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Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) Review & Study Guide

Essential Test Prep Tips to Help You Pass the CEHRS Exam the First Time

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We recently launched a series of test-prep tips and study guides for Medical Office Administrators (MOAs) who wish to advance their careers with certification. We also covered some benefits of certification, which can include higher wages, increased job stability, and a positive career outlook.

(Click here to learn how to become a Medical Office Administrator).

This study guide will focus on the CEHRS, which stands for Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist. The CEHRS exam is administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), an organization that has awarded more than 750,000 certifications to healthcare students and professionals.

If you’re thinking of becoming a CEHRS, we created this guide to offer you a roadmap to success while preparing for the certification exam.

How to Pass the CEHRS Certification Exam

Our comprehensive CEHRS study plan will cover the following questions and topics:

  1. What is the CEHRS exam?
  2. How do you pass the CEHRS?
  3. What is on the CEHRS exam?
  4. Is the CEHRS exam hard to pass?
  5. The CEHRS exam requirements
  6. CEHRS exam sample questions
  7. General tips and test strategies for passing the CEHRS exam
  8. Information on CEHRS test results

But first, let’s begin with a brief refresher…

What Is the CEHRS Exam?

The Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) is a timed exam that is designed to measure your qualifications to become a Certified EHR (electronic health records) Specialist.  It contains a variety of questions that require you to showcase your knowledge, skills, and experience in the field of data management within the healthcare setting.

CEHRS certification enables you to perform several functions in a medical office, including the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Managing and checking patient records for accuracy and legal compliance
  • Organizing patient health records which may contain their medical history, lab results, as well as past and current treatments
  • Coding for medical insurance reimbursement
  • Processing release of information (ROI) requests for medical records

How to Apply for the CEHRS Exam

Applicants who meet one of the NHA’s eligibility categories must complete the following steps to apply for the CEHRS Exam:

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

Step 2: Set up your NHA account

Step 3: Apply and schedule your exam

Step 4: Prepare for your exam

You can learn more about each of these steps here.

CEHRS Exam Requirements

What Are the Requirements to Take the CEHRS Exam?

The NHA requirements for the CEHRS exam are as follows:

  • Successfully complete a program that included electronic health records training within the last 5 years.
    • Note: This training program should be offered by an accredited or state-recognized institution or provider.
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED/high school equivalent.

What Is on the CEHRS Exam?

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CEHRS certification doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. The NHA offers a free, detailed test plan to help you study. They also provide additional study materials, but those may require a fee.

Here are the various subjects and sub-topics that are covered by the CEHRS exam:

