Clinical coders convert information from a patient’s medical record into alphanumerical codes according to a health classification system. The health classification system used in Australia is the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM), the Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) and the Australian Coding Standards (ACS).
These codes form part of a data collection that is used for research, funding and health care planning. The use of a classification system makes it easier to store, retrieve and analyse data.
Clinical coders need to have an excellent attention to detail in order to produce high levels of accuracy. They must also be able to work as part of a team, have good communication skills and be interested in health care, diseases and procedures. Useful previous experience for clinical coders includes work in nursing, medicine, biological sciences or other health services or a health-related clerical background such as medical secretary or reception work.