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Leading Innovation in Enterprise Information Governance

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2013



The past two decades have seen tremendous change in health information management (HIM) practice. The underlying drivers of this transformation are the complexity of healthcare delivery, the exploding demand for actionable information, pressure for greater public accountability, and the ev....

Pursuit of Meaningful Use

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2010


On January 13 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a notice of proposed rulemaking containing the stage 1 criteria for meaningful use of certified electronic health records. As this is the prerequisite to receiving incentive payments provided through the American Recovery a....

Articulating the Value of HIM

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2010


What more can you do to earn that coveted seat at decision-making tables in your organization? As directors and managers of health information services, you are responsible for valuable information assets, including their accuracy, compliance, access, and use. Yet organizations continue to pla....

Building an EHR Learning Community

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2009


It is fitting that the theme for the last issue of 2009 is electronic health records (EHRs). Nearly 20 years have passed since AHIMA provided financial support for the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s Computer-Based Patient Record: An Essential Technology for Healthcare.
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HIM Enters an Era of “Powerful Possibilities”

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2009


Discussing his enthusiasm for the HIM field, he said, “I am fortunate to be coming into the field at this time... I missed all the boring stuff and am getting in it when things are really happening.” I laughed and assured him that those of us who have been around for a while have n....

Quality Clinical Documentation—A Costly Challenge

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2009


The debate continues over how to reform healthcare while controlling costs and spending. The options are complex and controversial, and after decades of failed cost and spending control efforts, it’s not surprising that there is skepticism.

Reforming one of the world’s mo....

Managing the Unintended Consequences of EHRs

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2009


Broadly deployed health information and communication technology is crucial to every aspect of healthcare reform. Financial assistance through ARRA should speed EHR adoption via financial incentives and other forms of support. This, in turn, will cause unintended and unforeseen consequences. <....

Wider World of Coding

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2009


Coding reminds me of the parable of three blind men describing an elephant. Each one touches just one part of the elephant.

The blind man who examined the elephant’s tail likened it to a straw fan swinging back and forth; the man who explored the legs described the elephant as....

HIM Key to Healthcare Reform

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009



This promises to be a challenging year. Against the backdrop of a brittle economy, virtually every major societal system—including healthcare—needs redesign and reinvestment. Our cover story this month identifies the key HIM elements in the health information reform agenda. Fed....

HIM Leadership Challenge...for the Next 80 Years!

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


As AHIMA celebrates its 80th anniversary this month, we focus on the significant challenges that lay ahead. Though most emphasis today is on acquiring and implementing health IT, this will give way to an emphasis on managing and creating value from an organization’s information assets.

Building Mass and Flexing HIM’s Muscle

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2008


A body of knowledge is the sum total of all knowledge in an area of expertise or profession. It is comprised of knowledge areas or domains. HIM’s domains include health data content and structure, medical terminologies and classification systems, and health information systems and techno....

Renewing the Vision of the Digital Medical Practice

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2008


I recently observed a series of focus groups in which high school students, “Generation Y” young adults, working parents with small children, and “pioneer” baby boomers discussed health IT. As you would expect, there were many differences in how these groups use technology.


Ho....

Skilled Knowledge Workers in Short Supply

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2008


This is a demanding time for coders. MS-DRGs and present on admission requirements would have been challenging on their own; however, both came at virtually the same time, straining coders already stretched to meet their job requirements.

Recruitment and retention of coding staff is....

PHRs—The Hook to Engage and Inform Consumers?

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2008


The Internet, cell phones, and other technologies have forever changed how we communicate and gain access to information. We manage and track our finances and medical and other benefits online. Some are even fortunate enough to be able to communicate with their physicians through secure e-mail....

States—Laboratories for E-Health

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2008


States are often described as “laboratories of democracy.” Today they are also serving as laboratories for e-health. Virtually every US state is pursuing IT initiatives to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of healthcare. Leadership is coming from governors’ offic....

Re-examining HIPAA Six Years Later

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2008


It was six years ago this month that the HIPAA privacy rule went into effect. For many in healthcare, compliance has become a routine part of doing business. But for too many, the current regulations remain poorly understood and poorly implemented. All the while, the environment has been chang....

