Welcome to AHIMA's new HIM Body of KnowledgeTM

What is changing?

The look of AHIMA's HIM Body of KnowledgeTM (BoK), originally launched in September 2001, and how you navigate around it have changed but most of the functionality you are used to is still available, with some significant enhancements.  In this document, we will provide a crosswalk showing you how to do the things on the new site that you are used to doing, so you can be up-to-speed using the new site quickly.  We will then introduce some of the new features available to you.

As of December 2015, new content was only being added to the new BoK.


The BoK mission remains the same. As stated on the home page:

AHIMA's HIM Body of Knowledge™ provides resources and tools to advance health information professional practice and standards for the delivery of quality healthcare. Anchored by AHIMA-owned content and complemented by government resources and links to external web sites, the Body of Knowledge encompasses the theory and practice of health information management, and enables HIM professionals to access quickly and easily information needed to be successful.

Home page

Just as with the previous site, the home page (see figure 1) serves as the entryway or portal to all the resources in the BoK.

From here you can:

  • Search the whole BoK by using the quick search box. Go to the search section below to see how.
  • Go straight to the advanced search page if you are looking for something specific
  • Browse the most recently published content in some of AHIMA’s current focus areas, featured in the middle of the page.
  • Browse all BoK topics
  • View recently added items in the BoK
  • View recently added items to some of our most frequently accessed resources, like journal articles, practice briefs and toolkits, using the links under popular resources near the bottom of the page.
  • Log into and out of the site.
  • Navigate to ahima.org, the AHIMA web store, Engage, myAHIMA, or contact us for more help.

Figure 1: HIM Body of KnowledgeTM (BoK) home page

Browse HIM Topics

If you are accustomed to browsing HIM topics in the BoK, you can do the same thing in the new BoK but you have more options. (see figure 2) If you know the exact topic area you need resources on, you can browse an alphabetical topic list. If you prefer, you can also browse topics in a hierarchical list.

If you are not sure what you are looking for or want to discover new content in a particular subject area, the BoK home page displays some of AHIMA's main focus areas with details presented about what each includes when you roll over the boxes. These focus areas can serve as a starting point for your HIM content browsing.

Following are the various ways you can browse the BoK by topic area:

  • Browse through seven of AHIMA's current focus areas displayed in the middle of the home page. There is also a link to all topics in the main section of the home page. Detailed descriptions of what is in these buckets display when you roll over the boxes.

    From the home page, select the "View all topics" box displayed at the end of the focus areas.

  • From any BoK page, select topics from the top navigation menu and go directly to an alphabetical list of all BoK topics.

  • Once you land on the topics page, you can choose either an alphabetical list of topics or a hierarchically arranged one. 

Figure 2: Browse HIM Topics

Topics page

By default topics on the topics page (see figure 3) are sorted alphabetically. The alphabet along the right side of the header can be used to jump to a particular letter and avoid scrolling. Each letter will have a link that brings you back to the top of the page. 

The topics page can also be sorted using broad categories. (see figure 4) For example, ICD-10 content will fall under "I" with alphabetical sorting, but can be found under "Coding and Classification" when the broad topic sorting is applied. If you use RSS, each of the broad topics can be subscribed to by clicking the orange icon next to them.

Clicking on any topic, regardless of how they are sorted, will bring you to the search results page of the BoK with the topic already queried to bring the most relevant content to the top. At this point, you can sort and filter the relevant results further if needed. You can also subscribe to any topic by clicking the orange icon next to "Search Results" at the top of the list.

Figure 3: Alphabetical topic list

Alphabetical topic list

Figure 4: Hierarchical topic list

Hierarchical topic list

See what's new

If you are interested in viewing the most recent content added to the BoK, regardless of topic, simply place your cursor in the search box and hit enter on your keyboard or click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the search box.

You can also view a "feed" of new content at the bottom of the BoK home page under "Recently Added", as well as viewing new content from some of our most popular resources.


A particular area where we have worked very hard to improve the overall experience is with search, since members have told us it is one of the areas of the current BoK they find challenging. The search capabilities in the new version of the BoK should help you find what you are looking for more easily.

Search works much the same as it did before. There is both quick and advanced search functionality. The quick search box appears on most site pages, so wherever you are on the site, you can quickly perform another search without having to navigate back to a search page.

Where you should begin to notice a difference is in the search results returned. Not only are there more ways to manipulate your search results, but the initial list of results should be more relevant.

Quick search

The easiest way to search is to enter what you are looking for into the search box that appears on most BoK pages. (see figure 5) Results returned are sorted so the most relevant content should display near the top. Search supports phrase searching (surround your search terms with quotes), wild cards (*), stemming (automatic), boolean operators (and, or, not), and the like, but if you just want to search without all the bells and whistles, you can do that too. Just enter keywords in the search box. 

Figure 5: Quick search

Quick search

Advanced search

If you know exactly what you are looking for (say you know the title or the author or where and when it was published) and it doesn’t show up near the top of the search results after a quick search, you may find it faster to use the advanced search functionality.

A link to advanced search is available in the top navigation on every BoK page. There is also a link to advanced search under the quick search box on the home page (see figure 6).

On the advanced search form (see figure 7), you can specify whether you want the content to contain an exact phrase, all your keywords, any of your keywords, or some but not other keywords. 

On the right side of the advanced search form, you can define specific properties such as words in the title, an author, a source, a specific setting or specialty area, or a specific date or date range. 

