Embracing Lifelong Learning: The Guiding Principles for Professional Development (Resolution)

Resolution from the 1997 House of Delegates

[Note: an updated House of Delegates resolution on lifelong learning was passed in 2004 and is available here.]

Background Information

In 1996, AHIMA's House of Delegates adopted Vision 2006 as the strategic direction for the profession:

"Resolved, That the American Health Information Management Association and its component organizations and members adopt Vision 2006 as the strategic direction to ensure that the HIM profession continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring quality healthcare through quality information."

The tenets of the resolution are that the healthcare delivery system and technology will continue to change at a dramatic pace. These changes will bring about changes in HIM practice and the traditional HIM role. To ensure that HIM continues to be a dynamic profession, AHIMA is committed to creating pathways that will allow all members to be viable players in their changing market and/or progress into new capacities and positions. An integral piece of this commitment is developing a plan to assist members in their own professional development.

Evolving and new roles will require a transition from traditional HIM practices to a new core set of knowledge and skills. If this transition is managed, numerous opportunities for career development will be available. The key to success is that all members embrace lifelong learning as personal and professional goals. Continuous learning is a hallmark of jobs in an ever-changing economy. It is a habit that needs to be embraced by all members.

The goal of AHIMA's Committee on Professional Development is to help prepare all members for the future. The committee's first step is to adopt guiding principles for professional development. These principles encourage all members to:

  • Develop a keen awareness of the healthcare industry and its trends
  • Acknowledge that attributes and skill sets required by future employers will change and that HIM professionals need to be prepared for that change
  • Take responsibility for their own professional development and make the commitment to ongoing education and professional development
  • Help other members achieve Vision 2006 goals
  • Embrace a holistic approach toward professional development that fosters a balance between professional and personal responsibilities


Topic: Embracing Lifelong Learning: The Guiding Principles for Professional Development
Intent: Encourage members to commit to developing a lifelong learning plan
Addressed to: All members of AHIMA, its component state associations, and specialty groups
Originator: AHIMA Committee on Professional Development
Approved by: 1997 House of Delegates
Date: October 19, 1997

Whereas, the healthcare and technology environment will continually change the HIM professionals' role;

Whereas, data show that individuals who continually advance their educational standing are rewarded with the highest compensation;

Whereas, the most sought-after professionals are flexible and can demonstrate their knowledge and skills;

Whereas, HIM professionals' skills and competencies are a valuable and integral part of the healthcare arena; and

Whereas, ultimate success depends on the willingness of individual members to take responsibility for preparing for new roles by acquiring new knowledge and skills; therefore, be it

Resolved, That AHIMA make available the new knowledge and skills that will enhance members' value in the marketplace;

Resolved, That AHIMA members commit to mentoring and helping others achieve Vision 2006 goals; and

Resolved, That AHIMA members make the commitment to lifelong learning and professional development so that HIM professionals continue to be vital players in ensuring quality healthcare through quality information.

Article Citation:
"Embracing Lifelong Learning: The Guiding Principles for Professional Development." (Resolution from the 1997 House of Delegates) Journal of AHIMA 69, no. 1 (1998): insert before p.49.