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Are Report Cards Measuring Up?

Author: Spath, Patrice L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2000


Healthcare report cards have been in existence for more than 10 years. Have their efforts
to measure and compare performance made a difference? This article looks at the state
of the art.
In the late 1960s, researchers in Maine decided to study the use of healthcare services....

Target: Patient Safety

Author: Spath, Patrice L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


The Joint Commission has raised and revised its patient safety standards. Is your facility ready to meet them?
Safety in healthcare is not a new concept. Even before the American College of Surgeons formed the Hospital Standardization Program in 1917, healthcare facilities had safety pro....

Mobile Device Use, Reuse, and Disposal

Author: Southerton, Laurie

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2007


The healthcare industry increasingly communicates via technology. Mobile devices are becoming prevalent in many organizations to the point where many staff find it difficult to work without them.

The HIPAA privacy and security rules require the private and secure handling of patient....

Home Health Balancing Act

Author: Sourapas, Joan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 1999



What does a home health agency have in common with a typical Fortune 500 company? Though their activities and goals may differ, both organizations can benefit from the use of the balanced scorecard approach to measuring and enhancing performance.

Since Harvard professo....

What's New in Clinical Data Repositories?

Author: Soule, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001




Clinical data repository (CDR) technology may have dropped off your radar screen,  but new developments are giving a second generation of CDRs a renewed role. This article offers an overview of the latest developments and a look at how CDRs can benefit healthcare.


....

XML Makes Its Mark

Author: Sokolowski, Rachael

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 1999


The advent of managed care and shifting alliances between HMOs, hospitals, and providers has fragmented the industry into separate entities that are highly dependent upon each other for the exchange of patient information. But that information, in the form of a medical record, is on paper—....

Managing Complaints in the Modern Hospital

Author: Sobel, David A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001


Pam, a critical care nurse at a teaching hospital, logged into her e-mail account and opened the following message: “Just thought you’d like to know that Carol had 104 degrees of fever with chills and she is getting blood cultures, blood work, x-rays, agglutinins for legionella, and influenza.....

Are You Ready to Be a Privacy Officer?

Author: Sobel, David A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2003


As an HIM professional, you may be asked to serve as your organization’s first privacy officer. While serving as privacy officer will give you the opportunity to play a new and more profound role in safeguarding patients’ privacy rights, it will also provide you with new challenges.....

Creating a Rural Record

Author: Snyder, Kimberlee; Paulson, Patrick

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2007




Researchers share the results of a small consortium’s experiences bringing an electronic record to a rural community.



Dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare for patients and the community, faced with increased competition from two large healthcare sy....

Danger, Danger: Compliance Documentation as a Weapon

Author: Snell, Roy

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




Remember that old TV show, "Lost In Space"? It was about a group of people lost in space with their "pet" robot. Whenever the robot got a hunch that there was trouble coming, he would make odd noises, spin his head around, and flail his arms. He would cap off this....

Long-term Acute Care: the Effect of PPS

Author: Smith, Pam

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


Just when I thought I’d seen and done it all in the HIM world, a new opportunity for coders appeared in long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs). HIM professionals have been employed in LTCHs since the inception of long-term acute care, but the change from cost-based reimbursement to inclus....

CPT Update 2011

Author: Smith, Gail I.; Endicott, Melanie

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: February 2011


Each year CPT adds codes to reflect new procedures and surgical techniques. For example, new codes were added in the surgical section to identify procedures performed using balloon catheters.

In addition, CPT continues to make editorial changes and add coding guidelines within the t....

Radical Technology: Your Grandfather's Telephone

Author: Smith, Douglas L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2005


More than 100 years ago, a cutting-edge technology offered the potential to improve and better manage care. But like each innovation that was to follow, the telephone wasn’t implemented in a day.
Editor’s note: The most common technologies surrounding us were once revolutiona....

Future Forward

Author: Smith, Diann H. MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2018










By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA


It is hard to believe this is my last Journal of AHIMA column as AHIMA’s President/Chair of the Board of Directors. I am genuinely grateful to have joined you in bringing to life the theme for AHIMA’s....

Privacy: Protection or Obstacle?

Author: Smith, Diann H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2018




Untitled Document



By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA


As health information management (HIM) professionals, we are privileged to be members of a profession that advocates for healthcare consumers. As a mother, caregiver, and HIM professiona....

Personal Branding as an Asset

Author: Smith, Diann H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2018













By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA


Do you have a personal brand? The answer should be YES! We should all have a personal brand.


“Personal branding” is when you are intentional and purposeful about your rep....

Make an Impact on Future HIM Generations

Author: Smith, Diann H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2018







By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA


How do you make an impact? There are numerous ways, but the beginnings are often small—like the pebble thrown into the ocean that begins a ripple that grows larger and larger. Even though the breadth and....

