Health information management professionals increasingly are centralizing medical records processing, coding, and clinical documentation functions, among others, across the health system enterprise.

This is an emerging trend that the American Health Information Management Association found following in-depth interviews with 20 HIM directors. Instead of having every hospital and practice employing one or more persons to handle HIM duties, the task is being done remotely at a central location, says Rita Bowen, privacy officer at AHIMA. “Some HIM departments now aren’t even in the hospital.”

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