For your final assignment you will write an 8 pages (excluding title page and reference page) research paper focused on the nature of the health information management (HIM) profession, future trends related to policy, classification systems, and emerging technology, and the potential impact of these trends on HIM professionals and organizations.
Your research paper should address the following:
Your research paper should be supported by readings from throughout the quarter, and also a minimum of 10 primary, academic sources. This paper should be in proper APA format, which includes a title page, reference page, and APA-formatted references.
Health Information Management
Health information management entails acquisition, analysis, and protection of traditional and digital data that is relevant for patient care. It is a blend of information technology, business, and science. HIM professionals work on the classification of illnesses and medications to warrant they are systemized for clinical, legal and financial uses in healthcare. These professionals take care of the patient’s health data. The health information which the health information management professionals are responsible for include: A history and gross examination, laboratory tests, clinical data, X-rays and various radiography procedures (Audet & Jacob, 2016).
The growth of the profession
A few years ago HIM profession pivoted on paper-based medical records that were mainly used by clinicians in health care facilities. Although these professionals still have the roles of gathering, retention, coding, analysis, processing, interpretation, privacy and sharing information, the methods in which the execution of these roles has changed drastically. HIM professionals have increasingly embraced the use of emerging technologies in the recent past, and assisting people to retrieve information to elevate medical decision-making, financial management, research, and individual health management. The HIM profession has gained an important leadership role in guaranteeing efficiency, quality, and privacy of medical information while the healthcare field transition into rising electronic and worldwide environment (Weaver et al. 2016). The HIM professionals require having higher knowledge on the new ways to enter health information, store that information and easily access the information remotely or electronically. Their responsibility is essential for keeping orderly and accurate data electronically.
There are various occupations in health information management. They include:
Electronic Health Records Manager
Today patient’s records processing to a greater extent is digital. Electronic records minimize medical errors hence improve the level of care. There are openings for workers with different levels of training and skills. A low-level technician may scan documents and do chart request processing. A master level manager might execute projects, create a training program and evaluate progress about industry benchmarks (Wager et al. 2017).
Medical Records Auditor
Auditors make sure that providers of healthcare follow the various stipulated regulations. The may be the hospital employees or employed by payers to probe individual claims or to combine data to observe trends.
Electronic health records analysts
Electronic health analysts have a responsibility of maintaining quality and compliance. They mine interpret and relay the data. This data may influence funding decisions consequently revamping health care.
A number of HIM professionals concentrate on compliance issues. They may develop to upper-level management, for instance, Privacy Officer or Senior Compliance Analyst. Because it is an emerging field, trained experts are high on demand.
Medical coding is becoming significant nowadays, abstraction of patient’s data then attaching codes and quantifiers not limited to real diagnoses and approaches but other situations around healthcare, is done by the coding specialists. HIM professionals can attain certification on coding through the AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) or AHIMA (American Health Information management Association) though this does not necessarily happen to low-level coding (Algha, 2014).
Cancer registrars preserve cancer-associated records from population data, to diagnosis and medication. Registries have several roles; they guide medical research, impacting the disbursement of funds for public health, making sure survivors have a good follow-up. Now, brief degree programs are specializing in creating and maintaining cancer registries.
Electronic Health Records Developer and analyst
They are involved in the design of systems for electronic medical records, from conceptualization to execution. A person requires having a higher knowledge of software systems (McCullough et al. 2016).
Potential growth of the field
While the need for information in the healthcare industry rises, HIM professionals have played a crucial role. They are highly valued, there is a belief they will rank high in the coming days. The value is attributable to a variety of factors including the rising change from paper to electronic means of data entry and storage; this results to an increasingly tangled industry that absorbs a vast number of qualified Health Information Management experts. Data analysis, cyber security and data visualization are projected to be the future skills required while organizations hire staff (Assuli, 2015).
