How to become a Clinical Coder

Clinical coders translate descriptions of medical diagnoses and procedures into codes, which record healthcare data.

Personal requirements of a Clinical Coder

  • able to perform precise and detailed work
  • able to concentrate for long periods of time
  • excellent problem-solving skills
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • able to work as part of a team
  • interested in healthcare procedures
  • willing to continually update skills and knowledge.

Duties & Tasks of a Clinical Coder

Clinical coders: • read and analyse medical records to help identify all diagnoses, operations and procedures relevant to the current period of patient care • clarify inconsistent or non-specific information in a medical record by consulting with the responsible medical practitioner • allocate codes to patients' current period of care, using knowledge of the information contained within the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision Australian Modification, commonly referred to as ICD-10-AM • conduct assessment of work to ensure there is continuous improvement in ICD-10-AM coding and collection of quality health data • assess the medical record content and highlight shortcomings to management • maintain ICD-10-AM coding books to make sure they are updated to the current version being used • assist with the education of clinical staff with regard to ICD-10-AM • work with computing and finance staff • ensure the patient episode is allocated to the correct Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) • assist with medical research and casemix (patient statistics) projects.

Working conditions for a Clinical Coder

Clinical coders work closely with medical staff who are responsible for recording the information required for coding medical data within patients' medical records.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,383

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT 2.7%

NSW 33.3%

NT 1.2%

QLD 21%

SA 5.7%

TAS 2%

VIC 24.5%

WA 9.6%

Hours worked:

43

Unemployment:

Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 36%

Female 64%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 6.3%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 22%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 16.2%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 15%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 26.3%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 9.3%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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