Celebrating the Dedicated Professionals Who Make a Difference
Thank you to all health information professionals, working to keep health information human. No matter your area or expertise, the work you do lets patients receive high-quality care, and encourages meaningful innovation.
Read stories below to learn how health information professionals make a difference every day.
How Will the Pandemic Change the HIM Profession?
The COVID-19 public health emergency tested every assumption about healthcare in America. Will we return to the status quo or embrace long-overdue reforms? Here are how healthcare professionals imagine the post-pandemic world. Share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #HIPWeek
“I think most of our clients are confident in their ability to support a fully virtual workforce, ensuring the privacy and security of PHI as a top priority.”
—Mary S. McNerney, Chief Brand Officer, Enjoin
Sarah Humbert, Vice President of Coding Operations, KIWI-TEK
“We have always tried to maintain staffing at approximately 20 percent over the coding need, which proved valuable during the crisis. Clients had coders go out unexpectedly and our coders were trained to jump right in. We will continue to share and promote this practice in the event of high volumes and illness.”
Brad Cox, Director of Patient Accounting Revenue Cycle, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare
“The past year has made it clear that providers and payers need to shift how they exchange data. The pandemic has put in motion greater collaboration and has opened new channels of communication.”
Patricia Buttner, Practice Director, Informatics, Analytics & Data, AHIMA
“The other side of the pandemic will reveal an even greater need for HI professionals to bring data governance to the forefront of healthcare.”
Angela Rose, Vice President of Client Success, MRO
“From an onsite ROI perspective, walk-in windows/front desks can become completely virtual with the use of a kiosk to request records, or with the ability to submit a request online or use a phone app. “
Matt Hoeger, Senior Director of Revenue Integrity, Penn State Health
“Working from home has proved to be a viable solution. As a result, other departments are following the same path, moving toward remote work as the standard beyond the pandemic.”
Paul Joiner, Chief Operating Officer, Availity
“HIM will continue to utilize technology to automate manual tasks, streamline workflows, and improve outcomes. Better payer-provider collaboration will create a more efficient healthcare ecosystem.”
Denny Phillips, President, iPro Healthcare
“Healthcare professionals should focus on connectivity and communication with patients and extended providers. Digital transformation is crucial to patient experience. Well-informed patients become empowered, which leads to improved outcomes and loyalty.”
Tracy G. Hickey, Director, Health Information Management, West Tennessee Healthcare
“We closed our HIM department to visitors, removing the ability to pick up medical records or talk to staff. Our team is now looking at how to set up a location on-site or near the facility, allowing visitors easy access outside the hospital patient care areas.”
Julie A. Pursley, Director, Health Information Thought Leadership, AHIMA
“As data and dataflows change, the health information professional is a key stakeholder in the collection, access, management, and sharing of these data to support SDoH.“
“Coding and billing in a pandemic is a recipe for revenue loss and compliance risk. Organizations with more robust IT infrastructures and interoperability capabilities will more easily adapt to these dynamic environments and integrate new data sources and formats.”
—Drew Ivan, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Lyniate
“Rural America needs healthcare and many of them cannot get to an office location. Telehealth and advanced care planning will be critical services for these populations.”
—Maria Moen, director of platform innovation, ADVault
Joe Nicholson, DO, Chief Medical Officer, CareAllies
“I hope this crisis puts a lens on the reality of healthcare inequities and those organizations across the country, big and small, who are having the difficult conversations and then investing in SDoH resources.”
Terry Blessing III, Senior Vice President of Client Development, VisiQuate
“The augmented patient experience, based on delays and associated non-emergent outpatient service backlogs, will drive deep-dive E/M analysis at the provider level, and deep insights into payer behavior. “
John Richey, Director, Academic Education Services, AHIMA
“I see ‘COVID rapid response teams’ responding to any local or regional flare-ups or outbreaks. The teams consist of local healthcare providers along with county, state, and federal public health officials to respond to any COVID ‘hotspots’. Of course, HIM professionals should be an integral part of the rapid response teams!”
David Lareau, Chief Executive Officer, Medicomp Systems
“Interoperability will add to the current data tsunami. HIM professionals must start to make health data useable and accurate at the point of care.”
Tammy Combs, Practice Director CDI and Clinical Foundations, AHIMA
“Remote CDI and CDI technology will continue to rise, allowing CDI programs find ways to improve documentation and reduce the administrative burden on providers.”
Robyn Stambaugh, MS, RHIA, Practice Director, Professional Development and Education, AHIMA
“I believe we will see a robust vaccine passport system. It will be important to allow for racial and technical equity. It will be critical to have a certified/standard way to validate the authenticity of immunization and protect the privacy/security.“
Lijo Simpson, MD, Atlanta Cancer Care
“The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed cancer care, just as it has permanently altered the healthcare industry in general. Technologies such as telehealth and virtual multidisciplinary tumor boards will play an increasing role in care delivery.”
Teresa Gulino, Managing Director, Business development, Pivot Point Consulting
“The pandemic revealed the importance of swiftly exchanging health information and integrating care delivery teams to serve populations-at-large.”
Lesley Kadlec, Director, Policy and State Advocacy Engagement, AHIMA
“Accurate patient identification and patient matching will continue to be a top priority. Accurate patient identification for personal infection history, contact tracing, post-COVID illness or vaccine complications data, and immunization tracking will prove invaluable.”
“The landscape of CDI has changed for the indefinite future, but these teams can learn to be innovative and adaptable. While something indelible is lost when moving to remote operations, such as personal connectivity, proven processes can be put into place to ensure that each team member is working to the best of their ability.”
The pandemic has had an enormous impact on how we work. These are some of the routines that help health information professionals and other leaders perform at their best, stay balanced, and meet the challenges of the day.
Tammy Combs, Director, CDI, and Clinical Foundation, AHIMA starts the day with 30 minutes of treadmill time and another 30 minutes in quiet prayer and meditation.
Seth Katz, VP, Health Information Management & Revenue Cycle, Truman Medical Center knocks out a 30-minute boxing workout after a tough day.
Katherine Lusk, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, Texas Health Services Authority, jumps into the day with a stack of (electronic) trade publications.
Melissa Potts, CDI Practitioner, AHIMA relaxes with a crossword puzzle at lunchtime.
Sue Bowman, Senior Director, Coding Policy and Compliance, AHIMA schedules lunch in her Outlook to make sure she gets a break.
Gina Sanvik, Director, Revenue Cycle Management, AHIMA uses sticky notes at her desk to stay motivated and positive. Her favorite is, “Super Fantastic, Super Fantastic, Super Fantastic!”
Robin Stambaugh, Director, Privacy and Security, AHIMA sings daily.
Patty Buttner, Director, Informatics, Analytics and Data, AHIMA boosts her serotonin in the morning with a gratitude meditation.
Donna Rugg, Director, Terminology Mapping, Coding, and Data Standards, AHIMA swears by a daily walk, outside if possible or at the mall, which opens early.
Melanie Endicott, Senior Director, International Education and Training, AHIMA takes her dog for a 45-minute amble every day at lunch—rain, snow, or shine (she lives in Washington state).
Christi Lower, Director, Academic Strategy, AHIMA rules her inbox by responding to emails right away–if it will take less than a minute–and blocks out time on her calendar for emails that take longer.
Lesley Kadlec, Director, Policy and State Advocacy Engagement, AHIMA makes sure she has time to focus by scheduling it.
Keith Olenik, Chief Member Relations and Service Officer, AHIMA listens to jazz when he’s not on calls.