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Footprints Newsletter
March 2019

Inside This Issue:

President’s Message

Hello NCHIMA members! It looks like 2019 has gotten off to a great start. The Executive Board and Governance Team have been very busy offering education, continuing with the Region Consolidation, and planning the Quad State meeting.

Thus far we have provided countless hours of education throughout North Carolina in both face to face and via webinar. We appreciate you for taking part in the various educational activities as presenters and attendees. As you are aware, our regions have adjusted to the name changes of East, South, West, and Triangle with great success.

We are very excited about the Quad State meeting and hope you plan to attend. Space is now very limited so please make your final arrangements to attend as soon as possible. We have already had great response from members and tremendous support from our vendors. Volunteers are doing a fine job. I can’t wait to see you there.

The 2019 Quad-State Annual Meeting & Exhibit
Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort and Convention Center
 Myrtle Beach, SC
May 5 – 8, 2019
“Creating Connections for a Stronger Tomorrow.”
If you have been reading the Journal of AHIMA you have seen updates from AHIMA CEO, Dr. Wylecia Harris on the pivot AHIMA is taking and how we are continuing to focus on coding, CDI, privacy/security. and performing a reset on how we will focus on data analytics in the future. AHIMA is aware of the importance of all these areas and is hoping to tackle them in a way that makes sense and is beneficial to membership and the healthcare industry as a whole.

We recently had Board elections and I would like to say thank you for those that committed to volunteering their time to run and to the Chair, Pamela Lail and the Nominating Committee for taking their time in pulling the ballot together. Congrats to our winners. Please consider running and/or volunteering in the future. We need you!!

As always, remember this organization can only be as good as the members that support it. The Governance Team welcomes your questions or comments.

NCHIMA President 2018-2019

Connecting Patients to their Care 24/7- What’s Up Ahead?

Written by: Natalie M. Raper, MHS
NCHIMA Legal Delegate

Helpful Definitions:

  • APIs: Application Programming Interfaces is a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.
  • 21st Century Cures Act: A BiPartisan act, enacted in December 2016 by Congress that focused on interoperability and health information exchange—including deterring and penalizing the practice of information blocking.
  • EHR: Electronic Health Record
  • FHIR: Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources is a draft standard describing data formats and elements and an application programming interface for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International health-care standards organization
  • Information Blocking: In health information technology (HIT), information blocking is the result of an unreasonable constraint imposed on the exchange of patient data or electronic health information.
  • Interoperability: Interoperability is a characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or in the future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions.
  • NPRM: A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is a public notice issued by law when one of the independent agencies of the United States government wishes to add, remove, or change a rule or regulation as part of the rulemaking process.
  • ONC: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is a staff division of the Office of the Secretary, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    On February 11th, the Office of the National Coordinator announced the release of a proposed rule that would modify Title IV of the 21st Century Cures Act. Significant areas of the rule include patient access, information blocking, conditions of certification, and the roles of API in the future. Although consumers swim in a sea of apps (2 million to be exact!) on a daily basis, it is still extremely difficult to access your medical information on your phone/tablet. The hope of this proposed rule is to get patient-focused applications that will help consumers as patients manage their health and care on their many devices. The move towards a deeper insight into our health and data is upon us.

    But how? This proposed rule will build standards that APIs must follow in order to eliminate patients and developers from being bound to a particular healthcare provider or EHR product. This proposed rule is mandating that APIs be usable without any special effort. It’s basically introducing a standard that is similar to the many standards we use in healthcare for systems like labs, imaging, claims processing, etc.

    The hope within this proposed rule is that APIs will begin to follow Health Level Seven’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards. APIs will now need to be certified and show that they are using consensus based standards and criteria for establishing & promoting interoperability within the healthcare market. Again, eliminating the “special effort” that happens now.

    I would encourage each of you as stakeholders to read not only the API section of this rule, but the rule in its entirety. Please make comments before the deadline and share with your team mates at NCHIMA if you feel so inclined. We need to make this a big focus on our conversation in the coming months. This proposed rule and the impacts it will have on the world of healthcare for both the patient and the provider promises a transformative technological landscape unlike any that we’ve seen in the past. It is time for progress and the flow of information for the consumer, the patient, and the healthcare provider.

    ** The HHS-approved documents have been submitted to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for publication and have not yet been placed on public display or published in the Federal Register. Stay tuned for more information on commenting.
    Helpful links:

What is AHIMA Transformation

Click here for AHIMA Transformation FAQs

Why Should We Advocate for the HealthCare Documentation Profession?

With the healthcare documentation industry being what it is now since the use of voice recognition technology began, we have heard quite a few people say that the industry is on the way out or is already dead. So, why should healthcare documentation specialists continue advocating for their skill sets and what they do? This article will provide a few reasons why I think it is important that we continue to support our industry.


Student Spotlight

Student Name: Jasmine D Randall

School/Program: Craven Community College/Health Information Technology
Program Director: Crystal Smith/ Beverly Craft 

Year: 2018-2019
GPA: 2.768
AHIMA Member:
  1. What initially drew you to this particular profession?
    I chose HIT as a career because I love learning new things. As a student, I am always challenging myself to keep current on medical trends and knowledge. I learn something new from my colleagues and directors, which inspires me to explore deeper knowledge of the field.
  2. What are your future plans?
    I will obtain my Associates Degree in Health Information Technology and will then continue my education to obtain a Bachelors in Health Information Management. I feel motivated to continue studying. This gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, improve skills and to be focused.
  3. How did you decide this field was a good fit for you? 
    I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging and interesting. Through college, my interest in the field has become stronger. I have found the opportunity to work in a variety of medical settings intriguing and have enjoyed the experience of learning the routines in each type of facility. It gives me great satisfaction to invest my time in an industry that is always expanding.
  4.  What advice would you present to those considering entering the HIM profession?
    Consider a program that will work with your interests. Always take the available opportunities to expose yourself. Take advantage of new situations to learn as much as you can. When that opportunity knocks, step outside your comfort zone and open the door.
  5.  How does your student membership affect you and your career goals?
    As a Student Member I have a large amount of resources. The Annual Meetings keep me informed on how much the medical field is expanding and changing. I receive guidance and I have plenty of resources to give me a better insight on specific criteria.

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