Understanding Strategy Beyond Today

Author: Smith, Diann H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2018









By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA


AS HEALTH INFORMATION management (HIM) professionals, we must constantly evaluate our role in the healthcare ecosystem as the industry continues to evolve. After all, healthcare has many stakeholders and H....

Resolution ≠ Transformation

Author: Smith, Diann H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2018

By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA

The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on the previous year’s events and to work on setting New Year’s resolutions—personal goals that will improve our lives or careers. It’s a good idea to contemplate what we mi....

Inspiring Leadership, Influencing Change

Author: Smith, Diann H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2018

By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA

Serving the AHIMA membership as president/chair is a great honor and privilege. I’m humbled that you entrusted me to be your leader at a crucial time in our profession. From the very beginning of my career I was fortunate to have the support, e....

Data Transmission: A World of Possibilities

Author: Smith, Deborah A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




In a landscape of regulation and consolidation, healthcare providers must find new, cost-effective ways to communicate sensitive data with partners. Observations, lab results, and admission-discharge-transfer data must be shared accurately, confidentially, and in a timely manner with....

Helping Consumers Manage Their PHRs

Author: Smith, Clarice Pittillo

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2006


Personal health records (PHRs) are a primary piece of the growing consumer empowerment movement in healthcare. Many consumers already maintain paper copies of their medical information in personal files at home. But as more of their information becomes digital in their providers' offices, the....

Update on Joint Commission Core Measures

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




When the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations initiated its ORYX project in 1997, its objective in collecting performance measurement data was to provide a more data-driven accreditation process. Hospitals were among the first Joint Commission-accredited heal....

'Quality is Job One' for CPHQs

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2001




"Quality" is a buzzword in many industries, but it has particular resonance in healthcare. As a result, healthcare quality has its own certification, which overlaps many areas in which HIM professionals have expertise. Here's an overview of the credential and how HIM profess....

Taking Time to Make Time

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




In today's healthcare environment, time is a vital resource. HIM department leaders work to develop skills and use tools to manage personnel, budgets, and projects, but few consider investing in the development of the skills needed to manage time. While time management may be a new c....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001



Q: Are there new Joint Commission hospital standards that address patient safety?


Q: What are the Joint Commission definitions of a sentinel event and root cause analysis?


Q: Where can I find information on completion of the medical record statistics form to det....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2001


Q: What is the difference between confidential and nonconfidential health information?

Q: Can a healthcare facility release health information for marketing purposes?

Q: What form must a subpoena duces tecum take in order to be valid?

Cheryl Smith is an AHIMA practice....

Is Wireless Technology at Hand for Healthcare?

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2001


It wasn’t so long ago that HIM professionals witnessed the introduction and use of computers to assist in performing everyday functions in an HIM department. The computerization of the master patient index moved us from typing patient demographic data and filing individual patient index cards....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2001




Q: What are the documentation requirements for the content of a discharge summary?

Q: Does the Joint Commission still conduct random unannounced surveys?
Cheryl Smith (cheryl.smith@ahima.org) is an HIM practice manager.Article citation:
Smith, Cheryl M. "On the....

Using Ergonomics to Keep Injury in Check

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2001




Office ergonomics are not new to the healthcare industry. Medical transcriptionists and data entry employees are just two groups of healthcare workers that are affected by ergonomics on a daily basis. With a growing number of healthcare organizations implementing the computerized pati....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2001




Q: Where can I find information on the interpretation of Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization standards?

Q: How does the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) define health information in the final rule for healthcare elec....

How to Build a Winning Team

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2001




In today's healthcare environment, the HIM manager must tackle an endless stream of projects, daily and long-term system and process issues, and the ongoing challenge of employee motivation, all of which demand effective and flexible strategies. One strategy that HIM managers in any h....

Organizational Restructuring: One HIM Team's Approach

Author: Smith, Carol F.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 1998


Organizational restructuring offers a number of challenges -- and opportunities -- to employees. This article describes how members of one organization's HIM staff participated in a systemwide restructuring process, from planning to implementation to assessment of results.
Today's era o....

Toward a Web-enabled HIM Profession

Author: Skurka, Margaret A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2000


I begin this month's column with three questions: Do you have access to the Internet? Do you use it as a tool in your work? Are you regularly using the professional development information on AHIMA's Web site? If your answer to any of these questions is "no," I urge you to ....

Yours, Mine, and Ours

Author: Skurka, Margaret A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2000


Newspaper columnists spend plenty of time writing about problems in our society, trying to understand who's responsible for social ills and how they can be fixed. How does this relate to AHIMA? I believe that we can ask the same type of questions about some of the problems our professi....