  1. Non-Clinical Operations (28 Items)
    • Verify patient identifiers before documenting in the EHR to ensure information is recorded in the correct chart.
    • Collect, record, and continuously update patient information (e.g., demographic information, clinical data, coverages/financial/insurance, guarantors, patient preferences).
    • Generate encounter documentation (e.g., admission/face sheet, labels, armbands).
    • Retrieve patient information from internal databases (e.g., provider database, financial database) to integrate into a patient’s EHR.
    • Acquire patient data from external sources (e.g., diagnostic laboratories, ancillary facilities, other health care providers, other EHR systems)
    • Import information into the EHR from integrated devices (e.g., scanners, fax machines, e-signature pads, cameras).
    • Maintain inventory of EHR-related hardware (e.g., e-signature pads, cameras, tablets, mobile devices).
    • Coordinate patient flow within the facility (e.g., scheduling, patient registration and verification, check-in/check-out, patient referrals).
    • Provide initial and ongoing end-user training of EHR software to maintain competency (e.g., for new hires, upgrades and deployments).
    • Share information about updates to EHR software and the implications for workflow.
    • Identify data discrepancies within and among multiple EHRs, practice management systems, and other software systems.
    • Report or reconcile data discrepancies within and among multiple EHRs, practice management systems, and other software systems.
    • Provide support to patients regarding their use of patient portals (e.g., basic introduction, explain utility, grant access, navigation help).
  1. Clinical Operations (32 Items)
    • Develop clinical templates for data capture (e.g., by diagnosis, by procedure, by practice).
    • Securely transmit and exchange patient data internally and externally (e.g., to pharmacies, other health care providers, other agencies) for research, analytics, and continuity of care.
    • Review and monitor clinical documentation to ensure completeness and accuracy (e.g., self-review, peer-to-peer).
    • Provide point-of-care EHR support (e.g., at-the-elbow, remote) for clinical documentation.
    • Input real-time clinical data into the EHR.
    • Document patient historic clinical data in the EHR (e.g., medications, immunizations, surgeries).
    • Provide support for computerized provider order entry (CPOE).
    • Locate and provide patient education materials available within the EHR.
    • Navigate the EHR system to retrieve requested patient data.
  1. Revenue Cycle/Finance (15 Items)
    • Find codes in databases (e.g., International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems [ICD], Current Procedural Terminology [CPT], and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System [HCPCS]).
    • Navigate the EHR to create a superbill, encounter forms, fee slips, or charge forms.
    • Enter the diagnosis and procedure codes billing information (e.g., from a superbill) into the EHR system for claims processing.
    • Verify that all diagnoses and procedural descriptions for reimbursement are accurately documented in the EHR.
    • Verify insurance and eligibility in the EHR.
    • Obtain and document authorizations in the EHR.
    • Provide estimated patient costs.
    • Navigate the EHR to provide patient statements.
    • Collect and post payments to a patient’s account.
  1. Regulatory Compliance (15 Items)
    • Adhere to professional standards of care as they pertain to health records.
    • Maintain confidentiality and security of protected health information (PHI) in compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and facility policy.
    • Educate others regarding compliance with best practices to safeguard electronic information and assist with enforcement of compliant behaviors.
    • Identify non-compliant behaviors (e.g., sharing passwords, unlocked room) that represent threats to the security of electronic information.
    • Allocate access controls within the EHR system based on user roles and predetermined privileges.
    • Verify and assist with compliance of access controls (i.e., privileges) within the EHR system.
    • De-identify protected health information (PHI).
    • Release protected health information (PHI) in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and facility policy.
    • Participate in internal audits of the EHR (e.g., consent forms, release of information forms, signature on file).
    • Comply with regulations regarding the use of abbreviations in the EHR system.
    • Initiate down-time procedures related to the EHR (e.g., data recovery).
    • Comply with the requirements of EHR incentive programs.
  1. Reporting (10 Items)
    • Run and execute standardized financial reports (e.g., aging, carriers, financial guarantor, relative value, cost of procedures, prospective payment systems).
    • Run and execute standardized clinical reports to track patient outcomes (e.g., by diagnosis, by procedure, by provider) for the support of continuity of care.
    • Generate ad hoc financial reports using fields in the EHR system.
    • Generate ad hoc clinical reports using fields in the EHR system.
    • Generate statistical reports for quality improvement (QI) measures, productivity, metrics, and research.
    • Compile data from the EHR for external reporting (e.g., for Meaningful Use/Quality Payment Program [QPP]).
    • Verify the accuracy of generated reports prior to distribution (e.g., check for errors).

How to Best Prepare for the CEHRS Exam?

To help you prepare for the CEHRS exam, let’s begin by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the exam itself.

Where can you take the CEHRS exam?

Testing will take place at your school or at a PSI Testing Center near you. You will need to present valid identification and complete the test in one session.

How much time do you have to complete the CEHRS exam?

You’ll have one hour and 50 minutes to complete the CEHRS exam.

How many questions are on the CEHRS exam?

The CEHRS is a computer-based exam and it consists of 100 questions and 10 pretest questions.

What is the passing score for the CEHRS exam?

Scaled scores for the CEHRS exam range from 200 to 500 and require that a candidate meet a scaled passing score of 390 or higher in order to pass.

How much does it cost to take the CEHRS exam?

The CEHRS exam costs about $117. You can learn more on the NHA website.

When do you receive your CEHRS exam results?

The NHA will officially post your CEHRS exam results to your account page within two days of taking the test, and your printed certificate will arrive within two weeks. If you take the written exam, results will be posted within two weeks on your personal account page.

Why should you pick the NHA?

NHA certification exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and updated regularly, ensuring that students have the most job-relevant knowledge and skills. Plus, the NHA offers bundled interactive prep and study materials.

CEHRS Test Prep

CEHRS Sample Quiz Questions

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To help you gauge some of the topics on the exam, we compiled a few sample questions taken directly from Quizlet’s online flashcards.

(You can find the answers to these questions at the bottom of the article).

