What is Health Information Management & Why Is It Important?

what is medical health information management

Individuals involved in healthcare around the world acquire and generate a significant amount of personal health information about patients. The scope of health information includes not only personal information and private health data, but also associated payment forms and transactions. Clinical notes, pharmacy, and outpatient care records are also covered health information.

As technology has developed, it has greatly increased the potential for reliability, speed, efficiency, and usability of medical records. However, this also increased the ability for information to be misused, sold, and accessed without an individual’s consent.

As technological advancements outpaced ethical and legal policy, it became necessary to define medical/healthcare information management.

What is Health Information Management?

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 American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) was formed to define and oversee the training and educating of Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administration (RHIA) certifications.

In tandem with this association, several laws were passed to support patient rights and the practices involving HIM. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) along with subsequent Privacy and Security Rules were designed to address many issues in this field. These were augmented by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) which requires contingency plans for emergencies and for when PHI health information management technology systems are impacted.

Besides regulations and requirements for covered entities, these laws also moved to standardize many aspects relating to HIM. Recently healthcare has started transitioning to value-based therapy reflecting each organization’s role in overall healthcare management.

What is HIM in Healthcare?

 

Health Information Management is essential for healthcare providers and other HIPAA-covered entities to ensure patient information privacy and security. HIM involves medical coding and billing, ensuring compliance with government regulations, and handling customer requests for Personal Health Information (PHI).

This field also involves medical records retention and transition to electronic formats, as well as analysis of health care trends and the implementation of improvements. Because healthcare information overlaps many different areas in any healthcare cycle, it became necessary for many organizations to create HIM departments to oversee these important requirements are adhered to as well as managing training and education of staff.

Healthcare Information Managers would oversee all facets of an organization’s collection and retention of records as well as security, privacy, analysis, and implementations, coding, billing, and compliance.

Healthcare information managers work in healthcare organizations and associated businesses around the world. These include hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, chiropractors, and third-party healthcare services.

Security and HIM

Healthcare breaches have become a significant problem for healthcare providers today. In 2015 almost 100 million healthcare records were breached by cyber attacks. The impact from breaches has declined since then due to the implementation of privacy and security regulations for healthcare providers; however, the number of attempted breaches has increased over that same time.

As attackers become more organized or sophisticated the potential for successful breaches will increase unless organizations keep pace or excel with relevant health information management practices. Those interested in stealing health information may also gain access through the front door. In organizations that utilize unsecured wireless networks, or have lax regulations concerning secured network devices, someone could gain access from within and walk out with the data.

Role of a Health Information Manager

importance of health information management technology

What a healthcare information manager does will vary by organization. Many roles in this field require one to first pass an accredited academic program as well as a certification test. These roles include collecting and securely storing medical records and Protected Health Information (PHI).

Healthcare facilities often utilize coders and claims specialists, even third-party medical coding services, to handle medical records and healthcare revenue cycle management. HIPAA rules also impact what information you share with business associates. Your organization might be liable for damages even if a breach occurred due to a third-party business, which is why it is important to choose certified HIM companies.

In addition to the roles above, HIM staff would also implement and enforce security and privacy rule adherence on top of designing and improving network security.  At a minimum, this includes considering administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for traditional and electronic PHI.

Health information management duties can also include analysis and implementation of improvements. For example, an analyst might use the aggregate available information to determine patterns in various areas which can be used to devise improvements to an organization.

Importance of Health Information Management

HIM is vital for every healthcare organization and associated business. Not only are there legal requirements that must be adhered by to receive certain incentives and avoid penalties, but organizations have an ethical responsibility to protect PHI in their possession.

Breaches impact patient trust in a healthcare provider and may prohibit a patient from sharing vital information for fear of exposure. Hackers can also steal patient payment information causing residual harm such as identity theft and stolen money. Both of those factors can impact a patient’s willingness to seek care at certain providers.

A focus on HIM also allows an organization many positive benefits such as the potential for increased efficiency and optimization of healthcare information system access and other key aspects involved with revenue cycle management. A coordinated effort to standardize and efficiently operate tasks involving PHI will take a manager dedicated to the task, especially in larger organizations.

For healthcare management consulting, or for more information on HIM and how it may impact your organization, please contact Nearterm today.

 

Posted By: nearterm-admin

Clinical Coding Coordinator

JOB ID: EB-1535406314
Location: Florida

The Clinical Coding Coordinator will perform internal quality assessment reviews on HIM Inpatient and Outpatient Coders to ensure compliance with national coding guidelines and coding policies for complete, accurate, and consistent coding that result in appropriate reimbursement and data integrity. Review records with the coding team to improve the accuracy, integrity, and quality of patient data, to ensure minimal variation in coding practices and improve the quality of physician documentation within the body of the medical record to support code assignments. Coordinate with the coding supervisors and manager to also provide coder specific education and global coding education based on review findings and trends.

Requirements:

  • RHIT, RHIA or CCS Certification required
  • 5+ years coding experience required

APPLY NOW

 Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: [email protected]

Copy and Paste the following job title and EB code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job: Clinical Coding Coordinator (EB-1535406314)

If you have any questions or would like additional information please call 888-646-1330

062918

Posted By: nearterm-admin

Remote Medical Coding Auditors

JOB ID : EB-4232662312
Location: United States

Seeking experienced ICD-10-CM Medical Coding Auditors for full and part-time remote positions. Successful candidates will code all chart types including, but not limited to, in-patient, out-patient and clinical service charts. We also welcome interest from candidates with specialized patient type experience.

  • RHIT, RHIA or CCS Certification required
  • 3+ years medical coding and 1+ years medical coding auditing experience required
  • Personal Computer with Internet Connection, Dual Monitors, Microsoft Windows 7 or higher, and Microsoft Office Suites – Word & Excel are required
  • McKesson and 3M Paragon system experience – preferred
  • Must be available to audit a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • Competitive benefit package offered

Full Time and Part Time Positions Available Now

We invite you to call and learn more 888-646-1330 or APPLY NOW

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: [email protected].  Copy and Paste the following job title and EB code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job: Medical Coding Auditors (EB-4232662312)


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Posted By: nearterm-admin

Health Information Management Manager (HIM) – Interim

JOB ID : EB-1141908890
Location:  United States

Nearterm Corporation is looking for a highly skilled Health Information Management Manager to join our Managed Services team. The role of this position is to provide interim leadership and consulting to our national client base of hospitals and health systems. The ideal candidate would have experience in an acute care hospital setting, and will have a complete understanding of the HIM continuum to include the technology, management practices, coding and compliance requirements associated with the job.  We are looking for a dynamic, creative individual who thrives in problem solving situations, is open to travel, and enjoys the challenge of integrating into new situations and making a difference.

Additional Information:

  • Current RHIA certification required
  • Bachelor degree in HIM or RHIT with undergraduate degree in a related field preferred
  • Master’s degree in a related field preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership acumen
  • 5+ years HIM/Medical Records management experience

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing opportunity, APPLY NOW

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: [email protected].  Copy and Paste the following job title and EB code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job: HIM Manager(EB-1141908890)

If you have any questions or would like additional information please call 888-646-1330


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Posted By: nearterm-admin
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