The offering of accredited HIM courses continues at many Universities. Many offer degrees in health information management. Professionals must finish an associate or bachelor degree recognized by the CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education). Freshly graduated HIM professionals are joining a changing work environment, and their credentialing and training must be in line with the emerging requirements and demands in healthcare entities. Geographically distributed degree programs are required at all levels of HIM learning, to make sure academic programs are in line with the dynamic requirements of the health industry. Even though HIM profession has previously been seen as a sole profession, the duties performed HIM professions now affect a variety of sectors in healthcare organizations and across the whole healthcare system. . Professionals in HIM get training on the current technology of managing information, the applications and they have an understanding of the workflow in any healthcare providing entity, both large health centers systems and small private hospitals. They are the cornerstone to day to day operations management of information related to health and electronic health records (Liebler & McConnell, 2016). They guarantee that records and health information of a patient are accurate, complete and protected. These professionals work in various distinct job titles. Often, they serve on connecting clinical, bridge roles, administrative and operational roles, HIM professionals influence the quality of health information regarding the patient and patient care at every aspect related to the delivery of healthcare.
Upon completion of a two or four-year course, employment candidates require to finish a certification test to authenticate their competence successfully. Based on the level of education, candidates can pursue single from two credentials: Those who have attained a bachelor’s degree sought an RHIA (Registered Health Information Technician) credential. On top of a four-year degree, the certification needs exemplary performance on the RHIA exam. Those who have attained a diploma certificate look for the RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician) qualification, which also passing is a must. RHITs are technicians who warrant the best element of medical records by confirming data fullness, correctness, and ideal input into the computer. Other certifications that are in HIM profession are CCA (Coding Certified Associate), CCS-P (Certified Coding Specialist-physician -based), CHDA (Certified Health Data Analyst) and CCS (Certified Coding Associate). Having highly qualified HIM personnel on staff guarantees an organization holds the correct information which can be retrieved when and where needed without compromising the data standards of confidentiality, security, and integrity. HIM profession expands as the technology advances.
There are several professional organizations related to this field they are:
AHMA (American Health Management Association)
AHMA is working towards revamping the execution of electronic health records (EHR) by leading important industry programs and promoting high standards consistently. AHIMA’s subscribers remain updated through its accreditation of highly advanced academic courses and professional growth opportunities, for instance, comprehensive pursuing of education.
HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society)
HIMSS is an organization that does not operate on profit goals with an objective to encourage the ultimate use of information technology and management information systems in healthcare. HIMSS has an annual conference that converges health IT stakeholders for some days of learning and networking.
AMIA (The American Medical Informatics Association)
AMIA is a professional meeting point for leading informatics professionals; researchers, clinicians, scientists, students, educators and other professionals who depend on data to merge information, people and technology
Health Financial Management Association
It is a membership association that unites financial managers and executives from healthcare provider concerns, health plan markets and physician practices to amalgamate to solve the challenges encountered today US healthcare institutions. HFMA is a necessary source for industry news, education, networking, and perspectives.
AHIP (Academy for Health Information Professionals)
AHIP is a program for credentialing founded by the MLA (Medical Library Association) to honour academic preparation, professional accomplishment and professional experience from both licensing and certification. Certification emphasize on meeting of minimum requirements.
Future trends and implications
A rising level of information is being stored online with improved healthcare technology. While it is crucial to a patient, it also places the patient into the vulnerability of data being maliciously accessed. The hackers could steal and share personal information. TrapX Security said healthcare cyber attracts rose by 63% in 2015 unlike in 2016. Since time immemorial, HIM professionals have secured the integrity of the data through ethical and managerial guidelines. The federal government improved these standards of health information when it realized the need for advancing the effectiveness and efficiency of health care structure by systemizing the exchange of electronic financial and administrative data. The changes exist in HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), the basic all-inclusive federal health privacy safety legislation when blending with stricter privacy regulations, intended to protect medical data and protect individual privacy. The privacy rule part of the HIPAA regulation direct all included entities to nominate a privacy officer to administer HIPAA compliance by the consortium’s employees. As the switch to EHR advances, the government is boosting the decree for privacy protection. The lately endorsed federal HITECH Act, a portion of the American and Reinvestment Act, comprise provisions to finance health information technology and safeguard data to make the public feel at ease using EHRs and have their data throughout using information exchanges. The HIM qualification is proof of working understanding of health information activities (Sood & Bates, 2015).
The changes found in the classification system.
