A Path Chosen in Health Information Management
There are many opportunities available in Health Information Technology. When I began my journey in obtaining my degree, I was solely interested in coding, but upon my research, I learned that there are many choices in this field. My options now have increased, therefore, my interest and love for Health Information has grown. I have confidence that when I graduate, I will have acquired the skills needed to obtain my dream job in my future career.
One of the many positions available in Health Information Technology is an HIM Specialist. This position can fall into different categories as far as what you’re job responsibilities are as well. I had the opportunity to sit down and interview an employee at the hospital that I work for. Her name is Velicia Tillman and she is and HIM specialist (Tillman, 2013). She works for Providence/St John Hospital in Southfield, Mi. in the Health Information Department. This position required her to have her RHIT with an Associate’s Degree in Health Management, which she had, as well as a minimum of work experience which includes 2 years of Medical Records experience, with exposure to ICD-9-CM and CPT Coding and DRG payment scheme, with 3M Cerner experience preferred, all of which she was knowledgeable of.
Velicia went on to tell me what her job summary entailed. She acts as a systems manager for the HIM Department, which can include the 3M system, Midas for HIM, and Clinical Documentation, Invision, Data for Warehouse, Cerner Profile, Powerchart, EMPI, and Publishing. She also coordinates/updates the systems and interprets statistical information to the Medical Administrative Staff of our hospital from various sources within the hospital and medical center. Velicia explained to me that she shares responsibilities with the other HIM specialists within the department. She mainly makes corrections to the patient’s demographics through what is called EMPI, such as the patient’s name, address, date of birth, or Social Security number as well as ensuring the medical record number on the patient is correct. Velicia also works closely with transcription, the HIM staff, and the physicians and residents. She makes the corrections on the dictations that weren’t caught by the residents or clinicians at the time when they were being dictated. There may be some that were dictated under the wrong patient financial number that needs to be changed to match the right patient, or a resident may dictate and indicate an incorrect clinician to electronically sign.
There were a few questions I had in mind regarding this position in the future and I wondered what her thoughts were. So I asked her, “Where do you see the future of your position?” She simply answered, “As more and more patient documents become electronic I believe it could become more of a remote position… a work from home job, but I see that happening far more into the future, considering it has taken years to get us where we are now, and still, I don’t see that as a bad thing.” I also asked, “Do you plan to further your education?” Her response was, “I have my Bachelor’s in Health Management currently. The answer to that would be yes, but not as far as a degree, but I am considering another credential such as obtaining my CTR, (Certified Tumor Registrar) mainly as a backup, for when things become more automated, this could be another opportunity for me”. This was very informative to me. Her knowledge and ability to speak to me about the field helped opened my eyes even wider and gave me a little more insight on my chosen career path.
As I mentioned earlier, Velicia shares the role of an HIM Specialist with a few other women in the department. I had a chance to speak with them as well, and was able to compare their job responsibilities as HIM Specialists. The other specialists work mainly with the coders. They wrote and ran reports and kept up with