Adaptation: The Key to Future HIM Success

By: In: Healthcare On: Jul 21, 2015

The 3rd blog in the Healthcare Information Governance Predictions & Perspectives blog series. This blog series is focused on Health IG Professional Readiness.  

It’s a known fact in the animal kingdom that all organisms need to adapt to their habitat to survive. Take the camel, for example. Their long eyelashes, ability to open and close their nostrils, wide feet, fluctuating body temperature, storage of fat (not water) in their humps, plus their sandy color allow them to successfully survive in the harshest of desert conditions.

Given the evolving healthcare landscape, it should come as no surprise that HIM professionals will need to adapt and refine their skill sets if they too want to meet the future challenges of the profession. Nowhere does this ring more true than in the area of Information Governance. As traditional tasks like paper records management, transcription and medical record coding decline in value over time, other skills will grow in importance, including managing electronic health records, data analytics, and clinical documentation.

Protecting the privacy and security of patient information and ensuring the integrity and quality of data will continue to be paramount in this new world of Health Information Governance. Leadership, project management and communication skills will be critical qualifications as the industry pivots to a more formalized approach to governance, and HIM takes a more proactive role in IG Steering Committees. In addition, HIM professionals will need to demonstrate proficiency in financial analysis, workflow assessment, change management and innovative problem solving.

Often in the past, HIM professionals were left out of technical discussions and key business decisions. Particularly when it came to Electronic Health Record systems, many Health Information Managers were not consulted and their expertise was frequently overlooked. Unfortunately, HIM was perceived as simply a task-oriented, overhead function, with little to no focus on strategic foresight or innovation. However, as the future unfolds, HIM professionals should be viewed as collaborative partners with a seat at the table, and an important voice in critical business and technology decisions affecting the quality and integrity of health information. And, to be recognized as healthcare industry experts in Information Governance, HIM leaders must be willing and prepared to challenge the status quo, rationalize legacy HIM processes, and most importantly, leverage and share their expertise to shape the vision of governance within their organization.

As the care delivery and regulatory landscape become more complex, HIM professionals must adapt to their surroundings and refine their skills to improve the accuracy, accessibility, delivery and integrity of data, deliver reduced operating costs and exposure to risk, and maximize the value of information across the continuum of care. Those that successfully adapt will be rewarded with high-impact work that contributes to the value of information assets for the good of their healthcare organization and the patients that they serve.

Join our Twitter Chat: Healthcare IG Professional Readiness: Predictions and Perspectives   #InfoTalk

On July 29th at 10:00am PT/1:00 pm ET, @IronMtnHealth is hosting a Twitter chat using #InfoTalk to further the dialog. If you have been involved in governance-related projects, we’d love to have you join. Topics include how   your organizations’ IG oversight body is utilizing the principles of IG; the IG disciplines that comprise your job responsibilities, and the tactics you are using to strengthen IG-related skills? Join in to keep the conversation going.

Hear more voices from the thought leaders of the healthcare industry by reading the rest of the blogs in this series: Health IG Professional Readiness.

← A New IG Leader: The Emerging Role of the CIGO Our Professional Responsibility to Lead in Information Governance →

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About the author

Karen Snyder

Director, Industry Solutions Marketing, Iron Mountain Karen Snyder joined Iron Mountain in 2005 as the Product Marketing Manager for the company’s healthcare vertical. She is currently leading Iron Mountain’s industry solutions marketing efforts, focusing on healthcare, government and the legal vertical. Ms. Snyder was instrumental in launching the Digital Record Center® for Medical Images and the Iron Mountain EMR Enablement Solution, and was the recipient of Iron Mountain’s prestigious President’s Award in 2008. Prior to joining Iron Mountain, Ms. Snyder spent over 12 years in various marketing, strategy and finance positions at AT&T. She graduated with distinction, earning a dual-MBA in Marketing and International Business from New York University (NYU) and also holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from NYU.