Learn About the Demand for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- In the health care system, we see doctors and nurses on the front line.

"You don't ever see the end user of where that chart goes to," said Luke Vicario.

There are several people like Vicario working behind the scenes to keep the information about your health organized and easily accessible.

"As lead specialist, I maintain the electronic medical record. Everything from the formulas that the scan stuff goes into, to the electronic stuff and it kind of all incorporates into the legal medical record," continued Vicario.

Medical records are no longer just row after row of paper files. Vicario manages those records electronically.

He started at Augusta Health eight years ago. His journey began in Oregon when he was in high school.

"I started out in high school as a youth mentor through the high school I went to, and they save part of our paychecks for a college fund and where the hospital matched it and they doubled it and I got put into medical records and I did that for two years in high school," explained Vicario.

That training helped pave the way for his career.

"Because I had two years of scanning experience and I already knew the terminology, I took medical terminology in high school so that was a huge help in getting the foot in the door and stuff," said Vicario. "And then as positions came open, I just moved stuff up over the course of a couple of years.

Economic statistics gathered by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership show the average salary for medical records and health information technicians is $37,400. There is a need for an estimated 114 positions in the Valley over the next 10 years.

Training can be on the job or include vocational school or an associate degree.

"I started eight years ago and I don't really do the same thing. It's a good advancement. It's a good place to get in the door, but there's a lot of growth and advancement within this department also elsewhere in the hospital," said Vicario.