Changing roles in healthcare

This month’s issue of “For The Record” has an interesting article about the changing roles within the Health Information Management (HIM) world.

NEMT CEO Linda Sullivan

While it varies from facility to facility, there’s no question roles are changing. The first change I noticed was that many HIM directors have also become the privacy officer – they’ve had to learn HIPAA inside and out. Back in the day it was the RHIA, becoming later the RHIT.

It’s mind boggling – think about it, several years ago many of the positions in hospital administration today didn’t even exist. One of the many that comes to mind is Clinical Documentation Improvement. In one of the facilities that I’ve had a relationship with for years, there is no longer an HIM manager – it has morphed into director of revenue cycle management.

The other interesting piece of this situation is that I’m betting the definition of many of these new positions is not universal from one facility to another.

The article highlights a facility that planned ahead and managed to retain staff by changing roles slowly over time. It would be ideal if all hospitals handled it the same way but resources and personnel don’t always permit that to happen.

The bottom line is we all need to be on our toes and be willing to be nimble in this changing environment we are inhabiting. Viewed a different way, it is an opportunity for for all of us to learn more and improve not only ourselves but the facilities we work in or provide services for … not to mention improving the delivery of patient care.


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