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PHIMA Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you all for a wonderful conference! We had over 180 attendees for our PHIMA Annual Meeting, held at the beautiful Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Laurel Highlands. There were many wonderful sessions sandwiched between our opening and closing sessions, which are highlighted below. We hope you take the time to read about all the new and upcoming adventures our future holds!
The meeting kicked off with our PHIMA President’s Welcome from Christine Parfitt, RHIT, CDIP. This was a great way to get us in the mood and excited for the upcoming sessions! 
During Monday’s general session, we heard from Jill Clark, MBA, RHIA, CHDA, FAHIMA, and keynote speaker Greg Strevig, VP, Enterprise Analytics for Geisinger Health System.
Jill presented the AHIMA CSA update which included:
  • Introduction to our new AHIMA CEO, Wylecia Wiggs Harris, Ph.D., CAE. 
    • Dr. Harris had a video message for attendee’s which mentioned:
      • Strengthening AHIMA’s membership
      • Developing a strong culture to influence change
      • Becoming leaders to provide expertise in AHIMA subjects
  • AHIMA Career Map – the career map is now a wheel in which there are four job families.  Once clicking on a diamond or circle, it will mention the job title, if the role is current or emerging and the path for transition or promotion.
  • Data Analytics – A data revolution blog is featured each month in the Journal of AHIMA.  There are also toolkits on the AHIMA website in addition to a FREE 30-minute monthly webinar.
  • Educators – There is a virtual lab that provides over 50 scenarios for education.
  • Informatics – IG Healthrate offers a free evaluation and assessment to rate your IG level.  After taking the evaluation, you can learn what is needed to obtain the next level.
Greg spoke on the topic of “Data Analytics, The Road Forward”, which involves taking data and continuing to tweak until it meets the customer’s needs. He does this by asking, “What do you really need the data to show you?” Greg stated that data analytics is the foundation to take layers of data and make it useful to the end user. At times, removing duplication and starting over might have to take place, but this allows data to be useful vs. producing reports that no one looks at. Using data efficiently allows healthcare to bridge the gap from proactive to predictive analytics. By using the data, predictive analytics can allow organizations to treat patients to avoid future health problems. An example would be a pre-diabetic patient and using data to help the patient avoid becoming a diabetic.
Tuesday’s closing session had presentations from Valerie Watzlaf, Ph.D., MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA, Cathy Flite, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, Karen Gibson, MSA, RHIA, FAHIMA, and Jill Clark.
Valerie, AHIMA President/Chair-elect, presented the AHIMA topic of the Apprenticeship Program. This program is new to AHIMA, and with Pennsylvania being ranked the fifth largest employer for HIM, a great opportunity for healthcare organizations to grow those interested in the HIM field. AHIMA was awarded a $4.9 million Government grant to assist candidates in obtaining skills needed to grow within the HIM field.  The apprenticeship program allows current or new employees to develop abilities in roles that are traditionally hard to fill or are new/emerging.  Current apprenticeship roles are Hospital Coder, Medical Coder/Biller, Professional Fee Coder, Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist, and Data Analyst.  Privacy and Security is a new apprenticeship that is expected to launch in 2018.  Please visit for more information.
Jill was back again to discuss Health Information Management Reimagined (HIMR). This is an AHIMA Leadership initiative to look at the future of AHIMA and determining potential gaps and opportunities to develop our members. We invite you to review the white paper, as this outlines the below topics more thoroughly and allows you to envision the future of AHIMA.  HIMR is focused on four items, which include:
  • Education – Increase AHIMA members holding relevant degrees to 20 percent of total membership within 10 years.
  • Research – Building mechanisms to safeguard research supporting health informatics and information management.
  • HIM Specialization – Increasing opportunities for specialization in the academic spectrum through revision of the curricula.
  • RHIA & RHIT Credentials – Transition and develop specialty credentials to align with industry and educational needs.  
Cathy Flite, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, and Karen Gibson, MSA, RHIA, FAHIMA, CCHIIM Commissioners, presented information on the certifications in conjunction with HIMR. With the upcoming changes to credentials and specializations, CCHIIM will be considering these revisions prior to changes occurring. Cathy and Karen also provided information on the RHIT to RHIA Proviso, which is a provision of the HIMR initiative. 
  • Must have a RHIT credential by August 31, 2018
  • Must have a baccalaureate degree or higher from regionally accredited institution
  • Open from July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2021
Additionally, for CEUs, a reminder that 80% must be earned within the HIM domains and 20% can be participation in CE activities on topics not in the domains but of relevance to credential holder’s professional position. The Recertification Guide, is a great resource to determine what events can be utilized to earn CEU’s. Examples include:
  • Speaking at an education session
  • Participation in formal educational programs, such as baccalaureate, master or doctorate degrees
  • Publications
  • Hosting HIM students
In summary, there were great speakers and sessions that we are thankful were eager to present and share their knowledge. We truly appreciate your willingness to share your expertise and provide the opportunity to think in a new way!
To leave you with a quote from Jill that she introduced from a session she participated in Tennessee, “We are the people who take care of information for people who take care of you.”
Your PHIMA Education Co-Chairs,

Stephanie Fischer, MBA, RHIA

Amber Mayberry-DiMaria, MS, RHIA

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