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Three Ways Analytics Optimizes Health Outcomes

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019


By Valerie Watzlaf, PhD, MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA


Over the summer I was fortunate to participate in several conferences. I was both honored to be involved and enthralled at the expertise of all of the individuals who participated and presented.


Data is powerful. Data litera....

CAC Takes Coding Into the Future

Author: Fahy, Kristi

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019


By Kristi Fahy, RHIA


Technology is the segue to the future. It is the very thing that will transform the landscape of today’s world into one with endless possibilities. In healthcare, that transformation is being accelerated by the transition to electronic health records (EH....

A Time to Be Bold

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019


By Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, chief executive officer


HIM professionals are well aware of the work involved in matching patients to their unique records. Mismatched records can cost us time, lead to frustration, and cause headaches and dissatisfaction for patients and provide....

Appendix D: Qualitative Productivity Tool Example

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019


Productivity expectations can be both qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative productivity is measuring the quality of the work being performed. This is typically measured by performing audits of the CDI professional’s work and then assigning a numeric value so it can be measured (see e....

Appendix C: Ongoing Education Plan

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019


An annual plan for ongoing education can be developed and started at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year, or with the annual employee evaluation. The manager of the CDI team or designee can be required to ensure each education topic is offered to the employee during the year. It is im....

Appendix A: Key Points in Developing a CDI Program

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019

Recruitment Best Practices


Create a culture where great employees want to work

Consider the candidate’s cultural compatibility, leadership skills, communication skills, and intellectual ability

Consider all candidate streams when recruiting both internally an....

Appendix B: Orientation for New CDI Professionals

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2019


Orientation for new clinical documentation professionals should include the nuances involved in diagnosis, procedure, inpatient prospective payment systems (IPPS), and outpatient prospective payment systems (OPPS) capture. Some of these topics include concepts such as major diagnostic categorie....

Collaboration is Key to Leading Through Transformation

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Valerie Watzlaf, PhD, MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA


I am so inspired by our leaders all across the country. At last year’s CSA Leadership Symposium it was agreed that AHIMA was in a state of decline and that change was needed. It was an amazing moment—one I will never forget an....

Developing and Defining a Legal Health Record Policy

Author: Zak, Cindy

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Cindy Zak, MS, RHIA, PMP, FAHIMA


Yale New Haven Health (YNHH) began implementing the electronic health record (EHR) across four delivery networks in 2012. As the system moved to the electronic world, it became evident that YNHH needed to address the issue of defining the organi....

New Starts and Transformation Wins

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, chief executive officer


September is a time of new starts. At AHIMA, it’s our busiest time of year as we prepare for our annual conference and a host of other fall and winter activities. It’s also a time to look back on the year: two-....

In Search of EHR's Designated Record Set

Author: Butler, Mary

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Mary Butler


When Rita Bowen, MA, RHIA, CHPS, CHPC, SSGB, broke her elbow while attending an AHIMA event in Baltimore threeyears ago, she soldiered on through the event but summoned her primary care physician for a telemedicine encounter to determine her treatment. Later, when c....

PHI Hide and Seek: Hidden PHI Carries High Financial Risk

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Ken Reiher, MBA









Ken Reiher, MBA




The Danger of Being Connected

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Ty Greenhalgh, HCISPP


In 2014, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required and incented hospitals to demonstrate “meaningful use” of an electronic health record (EHR). Hospitals, desiring to maintain existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels and av....

Lost Data and Its Implications for Litigation

Author: Hedges, Ron

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By Ron Hedges, JD


Healthcare providers deal with electronic information on a daily basis. Providers must expect that volumes and varieties of electronic information will increase exponentially with, for example, the rise of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis and treatment of....

Reporting Social Determinants of Health

Author: William, Fiala C

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2019


By William C. Fiala, BS, MA, CCS-P, CPC, RMA


Capturing socioeconomic data, also referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH), is rapidly becoming a necessary element of documentation. SDOH “are among the most influential factors that determine health outcomes of indiv....

