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Expecting the Best: Exemplary Behavior for Leaders

Author: Abdelhak, Mervat N.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2005


An HIM colleague gave me the book Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others as a gift a few months back. Authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner are well published on leadership and have researched, studied, and catalogued numerous best practices in leader....

Practice Toolkit: Occupational Health

Author: Jacobs, Ellen B.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2005


Much has been written about the benefits of the personal health record (PHR) for patients, providers, and the public. However, employers have received less attention in the PHR literature. Employers have a great interest in keeping their employees healthy. Healthy employees cost less to insure....

Privacy and Security Advantages of EHRs

Author: Miller, Dale W.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2005


During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the healthcare industry first began to consider implementing what was then referred to as computer-based health records. Concerns were raised about whether these electronic records could be made as secure as the paper records then being used at most organ....

Reporting Codes Accurately

Author: Giannangelo, Kathy

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: September 2005


Coding professionals routinely review records and, when appropriate, query physicians to clarify a condition. Once the specifics are known, ICD-9-CM is used to determine the appropriate codes to record a patient’s diagnosis and report the healthcare claim. Coding professionals know that....

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....

Passion for Coding

Author: Featheringham, Meg

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2005


Tanai Nelson, CCS, CCS-P, always knew that she wanted to go into some branch of the medical field. “I always thought I was to going to be a nurse at first,” she says. “I’ve always been intrigued about medicine, how things work, and learning about the body. Coding was ju....

Problem List Coding in e-HIM

Author: Fraser, Greg

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: July 2005


In 1968 Larry Weed, MD, introduced the idea that a complete and accurate problem list is an essential component of the medical record.1 The problem-oriented medical record (POMR), in which all data contained in the medical record can be linked to a list of problems, has been almost universally....

Practice Toolkit: College HIM

Author: Hjort, Beth M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2005


Sheila Zweifel, RHIT, has worked in college HIM for more than 25 years. “I love my job. It’s the variety,” Zweifel says of college HIM. However, she remembers a time, years ago, when few credentialed HIM professionals chose that career path. “Networking was difficult in....

Data Abstraction Unplugged: Taking Trauma Registry to the Point of Care with Wireless Technology

Author: Eisenhower, Cynthia; McElwee, Karen; Wargo, Christina; Woodruff, Tracy

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2005


Central to Geisinger Medical Center’s success with concurrent abstraction is wireless technology that enables registrars to work at the point of care.
Registry abstraction can have trouble keeping up with technology. Often located away from IT-intensive clinical departments and oper....

How to Safely Recycle PCs

Author: Quinsey, Carol Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2005


Securing the privacy of both protected health information and personal information should be a primary concern when personal computers have outlived their usefulness. Recycling or disposing of a computer safely can be a challenge.

It’s not enough to simply give an old computer....

Designing Effective Training

Author: Duggan, Christina Mayer

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2005



Creating a successful training program begins with asking the right questions and taking time on the plans, as one expert testifies.
Imagine sitting at your desk. The phone rings. It's your boss. You've just been tasked with an electronic health record (EHR) training initiative inv....

Update on the NHIN and RHIOs

Author: Mon, Donald T.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2005


In 2001 the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) began to explore the feasibility of a national health information infrastructure (NHII). Through an NHII, health information can be exchanged electronically, providing a major health information technology solution for incre....

Practice Toolkit: Medicare Billing in Long-term Care

Author: Sims, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2005


In order to accurately bill for long-term care, an organization must achieve consistency between the minimum data set (MDS) and the UB-92. The first step is to ensure compliance with the completion of the MDS. It is helpful to have a system that identifies the assessment reference date span an....

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....

Coder Uses Education as a Pathway to Success

Author: Hicks, Jewelle E

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2005


For coding consultant Bonnie C. Sher, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, her entrance into the world of HIM began with the desire to secure a future for herself and her family. In 1990 she was shocked when a friend’s husband suddenly died, leaving the family with no means of support. Sher knew that....

In New Role, Years of Experience

Author: Heubusch, Kevin

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2005


Scan Michelle Wieczorek’s credentials—RN, RHIT, CPHQ, CPUR—and consider how she came to work at the center of the external and internal Web sites of a major health system.

The biggest reason doesn’t have to do with knowing how information becomes pixels on a s....

Leading from the Middle

Author: Hagland, Mark

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2005


With one eye on strategy and one on operations, HIM managers not only have the opportunity to facilitate change, they also have the responsibility.
Awareness of senior-level strategy combined with detailed organizational knowledge can give HIM managers keen eyesight. For Mary Staub, RHIA....

Practice Toolkit: Public Health

Author: Quinsey, Carol Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2005


HIM professionals working in public health have the opportunity to make a difference in the health of neighbors, friends, and family members living in their communities. Public health includes both the care delivered to individuals and care delivered to populations of patients such as diabetic....

Making the Clerical Transition to e-HIM

Author: Lambton, Karanne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2005


As we move forward with the developing electronic health record (EHR), the emphasis on changing work processes, increasing productivity, and eliminating many paper-driven tasks may leave clerical staff fearful of an uncertain future. Helping clerical staff understand how their current skills a....

HIPAA Security: Don't Disband the Committee Just Yet

Author: Brown, Stephen C.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2005


By now, every healthcare organization has faced the initial security compliance responsibilities associated with HIPAA. However, the compliance road has not yet been fully traveled. The nature of the rule makes compliance a recursive effort of reassessment, continual auditing, regular educatio....

Power of Patient Access

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2005


As health information moves online, a debate has developed about whether patient access to medical information improves outcomes and patient satisfaction. Two recent studies indicate that patient access can both boost satisfaction and empower patients to take greater control of their healthcar....

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....

