Health Information Management Profession
Health Information Management Profession
Health information management refers to the process of maintaining and taking care of health records through electronic and paper based methods. Health information is dealt with in hospitals, doctors’ offices, health insurance companies, clinics, and health organizations. Health information professionals undertake the mandate of handling, evaluating and reporting information relevant to the health care sector (School of Health Professionals, 2013).
There are different professionals who oversee the role of health information management. Compliance officers have the responsibilities of developing, maintaining and revision of policies for the operation of the compliance program. This prevents improper or illegal conduct in the management of the program. The officers also review the standards of conduct to guide and control workers. They resolve complex legal issues. They are responsible for providing allegations of violation of the code of conduct. They give information to the compliance committee on matters of compliance. They ensure effective compliance communication within the organization. They develop appropriate compliance workshops. In addition, they are responsible for monitoring the compliance program and ensure it is effective (Michelle & Green, 2009).
HIM compliance specialists monitor the implementation of the HIM compliance program. They develop and coordinate HIM compliance training. Similarly to compliance officers, they maintain records of attendance of the HIM compliance training. They ensure that consultants of the organization agree with the organization’s HIM compliance.
Similarly to compliance officers, HIM compliance specialists coordinate the monitoring of coding accuracy and adequacy of documentation. They conduct trend analysis to reveal patterns and variations in the coding practices and case mix index differences. HIM compliance specialists conduct investigations of changes in coding practices and report challenges regarding coding. They ensure communication of the HIM compliance program and promote its adherence. In addition, they serve in the compliance committee and recommend revisions to the corporate program to improve its effectiveness (Michelle & Green, 2009).
In-patient audit consultants are responsible for conducting coding evaluations on clients’ sites in order to help hospital clients stay in track with the inpatient compliance goals. They perform audits and present their findings to clients.
Similarly to in-patient audit consultants, out-patient consultants are responsible for conducting coding assessments to help hospital clients stay on track with the outpatient compliance objectives. They perform audits of hospital claims to support code assignments based on clinical documentation and present findings to clients. They are responsible for reviewing hospital charge masters to validate HCPCS program and revenue coding. This assists the hospital clients in updating their charge description masters (American Medical Association, 2009).
Similarly to compliance officers, directors participate in various committees such as the medical records committee, hospital performance improvement committee, compliance committee and documentation improvement committee. They review, initiate, implement, and maintain contracts with vendors for outsourced HIM (American Medical Association, 2009).
In contrast to compliance officers, directors ensure that data networks help the prospective and current demands of the department. In addition, directors are in charge of organization budget and spending.
In contrast to compliance officers, directors are responsible for strategic planning. They plan for the initiatives of the organization. In addition, they draw up programs for implementation and award budgets for courses of action.
In contrast to compliance officers, directors are in charge of procedures in HIM department. They oversee the day to day operations of general procedures in health information management (Michelle & Green, 2009).
In conclusion, professionals in charge of health information management protect patient information and promote confidentiality and awareness. They implement the electronic health record and work with health information systems and databases. Therefore, these professionals must exhibit certain competencies such as detail orientation, team play, confidentiality, responsibility and proficiency in use of computers in order to be able to undertake their mandate.
American Medical Association (2009). Health information: management of a strategic resource. New York: Cengage Learning Inc.
Michelle, A. Green, M. J. (2009). Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices. New York: Delmar Cengage Learning.
The University of Kansas Medical Center: School of Health Professionals (2013, May 2nd). What is Health Information Manager? Health Information Management. Retrieved from http://him.kumc.edu/whatis_him.html