Providers of healthcare and HIM employers are progressively leveraging on health information for a myriad of decisions and benchmarking quantification, hence increase their dependence on HIM professionals to offer management of data, analysis and make sure quality and security of data are free from compromise. This accelerating demand for these professionals has led to the profession embracing a broader set of roles. Apart from training in basic set of skills, HIM professionals are evolving to be: Setters of standards for electronic health records and various emerging technologies, consumer advocates who come together with patients to assist them have access and know their recorded information while controlling its usage, patient educators, and administrators regarding content, privacy, interpretation, and access to records.
Emerging health information technologies
Health information technology (HIT) is the framework for managing health information and the sharing of this information digitally. Some of the emerging technologies in healthcare information include interoperability. One of the critical conveniences brought about by a HIT is the simplicity of transporting and sharing data among stakeholders. However, this becomes implemented if the systems in different divisions are interoperable. Interoperability is when computer systems and software can communicate with each other in a manner the user will understand. HIM professionals are highly becoming part of this process. Another HIT technology that is trending is the Body Area Networks and the widespread Health Monitoring. Latest advances in wireless networking and microelectronics are reaching closer to what was perceived as fiction a few years ago. Very small medical sensors can be worn or lodged in the body to mine and relay a range of medical information. BAN (Body Area Network) allows exchange of information between micro sensors that a located in the body.
Legal and ethical considerations
Patient‘s confidentiality. Fast retrieval of data and information exchange using EHRs is an advantage to care improvement, but this poses risks to user privacy. Unauthorized use, disclosures are some of the feared consequences of use EHRs by the patients. Respect for patient independence demands that patient records and information remain confidential and private. Patient’s access to information is paramount. In ethics matters, patients have a right to access their medical records. EHRs can improve engagement and participation in healthcare; this improvement is through enhanced communication, patient access, and empowerment. Innovations in healthcare should be in line with the ethical responsibilities of considering the patient first.
Impact of Technology on Organizations and Stakeholders
Patients are the most impacted by the changes in health technology since they are the end users of the technology. They have to get along with allowing their data to be collected, stored and manipulated electronically. Although technology has a positive impact on information sharing to the patients, they have to compromise on their privacy. Health information technology entails technologies that cover from simple charting to complex decision support and the incorporation with medical technology. It presents several opportunities for transformation and improving healthcare which includes; practice efficiencies improvement, minimizing human errors, enhancing clinical outcomes, and care coordination. All these sums up to improve the patient’s safety
Through the EHRs it has become simple to retrieve information about a patient. The adoption will impact on the quality of services offered to the patient since information availability is crucial to every medical field. Physicians benefit from extensive data which is usable, the info that guides them on caring for the patient.
When a migration or implementation that will affect the present system, vendors must be part to ensure the transition is smooth. Project initiators should pinpoint the support services offered by providers and leverage on that support.
Almost every project has a projected impact on the financial aspect of an organization; hence the opinions of board members, chief financial officer, and the chief executive officers are paramount in the execution of a project. These leaders can assist project leaders to comprehend the economic effects of the project. The team in a plan must keep the project objectives in line with the entire agenda and priorities (Charan et al. 2014).
Agha, L. (2014). The effects of health information technology on the costs and quality of medical care. Journal of health economics, 34, 19-30.
Audet, A. M., Squires, D., & Doty, M. M. (2014). Where are we on the diffusion curve? Trends and drivers of primary care physicians’ use of health information technology. Health services research, 49(1pt2), 347-360..
Ben-Assuli, O. (2015). Electronic health records, adoption, quality of care, legal and privacy issues and their implementation in emergency departments. Health Policy, 119(3), 287-297.
Charani, E., Castro-Sánchez, E., Moore, L. S., & Holmes, A. (2014). Do smartphone applications in healthcare require a governance and legal framework? It depends on the application!. BMC medicine, 12(1), 29.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2016). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Liebler, G., & McConnell, C. R. (2016). Management principles for health professionals. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
McCullough, J. S., Parente, S. T., & Town, R. (2016). Health information technology and patient outcomes: the role of information and labor coordination. The RAND Journal of Economics, 47(1), 207-236.
Sheikh, A., Sood, H. S., & Bates, D. W. (2015). Leveraging health information technology to achieve the “triple aim” of healthcare reform. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 22(4), 849-856.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2017). Health care information systems: a practical approach for health care management. John Wiley & Sons.
Weaver, C. A., Ball, M. J., Kim, G. R., & Kiel, J. M. (2016). Healthcare information management systems. Cham: Springer International Publishing.