HIM newcomers to get a crash course at AHIMA

Health information management professionals can use healthcare data and analytics to support growth in their careers and aid the HIM department’s performance.

That’s the basis of an educational session scheduled for the AHIMA Convention & Exhibit in September; it aims to assist newer HIM professionals get a grounding in the industry today.

Valerie Fernandez, a clinical documentation improvement specialist at Duke University Health System, will walk through how to discover important nuances in data types, formats and analytical processes, as well as how to interpret visual presentations of HIM data and building a best practice plan to optimize analytics.

Fernandez will cover issues such as case mix index, occupancy rate and reviewing dashboards used by leadership to make decisions on budgets for various departments.

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She’ll also emphasize the need to take advantage of the wealth of data within electronic health records. “The EHR offers opportunity for assessing the vast amount of information using ad hoc reports that are readily available to more complex reporting that compiles information across a time continuum,” Fernandez notes.

EHR information can provide insights into patient outcomes, payments and denials, and research, she adds. “It is not only the hospitals that make use of this data, but also insurance carriers and federal and state government entities,” she contends.

Fernandez also will remind attendees that today’s patients are savvy consumers and are using readily available tools to assess the quality of services. “Patient satisfaction in this patient-centric environment will determine the ongoing viability of a practice or organization,” she cautions.

The session: “Data Analytics 101: Mastering the Basics in HIM,” is scheduled at 2 p.m. on September 23 in Room 202 of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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