Health Information Management (HIM): Significance, Advantages & HIM Standards

Health Information Management (HIM): Significance, Advantages & HIM Standards
The term HIM is associated with health and healthcare. It is the process of collecting data and forming a new team to protect digital and traditional medical information to provide quality patient care. It needs analysis, protecting, and storing information to deliver the best patient care. The data can be paper-based or a combination of digital and paper. Individuals that are involved in healthcare generate a lot of health information about patients. 

Health Information is data related to a person’s history, including procedures, symptoms, and other outcomes. The patient’s information can be seen individually to compare how the patient's health has changed. According to AHIMA, 

“Health Information Management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care.”

The AHIMA was formed to oversee the training and educating of Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) and RHIT certifications. Several laws were passed for the practices involving HIM and to support patient rights. Additionally, they prepare and analyze data for research purposes, mandatory reporting, and more. They participate in the committees to address topics such as health record implementation and process improvement. 

The Significance of HIM in Healthcare

Health Information Management is important for healthcare providers and other HIPAA-covered entities to make sure that the patient’s data is secure. It involves medical coding and ensures compliance with government regulation. Furthermore, it includes medical record retention and the analysis of medical trends. 

Sometimes, healthcare information overlaps multiple areas in different cycles; therefore, it becomes essential for healthcare organizations to create HIM departments to oversee the requirements and to manage training and educate staff. HIM managers work in organizations and businesses around the world. A focus on Health Information Management (HIM) offers several benefits to organizations, increases efficiency, and optimizes the healthcare system. 

HIM Standards Began With Establishment of AHIMA

HIM’s history dates back to the introduction of the American Health Information Management Association. In 1938, AHIMA was known as AAMRL (American Association of Medical Record Librarians), and its members were called librarians who studied medical record science. 

The aim was to raise standards of records and other healthcare facilities. Over the years, the organization’s name was changed and reflected the evolving field of health information management practices. Then, it became the American Health Information Management Association.  

Modern Development in Health Information 

Over time, the healthcare industry has evolved in terms of technologies, procedures, and everything. Electronic Health Records (EHR) have shown an evolution of health-record keeping. 

With the rise of technologies in healthcare, the HIM managers must remain competitive with the use of databases to generate reports for administrators and physicians. 

Educational Programs and Online Program Availability

In the United States, the CAHIM requires accreditation for programs in the HIM. The standard is that accreditation must be maintained with visits, informing CAHIM of changes within the program. 

The Health Information Management student can opt to participate in a full-time program called the Joint Bachelor or Masters program. Through this program, the students can achieve the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Master of Health Services Administration Program (BSHIM/MHSA). 

Several programs are available online. With online learning, students can go through different programs. 

What Does an HIM Professional Do?

An HIM professional develops health policy & information systems and identifies future information needs. Furthermore, the professional can apply the science of informatics to use, analyze, and to meet the ethical and administrative records keeping requirements of healthcare delivery. 

They are the guardians of the patient data and disseminate patient health information. They are certified by the American Health Information Management Association, and patient data is kept secure, according to federal and state laws. An HIM professional can fall into different categories like Health Information Manager, Director of Quality Management, Health Data Analyst, Revenue Cycle Specialist, Chief Privacy Officer, and more. 

Healthcare facilities use coders, claim specialists, and even third-party medical-coding services to manage healthcare revenue cycle management. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) impacts what information you share with business associates. The organization can be responsible for damages even if data is accessed by a non-authorized person or through a third-party business. HIM staff would enforce security and privacy on the top of improving network security. The HIM Managers can collaborate with nurses, chief financial officers, and more. 

The HIM professional specializes in managing patient health information, administration computer information systems, procedures for healthcare services provided to patients. HIM professional duties can include the implementation of improvements. They are responsible for implementing processes and systems to support complete record documentation. They work with coding staff to ensure accurate coding for clinical care. 

Security and Health Information Management

Nowadays, Healthcare breaches have become commonly noticed in the healthcare industry. In 2015, nearly 100 million records were breached by cyber attacks. However, the impact of breaches is declined after the implementation of security regulations for healthcare providers. 

The attackers are choosing the healthcare industry for data branching as they get easy access to patient’s information. Therefore, organizations should prioritize the privilege of patient data to enhance customer trust. Here are other key points regarding privacy and data security that are unavoidable for healthcare organizations

Advantages of Cloud-Based Health Information Management

Healthcare organizations work on different IT structures and include programs and applications used by employees with different needs. The healthcare department uses tools to complete tasks and to access the network. Cloud-based software is popular in the healthcare sector for managing information and interacting with patients. 

The department manages several applications with unique specifications and security requirements. Cloud-based health information provides general cloud computing methods and gives benefits to particular organizations. 

Furthermore, health information systems like Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) allow facilities to access health records. It also gives users access to information systems from any device. 

Here are other benefits that Cloud-based Health Information Management provides to the healthcare sector. 

Benefits to Resource Management

It manages individual information systems onto cloud-based systems and saves time on administrative tasks. It also synchronizes data between applications and updates files present in multiple apps. 

The healthcare department apps are shared onto one platform and allow users to access less run applications easier. It provides benefits to users by not contacting the IT department for special permission. 

Benefits to Network and Data Security

It manages applications with cloud technology and eases maintenance tasks for different departments. It eliminates user update responsibilities and protects the network from attackers introduced by legacy updates. 

The departments view and monitor activities throughout a cloud-based health-information management system. Cloud-based solutions can analyze HIM to prevent apps from sharing information with multiple apps on the network. It produces data and analyzes health data, manages population health, and reduces healthcare costs. 

HIM or Health Information Management requires healthcare experts who are well-versed about the advanced technologies as they have to organize data. 

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