October 25, 2011
It has only been within the last five years that health information management (HIM) has experienced exponential changes, due to the healthcare reform. The electronic health record (EHR) is connected to health information exchanges and other systems of interoperability. The timely completion of charts, coding and release of information (ROI) has become much more efficient with the electronic record. Traditional HIM functions will just be transformed and will always be an integral part of successful patient care. Professionals must be flexible and willing to adapt and even generate change. As Health Information Technology continues to evolve, so will the roles of HIM personnel (Dennard, 2010).
One way the EHR will affect the health care offices, is that there will be the need for a lot less office space. There will not need to be a place to store physical charts. More transcription and coding services are being outsourced and done at home. While the HIM department and its functions will change, the maintenance of the EHR and its byproducts will always require the expertise of HIM professionals (Teen, 2005). The professionals will still need to pay attention to detail, project management, problem solving, data reporting and much more.
Congress and the Obama administration have provided an opportunity for caregivers to break through the barriers of progress with the transformation to the electronic record. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) has authorized incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid for clinicians and hospitals that have switched to the use of the EHR (Blumenthal, 2010). The goal of HITECH is not only for them to adopt the EHR, but also create “meaningful use”. The secretary of health and human services develops specific “meaningful use” objectives. The core objectives are basic functions that allow the EHR to...