Learning Together at a Global Pace

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2017



“Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?” This thought-provoking question resonated with me as I was thinking about the issues of education, evolution, and progress. Fast Company magazine cofounder Bill Taylor describes this question as “a defining challenge of....

Salute to PPE Site Managers

Author: Chenoweth, Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2017



For college seniors, May is the time when the job search intensifies—putting the finishing touches on the resume, buying that new interview suit, and making connections with alumni.


The professional practice experience (PPE) is an important part of student education and is a....

Turning Your HIM Expertise Into a Resource

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2017



In 1941, author Edna Huffman, writing about the management and storage of medical records, introduced readers to “the newest development in storage methods and the method that will conserve the greatest amount of space, known as microphotography.” She described how medical reco....

Standing Out in a Noisy World

Author: Chenoweth, Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2017



Many influential thought leaders have come to realize there are three foundational elements to getting your ideas understood and appreciated: social proof, which gives people a reason to listen to you; content creation, which allows them to evaluate the quality of your ideas; and your netw....

Patient Side of Telemedicine

Author: Chenoweth, Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2017



Two years ago, I travelled to central Honduras to volunteer my time and HIM expertise at a clinic that supports the primary care needs of 90,000 people. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Access to specialists is few and far between so the clinic had recently implemented telemedicine....

Getting a Grip on the Importance of Data

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2017



As I write this column, a new federal administration is taking shape in Washington, DC, and its future impact on healthcare regulation is unclear. In uncertain times, it’s helpful to remember a bright spot: We are beginning to get a grip on the importance of data.


For....

Write Your Own Story

Author: Chenoweth, Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2017



I’ve always loved January! It is not only the freshly fallen snow and warm drinks by the fire that I cherish, it is the exhilaration that every new year brings with it the optimism that new beginnings are possible and the belief that our resolutions can create wonderful outcomes and suc....

Departing Board Members, Thank You for Your Service

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2016



It is hard to believe that I am writing my final Journal of AHIMA column as the president/chair of your AHIMA Board of Directors.


As I sit down to write this column, I recall Patty Sheridan, former AHIMA president/chair, saying in 2012 that there is no way to wrap everythi....

Let's Talk About Informatics and HIM

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2016



On April 19, 2017, the industry will learn the winner of the HeroX CHIME National Patient ID Challenge, aiming to ensure that every patient is identified correctly every time. As a judge of this competition, I’ve found it fascinating to participate in the process.


I ha....

Convention Will Showcase HIM's Evolution

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2016



October is upon us, and with that comes our annual AHIMA Convention and Exhibit. This is a time when we are inspired to learn about the most transformative topics in health information management (HIM) as well as the healthcare industry.


Over this past year we have seen our....

Bridging the HIM Present and Future

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2016



“What does the future of HIM look like?” We have been asking this question as long as our association has existed. In recent memory, our work to answer this question unfolds from “Vision 2006” to “Reality 2016.” The latest iteration is “HIM Reimagi....

Seat at the Table: Testimony to NCVHS

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2016



Back in June I had the opportunity to represent both AHIMA members and the HIM profession while testifying at a National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) hearing on the need for a better definition of the minimum necessary standards. I would like to share with you some hig....

Taking Up the Interoperability Mantle

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2016



In May the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released a Data Brief describing the state of interoperability among non-federal acute care hospitals in 2015.1 The report looks specifically at four “domains” of interoperability: the ability for health systems....

Bringing HIM to Every Corner of Healthcare

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2016



Remember our association’s theme from last year: HIM without walls?


In June I accepted a new professional role as the assistant vice president of the Heart and Vascular Institute at West Virginia University Medicine, which has been an amazing opportunity.


Sh....

Planning Ahead for 2017 and Beyond

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2016



Since I am halfway through my term as AHIMA’s President, I wanted to take some time this month to reflect on the work AHIMA’s Board of Directors has done thus far.


We hit the ground running in January at our first board meeting of the year, where we discussed our 2016 quar....

CDI is about Relationships

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2016



“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” said Helen Keller. This quote was part of Keller’s vaudeville circuit speech, but the sentiment holds true for those of us in the spotlight of HIM.


Our goal is to tell the patient’s story accurat....