ICD-10 Malaise: A Symptom of US Healthcare’s Ills

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2008


Approximately 100 countries use some form of ICD-10 for clinical morbidity coding. That’s correct: 100 countries, and the US is not among them.

The World Health Organization released ICD-10 in 1990, and countries began implementing it in 1994. Most had fully implemented it by....

Legal EHR—Friend, Not Foe

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2008


AHIMA has been working hard to advance the industry’s understanding of the legal electronic health record and to develop practical advice for ensuring that EHRs protect patients and providers at each stage of development. While descriptive, the phrase legal EHR seems to strike fear in some who....

Checking the Radar as the New Year Begins

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2008


As health information managers, our radar screens are as full as those of air traffic controllers at O’Hare Airport. In the cover story that follows, AHIMA’s talented staff select 12 hot topics to watch in 2008, from regulations and standards to emerging e-HIM practices.
From th....

Renewing HIM's Commitment to Privacy and Security

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2007


If the thousands of pages of analysis from the RTI reports on privacy and security practices could be boiled down to just one phrase it would be “we’ve only just begun.” As reported in articles throughout this issue, the RTI research confirms that privacy and security regulat....

New Ways to Work

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2007



The demand for competent HIM professionals is at an all-time high. That’s true for traditional employers as well as for organizations that didn’t even employ HIM professionals 20 or even 10 years ago. Remember, about 50 percent of HIM professionals now work for hospitals, down....

Spotlight on Education and Training

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2007


It’s September, and students are back in school. Therefore the first Journal issue of the fall focuses on education. When we discuss education at AHIMA, we always think in two dimensions: the academic preparation of HIM experts and continuing education for those already in the field. The....

Accuracy Imperative: New Stakes for Coded Data

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2007


The requirements for coding accuracy have always been high, even before coding became the basis for reimbursement. HIM professionals have championed improvements to medical record documentation and classification systems essential to accurate coding, and the profession has also led the wa....

EHR Progress: Reaching the Tipping Point?

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2007


There are many forecasts about how long it will take for EHRs to be the norm across healthcare. There is talk of a tipping point where penetration and momentum are great enough to move the rest of the industry. But just when will EHRs truly be mainstream technologies, and what are the stages f....

Legal EHR: New Practices, New Skills

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2007


Defining the legal EHR is a key strategy that AHIMA has been working on for several years. The FORE Library: HIM Body of Knowledge is growing on this important topic thanks to the work of HIM, legal, and IT experts serving on AHIMA’s e-HIM® work groups. In addition, an HIM-led Health Level S....

RHIOs at a Crossroads

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2007


Regional health information organizations (RHIOs) represent what is best about public service organizations in our country. They are voluntary organizations formed by people who want to improve the safety and quality of healthcare by making reliable information available where it is neede....

Celebration, Engagement, and Impact: HIM in 2006

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2006


This month AHIMA’s 78th Convention and Exhibit will address a wide range of HIM issues. In my career, I have attended more than 30 AHIMA conventions, and I am always struck by the growing breadth of HIM practice issues.

It was a privilege to reflect on the accomplishments of t....

Passion for Learning

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2006


Lifelong learning is a key responsibility of professionals in all fields. Professional development is the focus this month because it’s important for each of us to periodically reflect on how well we are doing. In this issue, experts discuss the importance of professional development planning,....

Recipe for Information-based Healthcare

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2006


Creating an information-based health system is like following a recipe. First, include essential ingredients, such as accurate and complete clinical documentation organized in architectures that enable access and interoperability. Then add protocols, terminologies, and classification systems to....

Achieving a Nationwide Health IT Milestone

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2006


Electronic health record (EHR) systems achieve a great milestone this month. The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) will begin judging the first ambulatory EHRs on functionality, security, reliability, and interoperability criteria. As Mark Leavitt and Lisa G....

Health IT Moves from Conversation to Action

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2006




The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's 2006 conference featured more than 800 vendors displaying technologies from electronic health records (EHRs) to PDAs. Health IT is a booming industry. Global spending on health IT is projected to exceed $100 billion in 2006,....

Fraud Management: a $100 Billion Bonus from Health IT?