With advanced search, you can input criteria into as many fields as you want to limit your results to the exact content you are looking for. 

Figure 6: Accessing advanced search

Advanced search

Figure 7: Advanced search

Refine search

After your search returns results, there are many ways to refine those results to home in on what you are are looking for.

If your results appear to be too broad, you can add additional keywords to your search by appending them to the original term in the search box. 

If your results appear to be to narrow, and you have searched for a phrase or more than one keyword, you can remove one of the keywords from the search box.

On the left side of the screen, there are filters you can use to further refine your results. As you click in the boxes to the right of the filters, your results list automatically reloads. See "Faceted results" under new functionality below.

Search results view options

At the top of the results list are a number of options for how your results display. You can change the default by selecting from the dropdown menus. Options include:

  • viewing up to a 100 items per page for easier browsing (use the items per page dropdown – see figure 8)
  • sorting by relevancy, publication date (ascending or descending), author, or title (use the sort by dropdown – see figure 9)
  • viewing snippets of your search terms in the context of where they appear in the content (sort of like what you see when you search using Google), or viewing an abstract or text from the beginning of the content (use the view dropdown – see figure 10)

Figure 8: Items per page options

Number of items displayed

Figure 9: Sorting options

Sorting options

Figure 10: Viewing options

Viewing options

The default view for search results is a basic one displaying title, author, source, and publication date. The Author and Source fields are links. Clicking on them will change your results to display just items by a particular author, or items from a particular source. (see figure 11)

Figure 11: Search results

Search Results

Saved searches

You can save any query to your myBoK page so you can revisit the search at a later time. You can also save individual items to your myBoK page from your list of results by clicking in the check box to the right of the content.

If you use a feed reader, you can save queries so you can be alerted to newly added content on a particular subject by selecting the rss icon at the top of the search results list. The rss feed section below will show you how.

See figure 12 for various saving options.

Figure 12: Saving options

Saving options

What's New

Faceted search results

Instead of a just presenting a list of results after a search runs, new functionality allows you to manipulate those results by using the filters on the left side of the page to limit the results to a particular topic, published in a particular resource, written by a particular author, or published within a particular timeframe (see figure 13). As you apply the filters, you will see your search results reload automatically with those filters applied.

Figure 13: Faceted browsing

Faceted browsing

Sharing content

You now have the option to share articles using email or any number of social media sites, such as facebook, linked in, and twitter (see figure 14).

Figure 14: Sharing content

Sharing content

Related articles

When you view an article in the BoK, items related to the one you are viewing appear on the page so you can explore the subject area further (see figure 15). 

Figure 15: Related content

Related content

Print to PDF

At the bottom of each article page, there are options to download the article or print to PDF (see figure 16).

Figure 16: Downloading and printing articles

Print to PDF

RSS feeds

If you use a feed reader to pull together your own news feed of content from a number of different sites, you will notice the symbol for adding feeds to your feed reader throughout the site, including ones created on the fly from any of your searches. Feeds are a great way to find out when new content matching your search criteria or subject areas are published and added to the BoK.

  • Using Firefox and IE, you can add any feeds from the BoK directly to the built-in feed reader or one of your choice.
  • Using Chrome, you'll need to copy and paste the feed URL into a feed reader, such as Feedly.


myBoK replaces the "Saved Searches" functionality in the previous version of the BoK. In addition to being able to save searches, you can now also save individual content items. myBoK is a central location to store content and searches you would like to save for future use (see figure 17). You must be logged in to use the save functionality and view myBoK.

  • To save a query to myBoK, on the search results page, click the save search link above the search results.
  • Pin individual pieces of content by clicking the checkbox marked "save" next to each piece of content.
  • Your myBoK page can be accessed from the main navigation of the site. This page will list all saved searches and content and give you the opportunity to remove them from the page when no longer needed.

Figure 17: myBody of Knowledge


Citation management

There are two ways to transfer an article citation into a paper or article you are writing.

The citation appears at the end of the content on each article page, so you simply copy and paste it into your paper's reference section (see figure 18). 

For students and researchers, a useful feature is the ability to download citations to a citation manager. If you use a citation manager like Zotero, you can download article citations directly to Zotero just by clicking the document icon in the browser address bar (see figure 19). This functionality currently works best using the Firefox browser, although there is a Chrome extension available.

Figure 18: Article citations

Article citation

Figure 19: Downloading citation to Zotero

Citation download

Members-only icon

Above the top menu bar on every page, you will see a login or logout link based on your current logged-in status. While you can browse the site without logging in, many features of the site, including being able to view individual articles and to use and access your myBoK site, are available only to you once you are logged in. If you are not logged in, a member-only icon appears next to content that requires log-in (figure 20). Once you are logged in, you will notice some changes to the site. First, your name will appear in the upper right hand corner of the site along with a link to log off should you choose, and the member-only icons will be replaced with the ability to save content to your myBoK site. In addition, you will notice with search results you now have the option to save the query containing all the results (figure 21).

Figure 20: View before logging in

View when not logged in

Figure 21: View after logging in

View when logged in

Single sign-on

The same log-in should allow you to log into AHIMA member-only sites just once and navigate from one to the other without having to re-login. Logging into the BoK gives you access to all the resources on the site including myBoK. Logging in will require your email or AHIMA ID and password (see figure 22).

Figure 22: Login form


We hope you have learned something from this brief tour through AHIMA's new HIM Body of KnowledgeTM. Please explore further and feel free to contact us with any suggestions or questions.