State of Document Management: an HIM Roundtable

Author: Friedman, Beth

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


In this panel discussion, four experts discuss the big picture and the fine grain of document management now and in the years ahead.
Document imaging, document management, electronic document management systems (EDMS)... these terms have all been part of the HIM vernacular for more than....

Reaffirming Your HIPAA Compliance Efforts

Author: Woloszyn, William

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


Two years after the HIPAA privacy compliance date, is it time for your organization to reassess your efforts and recommit to enforcing HIPAA?
Revisiting HIPAA’s Roots

The HIPAA privacy regulation was created in response to public healthcare concerns about the privacy of pa....

HIM Role in Bringing e-HIM to Small Practices

Author: Hanson, Susan P.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


In order for the nation’s health IT strategy to succeed, small physician practices must adopt electronic health records (EHRs). The transition of the paper-based small physician practice to the digital world will require a fundamental understanding of the practice and the deployment and....

Outsourcing ROI: Does it Make Sense for You?

Author: Bellenghi, G. Michael

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


Governed by state and federal regulations, release of information (ROI) is a time-consuming and sensitive process. Failure to fulfill requests accurately and on time can have painful ramifications, affecting quality of patient care and prompting irate phone calls and legal action or fines. Not....

Writing AHIMA's Next Chapter

Author: Abdelhak, Mervat N.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


Earlier this year, AHIMA’s Board of Directors defined what success looks like for our profession, our preferred future, and the necessary actions we need to take. Here’s what we see in AHIMA’s future.

Framing the opportunities. The board foresees the e-HIMTM journey....

Practice Toolkit: Long-term Care Research

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


Research in long-term care (LTC) settings is critical to improving the quality of care and outcomes for residents. One challenge is keeping abreast of relevant studies. This column will focus on the International Severity Information Systems and Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research (ISIS/I....

Physicians, Patients, and EHRs: When it Comes to a Consultation, Is Three a Crowd?

Author: Wager, Karen A.; Ward, David M; Lee, Frances Wickham; White, Andrea Weatherby; Davis, Kimberly S; Clancy, Dawn E

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


Research in an ambulatory care practice finds that, despite physician concerns, patients don’t perceive EHRs as intruders in the exam room.
Although great strides have been made in the use and acceptance of EHR systems in ambulatory care practice, there are still barriers that kee....

EHRs, the Doctor Will See You Now

Author: Carol, Ruth

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2005


EHR systems are costly to purchase, complex to evaluate, and require expertise to implement. So why are small physician practices buying more of them than ever before?
There are plenty of good reasons why EHRs have been scarce in small and medium-sized physician practices. Enormous cost....

Practice Toolkit: Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Author: Haines, Pamela T.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


HIPAA’s privacy rule has heightened awareness about confidentiality of healthcare information among the general public. However, pockets of confusion still exist. Misunderstandings between healthcare providers and law enforcement officials (LEOs) abound about the laws governing protected....

HIPAA Audit and System Activity Review: Developing a Process that Focuses on the Greatest Risks First

Author: Hofler, Linda D.; Hardee, Joy; Dildy, Kenneth; Burleson, Deeanna; Grady, Jamie

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


The privacy and security rules require audits and system activity reviews. Here is one health system's process, a systematic approach that focuses on areas of greatest risk.
Ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of patient information is fundamental to HIM, but it has taken on a new le....

Safeguarding ePHI from Fire the Dry Way

Author: Brown, Karen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


With HIPAA’s security rule compliance date right around the corner, many HIM professionals are still trying to determine if they have adequate safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI).

Many....

Reporting Security Incidents

Author: Amatayakul, Margret

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


HIPAA requires covered entities “implement policies and procedures to address security incidents.” There is one implementation specification: to “identify and respond to suspected or known security incidents; mitigate, to the extent practical, harmful effects of security inci....

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....

HIPAA Marches On--Or Does It?

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


HIPAA has taught us that standardization is hard. When the act was signed into law in 1996, the optimists among us believed that within four years the healthcare industry would be using a variety of uniform national administrative transactions, most associated with what we now call the revenue....

Data Linkage: Ready of Not, It's Here [part 2]

Author: Fernandes, Lorraine M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


As stewards of the data housed within our organizations, HIM professionals must be cognizant of ongoing work to facilitate sharing of data across networks. Such activities will gather momentum in the coming years as electronic health records become common practice. HIM professionals must endea....

Backbone of the Security Rule

Author: Featheringham, Meg

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005


For Gail Kraft, RHIA, CHPS, a patient’s medical information is sacred. “For me, and I believe this is true for other health information professionals, we’ve always been passionate about protecting the privacy of our patients and their medical information,” she says. As....

Trouble with DRGs: Part 2

Author: Mahoney, Robert J.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: March 2005


Last issue’s article presented some ways that DRG criteria redefine well-established clinical entities such as respiratory failure and sepsis. This article will discuss two other incompatibilities between DRG criteria and clinical practice: the clinical distinctions required by the DRG s....

CCR--Not an EHR

Author: Quinsey, Carol Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2005



In 2003 the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) kicked off the development of the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) standard, which was finalized in that year and passed by ASTM in April 2004. Sponsorship of the CCR brought together ASTM International, the Massachusetts Medical....

Practice Toolkit: Hospice

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2005

Hospice Challenges

When asked about challenges in HIM in the hospice care setting, Myers notes that the challenges in ensuring hospice records are complete and reflect the care given are very similar to those in other healthcare facilities. In fact, another member of the CoP, Susan Torzew....

Trouble with DRGs

Author: Mahoney, Robert J.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: February 2005


A major frustration among coding professionals, particularly in the inpatient setting, is the difficulty in translating physician documentation into diagnostic related group (DRG) data. Some hospitals have attempted to improve their coding effectiveness by establishing time-consuming physician....

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