SERVING THE AHIMA membership as
president/chair is a great honor and
privilege. I’m humbled that you entrusted me to be your leader at a crucial time
in our profession. From the very beginning of my career I was fortunate to have
the support, encouragement, and men-torship of several HIM professionals.
My first mentor’s passion for teaching
and mentoring instilled in me the love
of volunteering. She took me to local
meetings, introduced me to other HIM
professionals, and encouraged me to
run for office. She taught me the importance of people getting to know
what I had to offer, which inspired me
to be a servant leader.
Take a brief moment to reflect on who
in the profession influenced you early
on and made a difference in your career. More importantly, I challenge you
to reflect on who you have helped with
your guidance and influence to become
a better HIM professional.
As your president/chair, I’m committed to lead with a passion and boldness
that will challenge each of you to do the
same. I ask you to see the potential in
others, and to inspire and influence
others. I believe anything is possible,
but it takes courage, persistence, and
embracing lifelong learning. We are in
a unique position to inspire leadership
and influence change as a vital part of
the larger healthcare ecosystem.
Our profession is at a pivotal point
as healthcare is changing at lightning
speed. New healthcare delivery models
are being implemented such as artificial
intelligence, natural language processing technology, and value-based purchasing. We are further influenced by
the global economy and global healthcare, the use of analytics and informatics, and consumer engagement.
Embracing technology requires lifelong
learning and an attitude of “I’m willing
to continue developing my skills to be
relevant and part of an exciting future
in healthcare.” In fact, emerging trends
and technology should be very high on
your list to watch, as this is where we are
likely to develop future roles and new
As HIM professionals, we must understand the value we bring to our organizations, and seek additional responsibilities. I encourage you to communicate
your worth and goals, and to employ
creativity when faced with a barrier.
There’s no limit to what we can do! Get
actively involved in consumer engage-
ment, revenue cycle, revenue integrity,
and clinical documentation improvement.
Be innovative, be creative, and be BOLD!
To reach new heights in our profes-
sion, my focus as president will be on
YOU, the members. We have a very rich
heritage of rising to challenges. We have
evolved and diversified over the past
89 years. AHIMA has a duty to keep
our profession relevant and to leverage
strategies that will ensure our legacy in
the healthcare industry. As members,
we also have a responsibility to our-
selves, AHIMA, and the profession. Are
you engaged? Now is the time to inspire
leadership and influence change!
Thank you for this opportunity to serve. ¢
Diann H. Smith ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is
vice president of health information management
services and clinical documentation improvement
at Texas Health Resources.
Inspiring Leadership, Influencing Change
By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA
and be BOLD!