Word from Washington
Needless to say, the day is coming when patients will ex-
pect access to the data gathered and used in healthcare al-
most immediately. HIM professionals and clinical staff will be
responsible for determining how data will be generated and
collected and how to arrange the data for patient viewing
and for importing the data into various consumer and post-
discharge clinical reports.
HIM Data Steward Tasks
The new HITECH rules and regulations will require HIM professionals perform a number of tasks.
First, HIM professionals must work with clinical and IT staffs
to implement the requirements while ensuring information is
available to clinicians and others for appropriate use.
They must also communicate and discuss with patients the
rights and options these rules provide and how their deci-
sions to restrict access to their information will affect their
care and the healthcare community’s ability to use their infor-
mation (de-identified as much as possible) for their good and
the good of their family and neighbors. This task will require
knowledgeable staff, whether HIM professionals or someone
trained by an HIM professional.
Dan Rode ( email@example.com) is AHIMA’s vice president of policy and
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