'Patient First' Should Be Our Mission

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2016



During my many years working in healthcare I have received several forms of training regarding mission statements and putting our patients first.


When I first joined the health information management (HIM) profession, I did not fully understand the trials and tribulations....

HIM Enjoying its ICD-10 Moment

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2016



Remember the Y2K bug? Not so long ago, there was a widely spread concern that the change from the year 1999 to 2000 would play havoc with computer systems everywhere. Technology experts set about repairing programs; “preppers” recommended we all stock up on Spam and bottled wat....

Preparing HIM for the Changes Ahead

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2016



As we focus on education and workforce issues, there’s good news and bad news.


The good news is: The employment outlook for HIM professionals is bright. According to AHIMA’s 2016 Environmental Scan report, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the H....

From 'Confidentiality Police' to 'Privacy Officer'

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2016



Privacy and security has been one of the most interesting aspects of my job. I often tell folks the role of privacy comes very easily to HIM professionals because we were the “Confidentiality Police” long before the title “Privacy Officer” was widely accepted. Prior to HIPAA, HIM professi....

Work Outside Your Comfort Zone

Author: Martin, Melissa

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2016



Have you ever taken on a special project outside of your comfort zone? My special project this year has been building an outpatient surgery center (OSC) from the ground up. Leadership, Strategic/Organizational Management, Change Management, and Project Management are all curriculum domain....

New World of Information Governance

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2016



This month, AHIMA celebrates our fourth annual Information Governance (IG) Month. AHIMA created this event to increase awareness and understanding of IG and to help members understand IG’s importance to HIM practice. You’ll be seeing more details about IG Month in our publicati....

Season of Transformation

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2016



As I write this, the industry is finally beginning to shift its gaze from the first few weeks of the brave new world of ICD-10-CM/PCS. In October, with each passing day, we breathed a collective sigh of relief as implementation went smoothly. At the end the month, the Centers for Medicare....

Breaking Down Walls to Realize Our Vision

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2015



As we wind down the year, I can rest assured that our members have successfully arisen to the occasion of the new challenges that confront us, from ICD-10-CM/PCS to conquering data quality challenges with sound information governance (IG) practices.


One of the many highlig....

Final Push to ICD-10 Implementation

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2015



Chills run up and down my spine as I write this article, knowing how hard we have worked as a profession, association, and industry to get to this red letter date for ICD-10-CM/PCS.


Just before I wrote this column, I was on the edge of my seat along with the rest of indust....

Paving the Final Steps to ICD-10

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2015



What a difference a year makes.


A year ago, the HIM industry was reeling from an unexpected delay to the implementation of ICD-10. The change was brought on at the last minute, slipped into legislation and passed within a couple of days. The result was a one-year delay of ICD....

Evolving Practice of Health Informatics

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2015



WHEN I DECIDED to pursue my graduate education in health information management (HIM) and informatics seven years ago, adoption rates for advanced electronic health record (EHR) systems were evolving, data was siloed, and interoperability was far from reality. Organizations were up to the....

Making the Shift from Disruptive to Value-Based EHRs

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2015



Despite the fact that "strides have been made in the sharing of information across technology systems and information platforms," according to Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, national coordinator for health IT, I believe that our work has only just begun when it comes to developing a seamles....

Aligning Strategies for the Future

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2015



At AHIMA's 2014 Annual Convention and Exhibit, held in San Diego, CA, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, announced that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) was in the process of refreshing its federal health IT strategic plan for the next....

Education is Crucial for Our Future

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2015



The AHIMA archives contain a few examples of long-ago medical records, including a sample admission slip from 1916—nearly a century ago. As fascinating as these artifacts are, we know that the tools we use to do our jobs today will seem just as outdated some day.


Consid....

Now is the Time: Realizing our Vision

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2015



As I enter my 35th year as an AHIMA leader, educator, practitioner, and volunteer, I am excited to celebrate AHIMA’s 86 years of accomplishments and to have a role in paving the way for a bright future for HIM professionals everywhere.


I look forward to the months ahead, b....

