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Footprints Newsletter
October 2016

Inside This Issue:

President’s Message

Happy October NCHIMA! This year is quickly coming to an end and we are just getting started. The smell of fall is in the air and we can take advantage of all the activities we have in North Carolina that represent fall such as fairs, carnivals, bazaars, and other festivities. Fall is all about shedding the old to make way for the new and in a sense, that is what we as HIM professionals (Coders, CDI, Analysts, and Educators, etc.) have been doing as well as NCHIMA Executive Board members. Don’t many of you feel the constant change we have experienced over the past 5 years? It is exciting to say this change will continue and HIM professionals can be a key part of that change.   The theme for this month’s Footprints is Informatics, Information Governance, Analytics, and Business Intelligence. These areas are all about making information anew through collaboration, data analysis, and as well as making our lives simpler. Please take advantage of the many workshops volunteers have worked on to prepare for our state around the Footprints theme. These are onsite meetings as well as webinars.

The AHIMA annual meeting was a great place to obtain excellent education this year. We had the opportunity to be enlightened by Melissa Martin (President) and Ann Chenowith (President-elect) regarding how hard they work and plan to work for our profession. I think something that resonated quite a bit with me and others was the hold that technology is taking on our profession. Just like the leaves fall and we get new buds, as HIM professionals will need to continually prepare ourselves for the “Age of Information Technology”. Participate, educate, innovate and share. These areas will be key as we move forward. Have you taken a look at your experience, desires, and goals to map your future; AHIMA Career Map.

NCHIMA was presented with much good news and is a force within AHIMA. We continued our award winning record this year with a CSA Strategic Excellence Award in Innovation and for the first time ever we were award winners in every category related to the RACE awards for Coding Excellence (see below for details). On behalf of the NCHIMA Governance Team and Executive Board we would like to thank all the individuals for making this possible; Valerie Dobson, Ralph Morrison, Krystal Haynes, Shannon Grubb, Amanda Fox, Mary Gregory, and the 2015-2016 Governance Team. Without all of you this would not be possible.

NCHIMA Delegates also learned about the launch of the new membership model. AHIMA has provided an informative video to provide an overview of the model. As released by AHIMA, “This new model offers our members brand-new and expanded benefits, additional choices, and flexibility. It will provide a more valuable, enhanced, and personalized membership experience. The expected launch date is early December. You don't have to act until it's time to renew your membership… You can also visit our website to learn more about the new model and what you can look forward to.” AHIMA will be providing additional information as this new is implemented.

Please take the opportunity to read the articles within this newsletter from NCHIMA delegates to get an inside look at their experience at AHIMA House of Delegates and Annual Convention. The Program Committee has selected a theme “Leading the Way” for The 67th NCHIMA Annual Meeting, April 25-28, 2017, Concord, NC - Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa. Please take advantage of the Call for Speakers sent out earlier this month.

Finally, I would like to take some time to discuss HIM-R (HIM Reimagined) as I know there has been much discussion about this at the state and national level. As written by AHIMA, “HIMR is intended to advance the HIM profession and professional. It offers long-term and phased implementation strategies to ensure the profession is equipped both academically and professionally to advance individuals and HIM to greater levels of relevance while keeping pace with changes in the industry and beyond.” ( North Carolina did provide a response to this initiative and do take the position that there are key considerations that should be made as we look at revamping our education system and career paths. This includes increased research in this area and opportunities for research for our members, assessment of our current educational programs for adequate academic support such as grants, and to focus on our roots of the profession and the best way for HIM professionals to grow and evolve.  It is important to keep in mind these are thoughts for HIM to strategize how we can best adjust to the change in healthcare, the market, and how we can be best suited for that change. The leadership for HIM educational institutions within NC along with NCHIMA and the House of Delegates will stay involved in this process.

As always continue to educate yourself and others and continue to keep us informed of hot buttons through your region coordinators. Please reach out to me if you feel the need or contact one of the Executive Board Members.

“NCHIMA changing your future for the better…”

Sharon Easterling, MHA, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, FAHIMA
NCHIMA President

Congratulations NCHIMA - Four RACE Award Recipients  

RACE – Roundtable Achievement in Coding Excellence
Coding Roundtable Recognition at the 2016 Clinical Coding Community Meeting

October 15, 2016 – Baltimore, MD

We have great news for NCHIMA. NCHIMA was recognized as recipients of four RACE Awards for Coding Excellence.

