Bonnie Cassidy, president-elect of the American Health Information Management Association and vice president of HIM product managment at QuadraMed Corp., would like to see more agility from the group's board to quicken its decision making processes.

When new rules or laws come out, for instance, the board "needs to move on it" to get positions and guidance out quicker, along with associated programs and services, says Cassidy, who will lead Chicago-based AHIMA during 2011.

In an interview with Health Data Management, Cassidy doesn't advocate radical changes at AHIMA but does see areas for improvement. One priority is developing consistent standards for management of electronic health records. For instance, HIM professionals are needed to build templates for structured data so doctors have information to choose from in a format conducive to ICD-10 coding. "Even with computer-assisted coding, you still need the right information in the EHR."

Cassidy also wants the organization to focus at the grassroots level on new roles for HIM professionals in health information exchanges and regional extension centers that will aid providers in adopting EHRs, as well as long-term care. "We have to make sure we're at the table," she says. "It's not AHIMA in Chicago that will do it, it's the members who will do it. We need to make sure members are prepared."


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