tive director, medical information services, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, higher technical skills are required to
perform the job functions in the EHR.
Systems may be programmed to automatically create deficien-cies, such as a missing operative report or electronic signature.
Therefore professional staff will need to review the information
in the EHR. The staff’s skill level, in conjunction with the EHR’s
functional requirements, will shape the staffing model.
The following is a list of skill sets to consider when reviewing
and updating the staffing model:
x Ability to understand and interpret clinical needs and
transform IT technical tools
x Extensive experience with EHRs
x Advanced problem-solving skills
x Detailed knowledge of the content and organization of the
x Detailed knowledge of documentation and privacy regu-
x Strong data analysis, research, and error-correction skills
x Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills
x Solid medical terminology skills
x An understanding of data mapping and the data points
Patient safety must remain
Functions That Require 24/7 Coverage
a primary concern during
and after the transition, and
ensuring data accuracy and
integrity requires 24/7 coverage.
Though 24-hour coverage will no longer be needed for certain
job functions, new functions will continue to require around-the-clock coverage, such as managing the master patient index,
transcription, document imaging, and release of information.
Patient safety must remain a primary concern during and after the transition, and ensuring data accuracy and integrity requires 24/7 coverage.
Organizations should identify and review these functions in
advance of the transition. Staffing skills and location will be determined by the phase of the transition.
At Children’s Hospital of Colorado in Denver, CO, document
imaging is performed seven days a week to ensure patient records are complete, according to Kimberly Peterson, RHIA, application coordinator. The document imaging functions could
be outsourced, but the HIM department prefers to keep this in
house to maintain quality control of the patient record, Peterson says.
On the other hand, Peterson believes release of information
may be performed by telecommuting staff that access the pa-
tient record remotely and send records to be printed on site for
retrieval or send the records to requesters electronically.
1. Blake, Ross. “Employee Retention: What Employee Turnover Really Costs Your Company.” July 24, 2006. www.
Diana Warner ( email@example.com) is a practice manager at AHIMA.
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