A special thank you goes out to Valerie Dobson, Krystal Haynes, Ralph Morrison, Bobbie Murphy, Angela Buff, Lee Ford and Mary Gregory, for making this possible. The awards will be given at this year’s Annual Meeting in Maryland. Thanks for your hard work!

Congratulations to the 2016 RACE winners! Thank you to all the great nominations submitted for the 2016 recognition.  Your work to make roundtables successful in your state is very much appreciated.   It is with pleasure that we announce the following winners:
AHIMA Coding Roundtable Coordinator Recognition for Excellence:
First place: Debra Beisel Denton, RHIA, CCS, CCDS, Arizona Health Information Management Association (AzHIMA)
Second place:  Krystal Haynes, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, North Carolina Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA)
AHIMA CSA Recognition for Coding Leadership:
First place: Oklahoma Health Information Management Association (OkHIMA)
Second place: Georgia Health Information Management Association (GHIMA)
Honorable Mention: North Carolina Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA)
AHIMA CSA Team Recognition for Coding Roundtable Activities:
First place: Anita Schmidt, Minnesota Health Information Management Association (MnHIMA)
Second place: North Carolina Health Information Management Association Coding Roundtable, North Carolina Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA)
Honorable Mention: Oklahoma Health Information Management Association (OkHIMA)
AHIMA CSA Recognition for Advancing Coding Knowledge through Codewrite:
First place: Sharon Easterling, North Carolina Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA)

Members Update Webinar - November 9, 2016

12:00-1:00 PM EST

To register check on the link below:

  • Overview of NCHIMA/AHIMA Activities
  • Environmental Scan Focus Group Update
  • Strategic Plan Update
  • Education Update
  • Footprints
  • Scholarship Fund and Campaign
  • NCHIMA Annual Meeting Update
  • Membership Model
  • HIM Reimagined

House of Delegates Update

Kris-Shae McCall     
Delegate, Strategic Planning

I had a wonderful time during the AHIMA Convention in Baltimore, MD this year. The week was filled with information sessions that are relevant to where we are in HIM today. Topics for the week consisted of Information Governance, Leadership, EMR/Technology and coding. We were able to start the week off with a House of Delegates meeting. It was a meeting filled with a lot of information. In this article I will highlight some of the topics on the agenda as part of HOD meeting.

AHIMA Apprenticeship program is something that is new to AHIMA there are some healthcare organizations that are already participating. There is a goal of having 1,200 apprentices through AHIMA by 2020. Currently there are 60 organizations signed up to participate. If you are interested in learning more about this program go to the AHIMA Foundation website.

Breakout Sessions
We had breakout sessions as a part of the agenda for the meeting, each of us was asked to select a topic in one of these breakout sessions: HIM Re-Imagined, The Multigenerational Workforce, Patient Generated Health Data, Communication in the HOD, and Regulatory Impact on the Profession. I participated in the session for The Multigenerational Workforce, the session was very engaging. There was a mixture of generations present as well as professionals from both academic setting and healthcare facilities. This combination made for lively discussion with lots of feedback. In the close of this session we wanted to be able to provide feedback to AHIMA about things they could do to support all current generations in the HIM workforce. Below are two of the questions that we used in this discussion.
  • What work options will attract all generations while encouraging baby boomers to remain employed and play key roles in knowledge transfer, leadership development, and mentoring of younger workers?
  • What will be needed from organizations to attract the ‘best and brightest’ of the Millennial and Gen Zers that might differ from strategies used for other generations?
Advocacy Summit in 2017
Next year AHIMA will be trying something a little different; there will be no Hill Day in 2017. Instead, there will be an Advocacy Summit March 27-28, 2017. There will be an Advocacy and Policy Council that will be working on finalizing details in preparation for the Advocacy Summit as it relates to federal legislation, policy, and regulatory comments. If you would like to volunteer you can submit your information through AHIMA Engage.​

