HIM professionals must exit their comfort zones, survey results show

May 22, 2018

The rapid implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems and advances in technology including computer assisted coding (CAC) means health information management (HIM) professionals must develop new skills to remain relevant, according to a recent study on specific job skills and competencies that align with healthcare organizations’ future needs.

In the article, “New Market Research Supports HIM Reimagined’s Call for Professional Adaptation” in the May issue of the Journal of AHIMA, the monthly publication of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), authors discuss results of a 2017 survey indicating a growing shift in skills necessary for working with health information. This shift, according to survey results of both clinical and non-clinical senior level HIM professionals, requires a focus on specialization and educational advancement within the HIM workforce to successfully work within the increasingly complex healthcare environment.

The study was conducted as part of AHIMA’s HIM Reimagined (HIMR) initiative, with the goal of identifying academic and professional advancement opportunities for HIM professionals.

Authors of the article dive further into the primary findings of the study by suggesting three HIM readiness solutions:

  1. Specialization and educational advancement is vital to adopt, use, advance, and adapt to new technologies at a rapid pace. HIM professionals should pursue advanced education and leadership roles to further develop interpersonal skills needed to interact with clinicians and lead projects and teams.
  2. Identifying opportunities for HIM professionals to develop new specialties will expand the breadth of skills needed to operate in an ever-changing field. According to AHIMA, nearly half of all HIM professionals enter a coding-related role; however, survey results say computer-assisted-coding has brought forward a potential risk of automation.
  3. HIM professionals must develop “hard skills” for future workplace roles that are teachable and can be defined and measured, such as leading in data analytics and informatics.

Visit AHIMA for more information

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