New AHIMA toolkit aids those looking to derive information from data

Informaticists must turn data into actionable information to support care decisions, says Pamela Lane.

The growing field of healthcare informatics, which aims to improve the quality of healthcare information in order to produce and use trusted data for better decision making, is getting a boost from the American Health Information Management Association.

AHIMA, which represents health information management professionals in provider organizations, such as the medical records department, has developed an informatics toolkit for its members.

“While technological advances are an important driver of change, at this moment, computers cannot generate information—they are merely tools in helping healthcare professionals generate, modify and share data,” says interim CEO Pamela Lane. “This is where the health informatics specialist comes in.”

These professionals know how to take data and turn it into reliable and actionable information, she explains. Consequently, modern informaticists need to understand how to ensure the governance of data throughout its lifecycle so there is integrity in the information being used in an organization.

Also See: AHIMA develops form for patients to request health information

The new toolkit covers tools to use for analysis, and it covers best practices for building an informatics program.

Areas included in the toolkit are data analysis and utilization, data reporting, data quality management, privacy and security considerations, management of health information systems and processes, database management, informatics training, and project management to understand key players who should be assigned to a project, among other issues.

The toolkit is free to AHIMA members and is available here.

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