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Health Information Management professionals in the spotlight
National observance is November 5 -11
6 October 2006

BISMARCK (UTN) - The move from paper to electronic health records (EHRs) is guaranteed to help doctors, nurses, and other medical staff in making important healthcare decisions. But when it comes to medical information one question is critically important: Who ensures that the information is complete, accurate, and kept confidential?

      That's the role of the health information management (HIM) professional. November 5 through 11 is Health Information and Technology (HI T) Week, an annual event recognizing the work of professionals who manage patient health information.

Karla Baxter
Karla Baxter

      "Health information management is dedicated to the effective management of patient information and healthcare data needed to deliver quality treatment and care to the public," said Karla Baxter, Health Information Department director at United Tribes Technical College. "As the healthcare industry moves further into the information age, the role of the health information management professional is becoming even more critical."

      Fast-paced changes in technology have accelerated the demand for HIM professionals. The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, projects a 49 percent growth in the number of HIM workers by 2010, making HIM one of the nation's fastest-growing health occupations. The field currently offers nearly 40 different work settings and more than 125 job titles.

      Opportunities in the field include management of a hospital's HIM department, working in information systems with implementation of the EHR, or designing health information systems for a software vendor.

      "HI T Week is a great opportunity to learn more about the roles these professionals play in our healthcare system, and to recognize and celebrate their contributions to patient care," said Baxter.

      HI T Week is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA). This year's theme is "Managing Information, Improving Care."

      More information about the HIM profession is posted at www.ahima.org and www.echima.ca.

      Together the AHIMA and CHIMA represent more than 50,000 members dedicated to the effective management of personal health information needed to deliver quality healthcare to the public. Founded in 1928 to improve the quality of medical records, AHIMA is committed to advancing the HIM profession in an increasingly electronic and global environment through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning. CHIMA was founded in 1942 to provide a national forum for HIM professionals to share their expertise. Its federal charter was obtained in 1949.


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