries or wards.

What does it take to become a Health Records?

To be a health records clerk you should:

  • be well-organised, accurate and efficient in dealing with a wide range of jobs
  • be pleasant and helpful, and able to remain calm under pressure
  • have good communication skills, with patience and tact
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • have an interest in medical terminology and anatomy (especially for coding work)
  • have numerical and keyboard skills, as much of the work is computerised
  • be discreet, as all patients’ personal details and records are confidential.

Health Records Career Opportunities

Most work is in hospitals. Work can also be found in GP surgeries, private hospitals and HM Forces.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Health Records that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institute of Health Record Information and Management (IHRIM)
141 Leander Drive
OL11 2XE
Tel: 01706 868481

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850