What do you think is the key aspect of a Health Information Management (HIM) professional’s job?
What is Health information?
Health information comprises of medical records of a person including symptoms, diagnoses, procedures, outcomes etc. This would also include patient’s histories pertaining to x-rays, clinical information, lab results etc. that could be used to analyze the patient’s health status and how it has changed over treatment or over time. This is can form part of a larger data set for a region or country where multiple data sets for patients treated within the region could be used to conclude or reason how medical intervention was used and could be used to treat a patient.
This data is to be captured and maintained in a standardized form so that it could be used for clinical, financial and legal uses in the healthcare ecosystem. The information is quite sensitive and hence medical or health information professional are also responsible for maintaining its quality, confidentiality and integrity.
What do Health Information Management professionals do?
Health information professional manage and take care of patient data such that patient information and patient care is captured through every touchpoint of healthcare delivery cycle. This health information professionals are responsible for capturing and maintaining the information through the administrative, operational and clinical functions which is indirectly connected by this data.
Main responsibilities of health information management professional are:
- Review patient’s records for completeness and accuracy
- Record and Organize data in standardized format and maintain them in clinical databases
- Track healthcare outcomes for every patient for assessing quality of healthcare imparted
- Use data captured for analysis and study the outcomes of healthcare route taken
- Maintain confidentiality and integrity of patients’ records
As per my understanding, the key aspect of a health information management professional is to ensure that patient and healthcare data is organized and maintained in the system such that the quality, confidentiality and integrity of the patient and healthcare is protected and the same data could be used for analysis to help other patients in their healthcare cycle. This data can turn out to be very critical in defining priorities, identifying innovative solutions and allocating adequate resources to improve health outcomes.