Listening to ALL the players

Back in the day, selling transcription services was a conversation that usually started and ended with the person who more often than not held the title of Medical Records Director.

Enter HITECH in 2009, fast forward to 2015 and the conversation, if you can even get one, is with a “committee of eight.” The group of eight, a number I’ve chosen arbitrarily, typically consists of a financial person, health information management, operations, and, of course, IT. IT frequently contributes to the agenda and nearly always controls the timetable.

NEMT CEO Linda Sullivan

Lee DeOrio, Editor of “For The Record” magazine, captured a very cogent and timely thought in the publication’s June issue entitled “Technology and Temptation.” It’s a must-read.

“Allied health professionals must do all they can to become part of these proposals. The reason is simple: Distinguished coding and HIM leaders won’t be fooled by technology’s allure. They’ll deconstruct documentation tools, take a stripped down approach to the drop-down menus, and suss out speech recognition to gauge whether any of it is worth the time and effort. Of course, theirs won’t be the final say, but to altogether ignore this constituency is just being ignorant.”

The “medical records director,” now the “health information management” individual, is still on the front lines of patient documentation. While IT, as Lee writes “is the sweetheart at the rodeo,” allied health professionals are in the trenches and working with day-to-day patient documentation issues. Their insights are vitally important; they should be heard.

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