Information clerks provide administrative and clerical support in a variety of settings. They help maintain records, collect data and information, and respond to customers’ questions or concerns.
Information clerks typically do the following:
- Keep records and information
- Help colleagues and customers with routine administrative work
- Prepare and locate records and information that colleagues and customers need
- Ensure that colleagues and customers follow proper procedures
Information clerks generally manage a particular kind of information or record. Some clerks work in a particular setting.
Correspondence clerks review and respond to inquiries from the public, other businesses, or other departments. They gather information and data so that they can give accurate answers to questions and requests. Correspondence clerks write letters or email in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, incorrect billings, or unsatisfactory services. They may have to gather data before replying.
Court clerks organize and maintain the records of the court for which they work. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as a docket, and tell attorneys and witnesses when they need to appear in court. Court clerks put together materials for court proceedings and prepare, file, and forward case files. They also keep records of, and answer inquiries about, court proceedings.
Eligibility interviewers do interviews both in person and over the phone to determine if applicants qualify for government assistance and resources. They answer applicants’ questions about benefits and programs and refer them to other agencies or programs when their own agency cannot help.
File clerks keep companies’ and organizations’ paper or electronic records. They enter data into, organize, and retrieve files. In organizations with electronic filing systems, file clerks scan and upload documents.
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks provide customer service to guests, often at the facility’s front desk. They check guests in and out, assign rooms, and verify guests’ method of payment. They also keep records about which rooms are occupied and take reservations. These clerks answer guests’ questions and respond to their concerns. For example, they may give guests directions or send housekeeping staff to their room if it is not clean.
Human resources assistants provide administrative support to human resource departments. They keep personnel records, collecting information about employees, such as their addresses, employment history, and performance evaluations. They post information about job openings and review the resumes and applications of candidates for employment to ensure that they are eligible for the positions for which they have applied.
Interviewers do interviews over the phone, in person, through the mail, or electronically. They use the information they get to complete forms, applications, or questionnaires for market research surveys, Census forms, and medical histories. Interviewers are usually given specific instructions about what questions to ask and what information to collect. They compile and record information from their interviews.
License clerks help the public with applications for licenses and permits. They process applications and collect application fees. They determine if applicants are qualified to receive the particular license or permit. They keep records of applications received and licenses issued. License clerks keep applicants informed about the status of their application and notify them if they need to provide additional information.
Municipal clerks provide administrative support to town and city governments. They keep minutes of town and city council meetings and then distribute the minutes to local officials and staff. Municipal clerks help prepare for elections by creating ballots and training election officials. They respond to requests for information from the public, local and state officials, and state and federal legislators. Municipal clerks also maintain town and city records.
Order clerks receive orders from customers and enter the information into their company’s order entry system. They also answer customers’ questions about prices and shipping. Order clerks collect information about customers, such as their address and method of payment, to put into the order entry system.
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ reservations for hotels and transportation. They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and package tours. These clerks prepare invoices outlining rates and fees and accept payment from passengers. They may check baggage and assign boarding passes to passengers.
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Medical records and health information technicians organize and manage health information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.
All technicians document patients' health information, including the medical history, symptoms, examination and test results, treatments, and other information about healthcare provider services. Medical records and health information technicians' duties vary with the size of the facility in which they work.
Medical records and health information technicians typically do the following:
- Review patient records for timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of health data
- Organize and maintain data for clinical databases and registries
- Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
- Use classification software to assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis
- Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
- Protect patients’ health information for confidentiality, authorized access for treatment, and data security
Although medical records and health information technicians do not provide direct patient care, they work regularly with physicians and other healthcare professionals. They meet with these workers to clarify diagnoses or to get additional information to make sure that records are complete and accurate.
The increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to change the job responsibilities of medical records and health information technicians. Technicians will need to be familiar with, or be able to learn, EHR computer software, follow EHR security and privacy practices, and analyze electronic data to improve healthcare information as more healthcare providers and hospitals adopt EHR systems.
Medical records and health information technicians can specialize in many aspects of health information. Most work as medical coders, sometimes called coding specialists, or as cancer registrars.
Medical coders typically do the following:
- Review patient information for preexisting conditions such as diabetes
- Retrieve patient records for medical personnel
- Work as a liaison between the health clinician and billing offices
Cancer registrars typically do the following:
- Review patient records and pathology reports for completeness and accuracy
- Assign classification codes to represent the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and benign tumors
- Conduct annual followups to track treatment, survival, and recovery
- Analyze and compile cancer patient information for research purposes
- Maintain facility, regional, and national databases of cancer patients