Health Information Management (HIM) seems like an everyday thing in the contemporary healthcare setting. Yet, it wasn’t always like that. HIM has constantly evolved over the years. In order to truly understand the purpose and benefits of HIM coding, you should first become familiar with the history behind it.
HIM is a type of information management strategy. As the name suggests, it is directed towards the types of information that are commonly used in the healthcare industry. Typical information management strategies involve obtaining and analyzing large data sets. Additionally, it involves creating a secure environment for the storage of this data. Although paper documents can still be found in any given medical clinic, it is expected that Electronic Health Records (EHR) will take over. This signals a greater need for enhanced health information technology and HIM medical coding experts.
How HIM Standards Started
Interestingly, we can tie the current HIM standards to a system created back in the late 1920s. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is perhaps the earliest link to HIM. Early organizations worked together to create national standards for the recording of medical records. The goal behind this was to create a system that would promote the accuracy and quality of medical records. Later, organizations like the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) provided further contributions to the area of patient record management. This is the genesis of today’s HIM systems.
The Introduction of EHR
Although EHR seems like the logical evolution point for medical records, it was not an easy transition. At the out-start, many healthcare professionals disagreed with the movement towards electronic records. Yet, EHR systems provided many benefits that paper documents could not. For one, they provide immediate access to records at any location. Secondly, they can be updated in real time to provide the latest information about a patient. EHR is already the main tool set for HIM medical coding. Clearly, it is here to stay.
With the advent of mobile devices, EHR became even a more integral part of the record keeping process. Yet, behind every EHR system is a team of dedicated medical coders. When it comes to HIM coding, there is no separating the modern EHR system.
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