Continuing Education and
Professional Development Vital
in Ever-Changing HIM Industry
LIKE EVERY TECHNOLOGY- and information-fo-cused industry, the health information management
(HIM) profession has had to do some soul searching
to keep up with the pace of change. AHIMA has been
doing its part by researching workforce trends and
identifying skills that HIM professionals will need in
order to succeed in the near future.
That’s where HIM Reimagined (HIMR) comes in.
HIMR is an AHIMA initiative that provides guidance
on how to take the newly updated educational competencies and use them in the profession. A goal of
HIMR is to help students and the workforce prepare
for the “new” HIM of the future, centering on newer
areas of specialization like data analytics, informatics, and information governance.
Part of HIMR’s recommendation is that upcoming
and current HIM professionals get additional education and professional development in these new areas of expertise—training that is offered by the vendors in this Resource Guide.
Julie A. Shay, MBA-HIN, RHIA, associate professor
and program director of Santa Fe College’s Health
Information Technology Management Programs, has
been very involved in HIMR and has been working to
bring its benefits to her students.
“AHIMA has done its due diligence in identifying the
skills the industry is currently looking for—and more
importantly, what skills the industry will be looking
for in the future,” Shay says. “Thus, we are charged
to look within and see where we need to improve and
then take action steps; whether it is obtaining anoth-
er credential or obtaining additional training in tools
such as Excel or Access.”
The recent HIMR White Paper lays out a number of
recommendations to prepare the HIM profession for
Increase the number of AHIMA members who
hold relevant graduate degrees (i.e., HIM, Health
Informatics, MBA, MD, MEd, MPH) to 20 percent
of total membership within 10 years.
The RHIA credential should be the standard for
HIM generalists. HIMR contains a proviso that
provides the ability for an individual with an RHIT
credential and a baccalaureate degree to be eli-
gible to sit for the RHIA credential.
Increase the opportunities for specialization
across all levels of the HIM academic spectrum
through curricula revision, while retaining a
broad foundation in health information management and analytics.
Shay practices what she preaches. “In 2015, I personally went back to school to obtain my MBA with
a specialty in health informatics. In fall 2015, I hired a
full-time faculty with IT, informatics background because I knew I would need assistance in implementing what was on the HIMR horizon,” Shay says.
She adds that AHIMA’s workforce research has
found that HIM students and practitioners have
a long way to go in terms of being prepared for
the future. Advanced skills in technology, business
and finance principles, critical thinking, leadership, and interpersonal skills are vital. People skills
are paramount. Some of these skills are tangible
but others are not—thus, the educator’s challenge,
according to Shay.
The resources found in this guide offer education
and professional development services that can help
one obtain the expertise needed for in-demand HIM
Other resources available to those looking to further
their education and workforce development include:
1. The AHIMA Career Map helps chart out what
training people need to reach certain job roles:
2. AHIMA has developed new strategic objectives in
an effort to move the industry forward. These ob-
jectives are: lead in informatics/analytics; cham-
pion information governance. More information
about strategic objectives are available at www.
3. The HIMR White Paper details the new expertise
areas HIM professionals should gain education
and professional development in, and is avail-
able at www.ahima.org/about/him-reimagined/
4.More specifics, including a video about HIMR,
can be found at www.ahima.org/himr. ¢
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