Using Standards to Move Health IT Forward

The Monday afternoon session “EHR and HIM Professional Practice Standards” detailed various initiatives moving health information management (HIM) practice standards forward in health IT.

The session, helmed by AHIMA’s HIM Practice Excellence Directors Diana Warner, MS, RHIA, CHPS, FAHIMA, and Barbara Glondys, RHIA, discussed AHIMA’s mission statement to “lead the health informatics and health information management community to advance professional practice and standards” and the 2013 AHIMA Board of Directors’ mega-issue charge to “develop a formal body of principles, guidelines and/or practice standards for the management of health information.”

Panelists also reviewed recent AHIMA initiatives on standards development, AHIMA’s Core Model, and the Institute for Health Improvement’s (IHI) Triple Aim.

HIM Professional Practice Standards Being Developed

The panel members reported on the HIM Professional Practice Standards initiative and the plan to develop HIM principles that align with the eight Information Governance Principles for Healthcare, which are expected to be unveiled by AHIMA’s Chief Operating Officer Deborah Green, MBA, RHIA, at Tuesday morning’s general session. The principles form the basis for an effective information governance accountability framework to ensure complete, current, and accurate information.

HIM practice standards will be developed in 2015 based on the HIM principles. Also a gap analysis will be conducted to identify existing resources in AHIMA’s HIM Body of Knowledge, which, until recently, have been considered practice guidelines. AHIMA will develop additional standards resources as needed.

AHIMA Working with US TAG and TC 215

Warner spoke on AHIMA’s involvement on the International Standards Organization Technical Committee 215 (ISO/TC 215) on health informatics. TC 215 works on the standardization of health information and communications technology to allow for compatibility and interoperability between independent systems.

“We are not just a seat at the table—we are the table,” Warner said.

Current work on the ISO/TC 215 involves developing a standard on the appropriate use of “copy and paste” functionality in electronic health records (EHRs).

Standards Roles Emerging for HIM

As the importance of standards is increasingly recognized in order to achieve efficiency in data management, improve quality of care, address escalating costs, and maintain organizational effectiveness, so is the need for evolving roles in HIM.

Emerging careers have been identified in research and development, practice workflow, translation bioinformatics, and terminology asset management. Are we ready to assume these roles?

The new paradigm includes strategic use of data in a data-centered era using advanced technology to support evidenced-based decision making.

The panelists invited AHIMA members to join in the effort to move data standards forward in the industry.

Catch up on the news and get insights from AHIMA’s 86th annual Convention and Exhibit held September 27-October 2 in San Diego, CA. For a complete list of event coverage on the Journal of AHIMA website, click here.

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