AHIMA Requests Updated Job Titles from US Labor Department

Officials from AHIMA are asking the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to revise job titles, job descriptions, and other workforce guidelines to the agency’s 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Principles. The BLS intends to revise the 2010 SOC by the end of 2016 and release it by 2018.

In a recent letter to the BLS, AHIMA notes that recent and rapid technological advancements, especially electronic health records (EHRs), have contributed to the need for new and more distinct classifications. For example, AHIMA would like to re-name “medical record and health information technician” to “health information technician” in order to reflect the current technology-enabled environment of healthcare. Many of AHIMA’s suggestions are based on its Career Map, which provides interactive and visual representation of job titles and roles and their scope of practice.

In its recommendation AHIMA suggests that “In recognition of the workforce changes and current need by employers for technology-skilled and specially trained health information technicians, update the SOC to reflect entry-level education of associate’s degree and certifications, remove clerical/administrative jobs from SOC 20-2071, and update salary information to reflect the current labor market.”

In addition to fine tuning job titles and duties, AHIMA also supports adjusting compensation and educational requirements for certain occupations. Failure to make these kinds of changes at the state and federal level can cause employers to “struggle to recruit, retain, and compensate health information technicians competitively, including medical coders and registrars,” the document says.

AHIMA also suggested that the BLS consider adding new HIM roles to the SOC, such as clinical documentation improvement specialist, privacy officer, health informatics practitioner, and additional management level titles.

Click here to read the full letter.


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