Take a "Deep Dive" into Information Stewardship

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2014



Health Informatics and information management professionals have traditionally been focused on areas such as risk management, quality assurance, licensure, accreditation, privacy, and security requirements for their organizations. But compliance—conformance or obedience to procedures, rul....

Time for Information Governance is Now

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2014



For AHIMA, 2014 has been the year of information governance (IG).


From Information Governance Month in February to this month’s 86th Convention and Exhibit, AHIMA has been breaking new ground in exploring, understanding, and making recommendations for IG in healthcare o....

Personal Health Information is 'Saving Grace'

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2014



As a health informatics and information management professional and a parent of two adopted children, my desire for complete and accurate medical information rocks the top of my “Mom to-do list.” My children, Zach and Grace, are siblings, adopted at the ages of two and four. State laws va....

Using Our Influence to Lead for the Greater Good

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2014



In a healthcare ecosystem where volume-based models are shifting to value-based ones, organizations will depend more and more on the use of informatics to drive decisions. Our success will depend on our ability to drill down to the level of detail required to support evidence-based medici....

HIM Must Shoot for the Moon

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2014



ONE OF MY father’s favorite sayings was: “Shoot for the moon. If you only get to the stars, it’s better than never having gone at all.”


It’s a saying that kept coming back to me as I was getting ready to write this column for the Journal issue o....

CDI's Promise and Possibilities

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2014




“The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.”

Improve Data and Outcomes with CDI

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2014



ICD-10-CM/PCS will require significantly more clinical detail than ICD-9-CM, making clinical documentation improvement (CDI) efforts paramount for healthcare providers across the continuum of care. While CDI programs aim to substantiate claims and improve revenue streams, CDI itself shoul....

Cultivating Opportunities to Lead in the Face of Delay

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2014



The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a language used to capture morbidity and mortality data and helps to provide a snapshot of population health around the world. ICD-9-CM was implemented in the United States in 1979 and is long overdue for replacement. The system is obs....

'Recalculating' the Route to ICD-10

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2014



Have you ever driven a car using a global positioning system? If so, you’ve heard what happens when you take a turn that’s not on the system’s expected route: an annoyed-sounding voice will say “Recalculating!”


Since early April, the entire healt....

HIM at the Heart of Healthcare

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2014



As data becomes central to the process of providing healthcare, HIM finds itself at the center of everything.


This rang true to me earlier this year, when the American College of Healthcare Executives released the findings of its annual survey of hospital CEOs, asking them to....

Unforeseen Delay, A Determined Call to Action

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2014



President Barack Obama signed H.R. 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, into law April 1, 2014. Though the bill’s main purpose was to create another temporary “patch” to the Medicare sustainable growth rate, language in a section of the bill effectively delayed the ICD-10-....

EHR in Place? Now the Real Work Begins

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2014

With the deadline for ICD-10-CM/PCS on the horizon and electronic health records now in place in the majority of hospitals, HIM professionals may find themselves asking, “What comes next?” Until recently, the biggest challenges in electronic health information management were first to be able to collect the data, then to sort through the high volume of data coming from a variety of systems.

Information as an Asset

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2013



Health information managers have a long history of assuring data quality and the use of data to improve outcomes. As healthcare organizations move from volume-based to value-based models, they are leveraging data to add and extract value in a cost-efficient manner to accomplish strategic g....

Can We Talk… About Information Governance?

Author: Gordon, Lynne Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2013



This is the first issue of the Journal devoted to information governance, and it's an important subject. I believe that information governance is the next force that will help transform HIM practice.


Information governance is not a brand-new subject. In 2008, a report from Th....

The Power of Meaningful Practice

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2013



Since AHIMA’s inception 85 years ago, access to complete and accurate health information has been a core tenet of health information management (HIM) practice.


As this practice continues to evolve, HIM professionals stand in a unique position with the ability to impact....

Leveraging Data to Improve Cost and Quality of Care

Author: Kennedy, Angela

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2013



The demands of the complex and ever-growing technology-based healthcare industry have created a sense of economic urgency. The competitive environment is driving organizations toward stronger accountability and a culture of high performance. The healthcare industry is shifting from volume-....

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