AHIMA 2015: Breaking Down Walls and Realizing the Vision

By: In: Healthcare On: Sep 23, 2015
AHIMA 2015:  Breaking Down Walls and Realizing the Vision

The countdown to AHIMA’s national conference has begun, and I’m really looking forward to attending the event this year. Not only am I excited to experience the culture and culinary excellence of the great city of New Orleans, but I’m even more excited to participate in this annual event that serves to educate and inspire thousands of Health Information Management Professionals across the country.

This will be my fifth AHIMA conference in five years, so I’ve had the opportunity to witness an evolution in the world of HIM as the broader healthcare landscape undergoes dramatic change. Over these years, we’ve heard from AHIMA leadership about the promise of a HIM organization without walls. Past conferences have also presented of the vision of the HIM professional taking the lead in driving enterprise-wide Information Governance (IG) initiatives.

What is so encouraging to learn is the real progress that is underway. The recently published Cohasset | AHIMA Information Governance in Healthcare: Professional Readiness and Opportunity white paper provides evidence of progress with statistics that show that over the past year:

  • 44% of survey respondents indicate IG advancement has begun in their organizations.
  • 43% of respondents agree that their IG role gives them the opportunity to be more visible in and valuable to other departments in their organizations.
  • Additionally, 39% of respondents agree that their IG role affords them the prospect of professional advancement.

All of these findings help to demonstrate an optimism for the variety of roles that HIM Professionals can take on in the new healthcare landscape. Traditionally, HIM skills have required a very broad range of competencies and responsibilities including: understanding data and workflow; managing retention and compliance; preparing for audit; mitigating risk, and readying data for analytics. As the survey shows, this strong foundational skill set can help HIM break down todays’ silos – or walls – and better prepare for healthcare initiatives such as big data, population health, and Accountable Care.

In conjunction with the Professional Readiness survey, Iron Mountain had recently engaged some key health industry thought leaders to provide their predictions on the new opportunities facing HIM professionals. These perspectives have been summarized and compiled into an eBook that reveal the authors’ viewpoints on the great potential for HIM to participate or lead in a variety of critical IG-related roles.   From the newly emerging role of Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO), to the up-and-coming Data Scientist, there is opportunity for the HIM of today to leverage their current competencies and apply their well-established skills to these newer disciplines.

As I start to plan for the week ahead, I look forward to having conversations with HIM professionals from around the country in order to better understand the IG journey they are facing.  While each health system has its own strategy and objectives, I do hope to learn:

  • How is IG advancing within your health system?
  • What role are you playing in Enterprise Information Management and IG initiatives?
  • What additional skills are needed for you to take your place at the head of the IG table?

Be sure to visit Iron Mountain in booth #423; we’d love to hear your IG perspectives over some beignets and coffee, and we look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

← It’s IG’s Time to Step Outside of ICD-10’s Shadow Enterprise-level Leadership of IG and IM: Attitudes and Aptitudes →

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About the author

Nancy Twombly

Nancy Twombly is a Senior Solution Marketing Manager for Healthcare at Iron Mountain. In this role, Nancy is responsible for the go to market activities for Iron Mountain's portfolio of healthcare solutions. Prior to joining Iron Mountain, Nancy had worked in a variety of product marketing, channel marketing, and product management roles at Pegasystems and HP. Nancy holds a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.