Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Minimize

Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)

The Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam is based on the AHDI Medical Transcriptionist Job Descriptions and the competencies outlined in the AHDI Core Competencies and the AHDI Model Curriculum. It is a voluntary credentialing exam for individuals who wish to become Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialists. The RHDS exam is designed to assess competency in healthcare documentation by determining if a candidate has the core knowledge and skills needed to practice healthcare documentation effectively in today’s healthcare environment.

Who should take this exam?

  • HDSs/MTs who are recent graduates of healthcare documentation/medical transcription education programs
  • HDSs/MTs with fewer than 2 years’ experience in acute care
  • HDSs/MTs working in a single-specialty environment (ie, private practice, clinic, radiology, pathology, etc)

CHDS candidates who do not already possess an RHDS credential can take the RHDS alone or opt for the Credential Qualifying Exam (CQE). AHDI recommends that candidates possess the knowledge and skills identified as Level 1 in AHDI’s Medical Transcriptionist Job Descriptions and outlined in the RHDS Exam Blue Print before attempting to take the exam. Potential candidates for the exam are advised to review the outlines and assess their knowledge and skills to determine their readiness for the exam.

Individuals who successfully complete this AHDI credentialing process are recognized as Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialists and are entitled to use the RHDS designation. The credential is valid for 3 years. RHDSs are currently required to recredential either by examination or by successfully completing the RHDS Recredentialing Course offered by AHDI. Upon passing the exam, each RHDS receives a wall certificate that shows the date through which the credential is valid (renewal date). Current RHDSs may also order an RHDS lapel pin from AHDI for a nominal fee.

The 130-question RHDS exam consists of both multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank transcription against audio. Both assessment types are used to test candidate knowledge and applied interpretive judgment in all knowledge domains represented on the RHDS Exam Blue Print, including: Transcription Standards and Style, Clinical Medicine, and Health Information Technology.

The transcription performance portion of the exam consists of short items employing medical dictation and/or transcription that must be transcribed, proofread, and/or edited. It consists of dictation that is realistic and representative of that encountered under actual working conditions. Dictation is selected for its appropriate medical content. The practical portion of the exam is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge, skill, and ability to practice medical transcription effectively in today’s healthcare environment. Emphasis in the practical portion of the exam is more on critical thinking skills rather than keyboarding, research, or other technical skills.

Interested RHDS candidates should download the Credentialing Candidate Guide, which contains all of the following information:

  • Eligibility and Requirements
  • Content Focus
  • RHDS Exam Blue Print
  • RHDS Sample Questions
  • RHDS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In addition, the Candidate Guide provides detailed information about exam registration, online proctoring, onsite testing, exam preparation, and requirements for credential maintenance and recredentialing.

Need assistance with exam preparation? Find resources here → Exam Preparation

Ready to take the exam? Seek eligibility here → Sign Up for an Exam

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