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Current "Health IT Revolution" Drastically Changes HIM in the Near Future (Part I)
Today's HIM education models must change now to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape of tomorrow's HIM field.
By Chris Dimick
The health information technology revolution has begun, and as it progresses, the shake-up in health information management departments, processes, and data management will leave the profession profoundly different.
In record time and at an unprecedented pace, the electronic health record (EHR) has spurred a revolutionary change in HIM that's modifying the profession as each day passes.
EHRs and accompanying technology like health information exchange, computer-assisted coding, voice recognition software, and patient portals—along with revamped government quality and EHR incentive programs—are modifying many aspects of HIM.
Healthcare and HIM professionals have been left sprinting down technology's trail-blazed path, working to make the most of health IT systems and new data sets that have only just begun to show the true extent of their potential impact on health management and patient care.
As technology changes HIM processes, it also changes HIM professionals' roles and the education and skills necessary to get their modified jobs done.
Because of this digital shift, other healthcare disciplines are for the first time realizing the importance of acquiring skills in fundamental HIM duties like health data management, privacy and security, and information exchange.
Industry thought leaders and associations like AHIMA have called on HIM professionals to embrace these technological industry changes and become pioneers in new and adapted health information management roles. The alternative, they warn, is to get washed away in the revolution's wake.
Part of this call involves planning for the future and getting the right training today for tomorrow's HIM jobs.
HIM experts have slightly different views on just what roles HIM professionals will have in the next 10 to 15 years. But all agree that while the demand for HIM fundamentals will not change, how those fundamentals are used within healthcare most assuredly will.
Some job roles will wither while others will blossom. And the HIM mindset and education will need to adapt.
The year 2025 will still require privacy and security experts, data analysts, health information managers, and information release experts. But 13 years from now, HIM will likely perform those roles in vastly different ways and healthcare areas than in 2012, experts say.
Chris Dimick (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor-in-chief of the Journal of AHIMA.
Dimick, Chris. "Health 2025 Information Management: Current “Health IT Revolution” Drastically Changes HIM in The Near Future." Journal of AHIMA 83, no.8 (August 2012): 24-31.
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