Resolution from Tennessee HIT/HIM Educators, AHIMA HIM Education Strategy Committee and THIMA Board of Directors
A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management
The healthcare industry is in a state of transition with the adoption of electronic health records, personal health records, and health information exchanges. The focus for HIM professionals has been paper-based medical records. Now we are transitioning to electronic and digital health record systems. This transition has presented new challenges for our profession to meet the skills and technology processes for electronic health records. Different job skills are required to process and manage electronic health information across the continuum of healthcare services. This presents challenges for training the HIM work force to meet the demands of e-HIM™ at the present time and for the future.
A new vision for quality education in health information management is proposed to sustain HIM professionals as the experts in existing job roles and to lead in new job skills as the electronic health record and health data exchanges continue to develop and become the most common and accepted method of maintaining health information. The HIM profession is challenged to demonstrate the skills and abilities to move forward in this time of transition as the leaders and qualified professionals to maintain quality information for quality patient care. The movement toward the master's degree as the terminal degree for the HIM profession is influenced by broader trends in healthcare work force development and increased healthcare market demand.
Presently the breadth of HIM knowledge and entry-level competencies include broad areas of subject matter, which are difficult to cover in the limited time frame within the curriculum presently taught at current academic levels of HIM education. The AHIMA Board of Directors charged the 2006-2007 HIM Education Strategy Committee with the following objective:
"To ensure the future of the health information management profession and the broader Health Informatics profession to achieve a strong leadership role to transform healthcare through quality health information, for the successful deployment of electronic health records, personal health records and the national health information network."
The HIM Education Strategy Committee has been working since August 2006 to develop a strategy to meet the above objective. "Vision 2016: A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management" is the report of their study to address the objective set forth by the AHIMA Board of Directors.
Key priorities of the blueprint are:
- Transformation of health information management to a graduate level profession by 2016;
- Realign the health information management associate degree with workforce needs by 2016;
- Prepare an effective, qualified pool of health information management faculty by 2016
Intent: Begin inquiry of suggested actions for the key priorities as defined in "Vision 2016: A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management.
Addressed to: AHIMA Board of Directors and its component state associations, AHIMA Assembly on Education, CAHIIM, Council on Certification and other groups
Originator: Tennessee HIT/HIM Educators, AHIMA HIM Education Strategy Committee and THIMA Board of Directors
Whereas, The concern expressed by HIM educators and demonstrated in today's curricula is the challenge to cover all required domains, subdomains and tasks to the depth and skill levels required in the limited time frame of the baccalaureate degree;
Whereas, The profession shall support development of standards for master's degree education to move from CAHIIM approved to accreditation of master's degree programs;
Whereas, Mandated changes over the next several years may require a highly skilled HIM technical work force resulting in specialty tracks at the HIM associate degree level;
Whereas, Coding may require different skill sets relating to computer-assisted coding in the future;
Whereas, The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics estimates a need for annual replenishment to the health information work force by 2014 of 6,000 HIM professionals at all levels, and the 2006 CAHIIM annual program assessment report indicates HIM academic programs are graduating just over 2,500 students annually with a steady exponential increase of only 200-300 graduates each year. The ratio of graduates to enrolled students in both associate and baccalaureate HIM programs is low and not sufficient to meet predicted HIM workforce needs of the future;
Whereas, There is a recognized shortage of qualified faculty at all academic levels and over 60 percent of faculty in both HIM associate degree and HIM baccalaureate degree programs are adjunct or part time faculty; therefore, be it
Resolved, That AHIMA begin exploration of the key priorities and suggested action steps of the "Vision 2016: A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management" to ensure HIM professionals are prepared for and recognized as experts within the HIM knowledge domains essential in planning, implementing, and managing electronic health records;
Resolved, That AHIMA begin exploration of the key priorities of "Vision 2016: A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management" that may necessitate revision of curricula in HIM education across the spectrum from certificate programs, associate degree programs, baccalaureate programs, and graduate HIM programs to ensure HIM professionals have the high-quality education to be recognized as the experts essential to planning, implementing, and managing electronic health records before other healthcare disciplines challenge these HIM workforce opportunities.
Resolved, That AHIMA analyze the key priorities of "Vision 2016: A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management" with new strategies for increasing academic preparation of HIM educators at higher levels and escalate recruitment of more practitioners to become HIM educators at all levels.
Approved by the 2007-08 House of Delegates, October 7, 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania