5 Essential Skills Medical Coders Should Have

Medical coders play an important role in the revenue cycle management of the healthcare industry. They have the responsibility to translate patients’ medical reports into code for insurance companies to pay the provider. With a crucial role, you need to have adequate skills to succeed in this career. Learn more about the top 5 skills to become a medical coder.

5 Essential Skills Medical Coders Should Have
5 Essential Skills Medical Coders Should Have

As an applicant, education and certification may be the first things you want to get but it isn’t enough to show your capacity. A good candidate for this medical coding field needs to have at least six-month training and get a certification from certified organizations like the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Moreover, you also have professional skills to make sure you can perform well on this job. Below is a list of top skills of a Medical Coder

Attention to Detail

As a medical code, you will be allowed to assign alphanumeric codes to different medical procedures, diagnoses, and medications. Strong attention to detail is an important skill medical coders need to have. You also should be detail-oriented to quickly identify the smallest differences between codes. Due to the nature of the job, if a wrong code happens, it will lead to bad results for both the patient and the healthcare provider.

Knowledge about Medical Terminologies

Medical coding isn’t the same as a clerical job like Medical Transcription (break down the difference between them here). To pursue this career path, you have to find and learn a large amount of knowledge about the healthcare field such as anatomy and physiology, disease processes, pharmacology, the different classification systems, and more. From that, you can translate terminologies into diagnostic and procedural codes.

Knowledge about Medical Terminologies
Knowledge about Medical Terminologies

Besides, the medical coding career also requires you to get expertise in code sets for diseases and medical ailments like the ICD-10. Each disease has a unique ICD-10 code so you should update it from time to time. Can say that medical coders are a career path with a long time to improve skill and technique needed because you must keep close with a large number of codes with continuous changes.

Computer Literacy

To make coding accurate and faster, you will experience training programs to learn the way to use different coding software such as Epic, Centricity, AdvancedMD, Homecare, Homebase, DrChrono, Nextivity. These software programs allow you to input correct procedure and diagnosis codes. Currently, hospitals and other healthcare facilities also have digital databases, so you should know how to navigate data as a medical coder.

Computer Literacy
Computer Literacy

Having excellent typing skills with 10-key speed and accuracy is one of the essential skills of medical coders.

Good Communication Skills

Although medical coders don’t often interact with patients and other healthcare staff, you still need to have good English communication skills as well as interpersonal skills. Conversation techniques allow you to discuss patient records with physicians, nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals.

It’s very dangerous when losing patients’ information in translation, verbal,  written, or computer-mediated. So these skills will be assured that vital data doesn’t get dropped.

Independent Work Ability 

Medical coders work under the supervision of a manager, you have to focus and speed to finish tasks in the schedule. Jump distractions in the environment, you need to keep productivity and good performance during work hours with minimal direction.

Conclusion

Like other medical jobs,  medical coders need to have the best credentials and skills to create accurate reimbursements and documentation of patient care history. Improve your skill to put a strong leg on your career path today!