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:

$1,105

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 2.2%

NSW NSW 42.8%

NT NT 0.8%

QLD QLD 16.4%

SA SA 3.1%

TAS TAS 1.4%

VIC VIC 26.6%

WA WA 6.7%

Hours worked:

36.6

Unemployment:

Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 40.1%

Female 59.9%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 6.3%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 28.1%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 8.3%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 20.8%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 27.1%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 9.4%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 1.5%

20-24 - 13.4%

25-34 - 19.4%

35-44 - 16.5%

45-54 - 19%

55-59 - 10.2%

60-64 - 8.2%

65 and Over - 11.7%

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

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