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2006


The financial losses from healthcare fraud in the US are staggering...and growing. Fraud was estimated to be between 3 and 10 percent of total health expenditures in 2003, or $51 to $170 billion, according to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. Whether an interconnected health IT....

Data Content Standards: the Nexus of HIM Practice

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2006


One of AHIMA’s key goals for 2006 is to promote quality and safety through standards for data content and documentation. Quality and safety require that the right information is available at the right time to support patient care and health system management decisions. Gaining consensus....

Connecting Interoperability to HIM

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2006


This year the vision of connected health information will come into sharper focus. Federally funded initiatives for sharing health information are taking place in a dozen communities across the country. Four consortiums are under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to de....

Greater Urgency, Sharper Focus for PHRs

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2005


Through its request for information, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that it was exploring how its extensive claims and benefits data could be of value to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and how, as the single largest healthcare purchaser in the US, it could he....

E-HIM: Our Commitment to Lead

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2005



For the past two years, AHIMA’s report “Vision of the e-HIM® Future” has served as a touchstone in our rapidly adapting field. When published in 2003, the report painted a picture of evolving HIM roles and practice in a healthcare industry moving from paper to an elec....

Thinking Nationally, Acting Locally: Get Involved Today

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2005


In a few short months, the US has progressed from thoughtful reports and vision documents to the hard work of designing and building a national health information network. Much of the observable progress today is at the regional and state levels, each of which aims to improve some aspect of pa....

Coding at a Crossroads

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2005


It has been nearly 25 years since ICD-9-CM codes became the basis for hospital inpatient payment. Over the years, code-based payment has extended to virtually all healthcare services, and CPT and HCPCS code sets have been added to the mix. We now use software tools to facilitate coding and hav....

Community of Learners

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2005


I’ve had the pleasure of attending several state and local association meetings this spring and witnessed firsthand the HIM community’s commitment to learning. Sure, there’s the need to earn continuing education credits, but that’s not the only motivator for attendees w....

Transforming Healthcare: the Time for Change is Now

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


In recent remarks to Connecting for Health’s steering group, David Brailer, MD, PhD, the national health information technology coordinator, noted that if this is the decade of health IT adoption, 2005 could well turn out to be the year of “maximum flexion.” Brailer urged the....

NHIN Comes into Focus

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology issued a request for information (RFI) to gather broad input about how the US national health information network (NHIN) should be designed. In just six short weeks, hundreds of organizations and thousands of stakeholders....

Standardized Data: the Difference for EHR Solutions

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2005


This month, Dallas will be the center of the health IT world as HIMSS hosts its 2005 trade show, of which AHIMA again will be a sponsor. We look forward to learning how electronic health record (EHR) solutions are maturing and how provider organizations are succeeding in improving patient care....

Letters accompanying Collaborative Response to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) Request for Information (RFI) on National Health Information Network (NHIN)

Author: AHIMA; Kloss, Linda L

Source: AHIMA testimony and comments

Publication Date: January 18, 2005


January 18, 2005

David J. Brailer, MD, PhD
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 517-D
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Dr.....

Better Patient Care Through Data Quality

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2004



"Paper kills” has become a catch phrase in certain political circles to dramatize the need for a digitized healthcare system. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now head of the Center for Health Transformation, stated, “A paper-based system is an ignorant system” and the....

AHIMA Welcomes the HIM World Community

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2004

We’re thrilled to host the 14th Congress of the International Federation of Health Records Organizations (IFHRO), the long-awaited gathering of HIM professionals from 30 countries, in Washington, DC. IFHRO was established in 1968 to advance professional practice, assist developing countries t....

EHR and Interoperability: Reaching the Tipping Point

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2004


The drive to create an interoperable health information system accelerated during the summer. Four major initiatives came together in the summer heat, and our nation is poised to move from talk to action about health information infrastructure. We have reached the tipping point.
Nationa....

New Languages of Medicine: Inform and Influence Now

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2004


Many healthcare decision makers do not understand the many ways coded data are used throughout healthcare and the urgency of moving forward with ICD-10. They also are unable to visualize how reference terminologies such as SNOMED CT are used in electronic health record systems and how these te....