Navigating the Physician Services Maze

Author: Skurka, Margaret A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


As HIM professionals know, accurate and complete documentation is critical for providing care and supporting reimbursement. This is particularly true-and yet particularly problematic-in the area of E/M coding. Medical practices report and are paid for their services using E/M coding, yet there....

Charting Our Progress

Author: Skurka, Margaret A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2000


The first year of the new century is almost half over. I'd like to share our progress so far on a number of fronts, known as our current "hot topics."

At the close of our meetings, AHIMA board members participate in a hot topic debriefing. We discuss everything t....

Mentor to Remember

Author: Skurka, Margaret A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2000


The old Army recruiting slogan "Be all that you can be" comes to mind this month as I challenge you to serve as an effective mentor or professional role model for a new HIM professional. With the untimely death of my mentor and program director Rita Finnegan, RHIA, CCS, this....

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....

Spelling Out the Value of Our Credentials

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2003


Remember eating alphabet soup when you were young? What fun it was finding words or even making up new ones. We did not know then that a part of our future was spelled out before us.


Since 1928, our HIM credentials have demonstrated professionalism and expertise. Remember when....

Make the Most of Professional Mentoring

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


In classical mythology, the image of a mentor is based on the vision of Odysseus, who entrusted the care of his son to his friend. Mentor was a wise and faithful friend, a counselor, and advisor.


The attributes associated with mentorship come from this classical vision. Today,....

Communities Connect Members Across Space, Time

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Communities of practice are not a 21st century idea. From ancient cave dwellers of the American southwest to the guilds of the Middle Ages to today’s Silicon Valley denizens, members of communities have found value in community participation.1 In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world,....

New Graduates See Lifetime of Opportunities

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2003


In 1981, the year I graduated from Rockland Community College, my fellow graduates and I all expected to find jobs in hospitals or nursing homes. At that time, more than 85 percent of HIM professionals worked in traditional settings with titles such as director of medical records, transcriptio....

Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2003


Twenty years ago, I thought technology was going to save the world of HIM. When I graduated from Rockland Community College, ICD-9 was just being implemented. This was followed by DRGs, which created recognition for medical record professionals. But the technology supporting HIM functions was....

Association Benefits from Collaborative Dialogue

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2003


One hundred years ago, Guglielmo Marconi used Morse code to initiate “a dialogue that seemed like pure magic” between President Theodore Roosevelt and England’s King Edward VII.1 Marconi’s efforts paved the way for wireless communication, including AHIMA’s Communities....

Gifts of Giving, Learning Help Association Grow

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003



This year the Association took a look back through its archives, reflecting on the people, ideas, and issues that brought us to our 75th year. Grace Whiting Myers, the Association’s first president, wrote of the need to serve with tact and the ability to follow the rules. Edna K. Huf....

Preparing for a New Generation of HIM

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2003


Earlier generations—our grandparents and parents—tell stories of how technology changed their lives. Born at the turn of the 20th century, my grandparents witnessed the successes of Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers. My parents were mesmerized by talking movies and televi....

Taking the Lead: Volunteer Opportunities Abound

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


One of my favorite stories is “The Sense of a Goose,” a popular tale by an unknown author that is widely used in public presentations and circulated over the Internet. The story’s basic truths speak of sharing common direction, staying the course, taking turns, and supporting an....

Setting AHIMA’s Course

Author: Sheridan, Patty Thierry

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2012



Know the way, show the way, go the way-those are the three objectives of AHIMA's 2012–13 strategic initiatives, a set of seven strategic goals that serve AHIMA and its members now and into the future. They are referred to by the acronym AIM FREE:
Agility-be agile and responsive to....

Nonstop Change Leads to New Opportunities

Author: Sheridan, Patty Thierry

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2012


We live in a time of nonstop change. The pace is fast and constant. To thrive, HIM professionals need to do more than simply adjust-we need to completely shift into a new mindset, developing new work methods along the way.

This starts with accepting the realities of today's marketpl....

The Pathway Forward: Transforming Healthcare

Author: Sheridan, Patty Thierry

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2012


The recent US Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been controversial. Whether for, against, or somewhere in between, HIM practitioners and educators need to take part in the dialogue within their organizations. Regardless of what happens wi....

Creating a Career Blueprint

Author: Sheridan, Patty Thierry

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2012


Most of us don't begin our careers knowing exactly where we want to go, but we do have a general idea of the path we would like to take. Our career path inevitably takes on a life of its own based on our education, mastery of the five essential competencies (critical thinking, relationship bui....

HIM’s Time to Dream Big

Author: Sheridan, Patty Thierry

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2012


This is our time to dream big. When you choose to dream big, you make a deep commitment to ideas important to you and you choose to believe in a higher purpose.

Think for a moment about those individuals who dreamed big in our society. There are so many who have inspired us, from Jo....

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