  1. Which Of the following is the best method to ensure restoration of EHR documents
    • a.) Back up all database information
    • b.) Keep a paper copy of all health information
    • c.) Use two different EHR systems
    • d.) Give the patient a digital copy of medical records
  2. Which of the following is an example of meaningful use?
    • a.) A registered nurse enters the providers orders into the EHR system
    • b.) A provider electronically exchanges a patient’s laboratory data with a medical specialist
    • c.) A patient uses the internet to obtain information about a medical condition
    • d.) A pharmacist updates a patient’s insurance information in the database
  3. An EHR specialist is accessing her facility’s provider database. Which of the following is she looking for?
    • a.) Specialty referrals
    • b.) Patient demographics
    • c.) Diagnostic codes
    • d.) Pharmacy information
  4. Storing backup data or media in an off-site location is an example of which of the following?
    • a.) Administrative safeguard
    • b.) Physical safeguard
    • c.) Technical safeguard
    • d.) Privacy safeguard
  5. Which of the following gives bonuses to providers who submit their use of recognized ongoing performance measurements to Medicare?
    • a.) Physician Quality Reporting System
    • b.) HITECH Act
    • c.) Patient Self-Determination Act
    • d.) National Health Information Network
  6. In which of the following can an EHR specialist find documentation to verify the time of a medication administration?
    • a.) MAR
    • b.) MAC
    • c.) SOAP
    • d.) TAR
  7. An EHR specialist submits an incorrect policy number to the insurance company. Which of the following scenarios will occur?
    • a.) Partial payment will be received
    • b.) Payment will be denied
    • c.) The insurance company will call the patient
    • d.) The insurance company will call the provider
  8. Which of the following is a threat to the security of information in an EHR system?
    • a.) Environmental factors
    • b.) Wireless Internet access for facility guests
    • c.) Expired user accounts
    • d.) Heavy network traffic
  9. Which of the following federal acts mandates physical, technical, and administrative safeguards?
    • a.) FECA
    • b.) MMA
    • c.) HIPAA Title ii
    • d.) HITECH
  10. An EHR specialist is monitoring changes to CPT codes for his facility. These code changes are managed and updated by which of the following?
    • a.) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
    • b.) American Health Information Association (AMA)
    • c.) American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
    • d.) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

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Retaking the CEHRS (NHA) Certification Exam

If you didn’t pass your exam, try not to feel discouraged—those who don’t pass their first or second attempt can re-apply after 30 days.

Since you need to pay for every exam attempt, you should use that time to prepare yourself for success.

How Many Times Can You Fail the CEHRS Exam?

If you fail your third attempt, you must wait 12 months to take the exam again. So, take your time and ensure you have prepared yourself. When test day arrives, you can relax knowing you’ve given it your all!

Learn more about this process here.

CEHRS Test-Prep Strategies

Here are a few CEHRS test-prep tips from the NHA to help you while retaking the exam. Remember—you’re going to do great!

  • Review your detailed score report: You can find your report by logging into your account and clicking “Results” on the left menu. Then, click the button that reads “View Detailed Score Report.”
  • Ask for help: Ask a teacher for some extra help. After all, they’re on your team and want you to succeed.
  • Find a study buddy: Partner up with a fellow student for study sessions. In doing so, you can pool your knowledge and help one another achieve success.
  • See if NHA’s study materials are right for you: Test plans for all NHA exams are freely available and serve as the blueprint for developing the exams.
  • Try to lower stress about the test: Study a little every day and use all the resources you have access to. Get a good night’s rest. Show up early to the test location.

Still worried? You can find even more tips here.

CEHRS Recertification

The NHA has outlined the following steps for CEHRS renewal. You must renew your certification on or before your expiration date; there is no penalty for renewing early.

Steps for CEHRS Recertification

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Select “Renew Certifications” on the left menu.
  3. Select “Complete More CE” to view the library.
  4. Complete 10 continuing education credits.
  5. Pay your recertification fee. Renewing your certification costs $169 every two years, which is about $7 a month.

MOA Diploma

If you’re not ready to launch your career as a Health Information Technician, you may want to consider pursing a diploma in Medical Office Administration.

Although it may not qualify you for the CEHRS Certification exam, MOA training can help you gauge your interest and passion for the field before pursuing additional training or a degree.

The responsibilities of a Medical Office Administrator may even mirror the job duties of a CEHRS specialist. These can include but are not limited to the following tasks:

  • Reviewing patients’ records for timeliness and accuracy
  • Organizing and managing data for clinical databases and registries
  • Tracking patient outcomes
  • Using software to administer insurance reimbursement and data analysis
  • Recording data for collection, storage, analysis, and reporting
  • Maintain patient record confidentiality

Furthermore, an MOA diploma program could also lead to field experience, which can equip you with the knowledge, skills, and prior work history to help you seek employment upon receiving your CEHRS certification.

Take the Next Step for Your Future

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Our goal for this article was to provide you with practical tips on how to pass the CEHRS (NHA) Certification Exam. We hope it gives you the knowledge and confidence to take that next step in your career.

Many enjoy lifelong careers as Medical Office Administrators, while others build on their experience to apply to higher-level programs and become Medical or Health Service Managers. This often leads to greater opportunities.

You can give employers confidence in your data management knowledge and skills by becoming certified as an electronic health records specialist. Best of luck!


Answers: 1)A  2)B  3)A  4)B  5)A  6)A  7)B  8)A  9)C 10)B