In Honor of the Educators

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2004


This issue is dedicated to HIM educators, those who teach in the more than 230 academic training programs and the thousands who contribute to our lifelong continuing education. We can all cite an HIM educator or mentor who helped set us on a sure career course. It’s graduation month for....

Building the NHII: From the Ground Up and the Top Down

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2004


It took the US just 11 years from the time NASA was set up to put a man on the moon. It took 18 years from conception to a completed map of the human genome. Now, the US and other countries are embarking on national healthcare initiatives similar to space travel and genomics in their complexi....

Managing Knowledge Workers

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2004


Many were caught by surprise last October when the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about a disgruntled medical transcriber from Pakistan who threatened to release confidential patient data if she did not get paid.1 When the full story was revealed, we learned that the University of Califor....

Health Information Security: Revisiting the 80/20 Rule

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2004


One of the most useful lessons I learned while working in healthcare quality improvement was the Pareto Principle, often referred to as the 80/20 rule. The concept is that in any endeavor, 20 percent of something is always responsible for 80 percent of the results.

This phenomenon i....

E-HIM: a "Glocal" Challenge

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004


The US is embarked on a public works agenda as major as highways, water works, and electrical grids. This same agenda is being pursued around the world in many developed and developing countries. It is a worldwide project to design and implement electronic health information systems. As HIM pr....

Data Quality: Part of the e-HIM Agenda

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


This has been another remarkable year for advancing HIM issues and the HIM profession. Programs to improve patient safety through information solutions have gone from the drawing board to demonstration projects. On April 14, the HIPAA privacy rule went into effect across the US. In July, the se....

Redefining the Boundaries of HIM

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


Health information management is an extraordinarily versatile discipline. Our work force research confirms that the field currently spans nearly 40 different work settings and more than 100 unique job titles.1 In addition, AHIMA’s e-HIM task force identified new roles relating to manageme....

Patients' Perspective: a Growing Information Gap

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


For a moment, forget that you are a health information manager. Instead, think of yourself as a person seeking healthcare. Are you frustrated when you have to repeat medical history information when you visit a specialist in your clinic? Do you search for lab results jotted on the back of an e....

Clinical Coding: Part of the HIM Mosaic

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


Many in healthcare today understand coding only in the context of billing, not recognizing that the very same coded data are used for important healthcare operations, policy, epidemiology, and many other uses. For 75 years, AHIMA has been the professional forum to advance the quality of health....

Data for Decisions: the State of the Profession

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2003


What is AHIMA’s work force research telling us about the profession today?

More than 95 percent of experienced RHITs and RHIAs report that many or some jobs are readily available

Nearly 75 percent of RHIAs serve on their organization’s electronic health record p....

Timeless Mission, Values Guide Change

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2003


How can you cope when it feels like change is coming at you from all directions? Effective management has come to mean the management of change. But effective change, particularly in the service sector of society, is change that has clear goals and is grounded in mission and values. It balances....

Driving Change through Rapid Demonstrations

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2003


The American healthcare system is in crisis and consumers are taking notice. Insurance costs are rising at double-digit rates and employers are passing along more of the cost to employees, leading to a recent nationwide strike at GE earlier this year. One in seven Americans is uninsured and fe....

Privacy -- an AHIMA Organizational Value

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2003


Ten years ago, AHIMA drafted model federal legislation to protect confidential medical record information. We aimed to raise Congress’ awareness that protection for this most personal information was sorely lacking and that the absence of uniform legal protection was a barrier to the use....

Commitment to Progress through e-HIM

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2003


Consensus is growing for a national health information infrastructure (NHII). As financial resources permit, all types of healthcare organizations are moving from paper to electronic health records (EHR). More than ever, the HIM profession must be visible and vocal advocates for this transform....

Our Role in Reducing Medical Errors

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2001


At press time, the culminating report of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century," had just been released. The IOM's earlier report estimated that medical errors ....

Ethics in Practice: Asking the Right Questions

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2001


When was the last time you had to decide the right thing to do? Recall a time when an employee asked your advice about what action would be right or wrong. What words would you would use to describe how you made the decisions? Words like "judgement," "intuition," a....

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