Legal and Advocacy Delegate Update

by Tammy H. Downum, RHIA

Sunday, October 16th, marked the 70th AHIMA House of Delegates meeting which was held in Baltimore, MD. I can honestly say that the day was packed full of agenda items which included several presentations delivered by various AHIMA Board members as well as attending one of the five break-out sessions which included the following topics:
  • HIM Re-Imagined
  • The Multigenerational Work Force
  • Patient-Generated Health Data
  • Communication in the HoD
  • Regulatory Impact on the Profession
    I volunteered to attend the Regulatory Impact of the Profession session due to my legal and advocacy responsibilities for NCHIMA. Advocacy is defined as the pursuit of influencing outcomes or the active support of a cause. Our group discussed the following potential list of issues that may possibly need continuing or new advocacy efforts by AHIMA and its members:
    1. API’s (Application Programming Interface) – vendors must be compliant by 2018 to provide applications to patients to be able to download their health information.
    2. MACRA – final regulations released on Friday, October 14th
    3. Minimum Necessary
    4. EHR Certification
    5. Legal Health Record
    6. Unique Patient Identifier
    Our objective was to share suggestions and insights on how the HoD, CSA, and members can advance advocacy efforts for AHIMA and the profession.  After much discussion, the following was a list of our suggestions:
    • Develop partnerships with other associations (AHA, HIMSS, etc.)
    • Develop advocacy issue specific toolkits – AHIMA should provide what CSA’s specifically need
    • Communication should be clear and concise (specific and to the point)
    Later in the day, we reconvened and held a report out session of the findings from each group. This allowed for active and lively participation from all HoD members. After listening to Elizabeth Delahoussaye (current Speaker of the House) and Chrisann Lemery (Speaker-elect) provide insightful presentations, the day ended with California HIMA inviting us all to the 2017 House of Delegates meeting to be held in Los Angeles, CA.

    I really enjoyed attending the House of Delegates meeting this year and look forward to attending next year as well. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members who elected me and my bosses Kristen Gonzalez and Melissa Chappell for allowing me the opportunity to represent NCHIMA.

    Mark your calendars:
    FREE joint meeting with AHA and AHIMA members on November 15, 2016 regarding patient access.

    Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC on March 27-28, 2018. This two-day event will provide one day of planning and the second day marked for “Hill Day”.

AHIMA House of Delegates Meeting

by Pamela J. Lail, MHA, RHIA, CHDA, PMP, FAHIMA

The NCHIMA delegates attended the annual House of Delegates meeting in Baltimore, MD on Sunday, October 16, 2016. The day before the AHIMA annual meeting began. The meeting centered around several topics to help keep the delegates informed of conversations happening on a national level and to give the delegates an opportunity to speak on behalf of the states/regions they were there to represent. I enjoyed talking to AHIMA staff, delegates from other states, and with my fellow delegates from North Carolina.


Member Spotlight

Rolliene Y. Mallari
NCHIMA Publications Committee 2016-2017
Aspiring Health Data Analyst Customer Service

What initially drew you to this particular profession?

What are your future plans? Does it include further education or certifications in the Health Information Management (HIM) field?

How did you decide this field was a good fit for you?

What advice would you present to those considering entering the HIM profession?

Prior to moving to North Carolina, I was a practice manager for a hearing and speech facility located in New York City. I started as a front desk coordinator and it was in that position that I experienced the inefficiencies of the healthcare system and experienced the frustrations in trying to navigate around these systems, which incidentally led me to discover the field of health informatics and information management.

I am currently in graduate school studying for my Masters in Health Informatics. I am excited at all that I am learning and seeing how the different disciplines work together to improve health practices on different levels.

This field is very exciting to me. The blend of healthcare, business, technology, and sciences makes every day different. I have always wanted to be a part of healthcare but knew I was not meant for health provider role. This field allows me to serve the public and discover ways to make healthcare delivery better and more efficient, with higher quality and better outcomes.

It is an exciting field full of amazing people from different backgrounds that have come together with one goal: make healthcare better. There are many opportunities available, but the field is very broad so it's important to learn about where you would want to take your HIIM career. Be sure to get involved with your local AHIMA organization, NCHIMA. I currently serve on the NCHIMA Publications Committee and volunteered for the position because I knew that this is a great way to connect with other HIIM professionals and learn more about the HIIM profession with my involvement.

Student Member Spotlight

Sherrie McLean
Health Information Technology Student
Edgecombe Community College
Expected Graduation 2017

What initially drew you to this particular profession?

What are your future plans? Does it include further education or certifications in the Health Information Management (HIM) field?

How did you decide this field was a good fit for you?

What advice would you present to those considering entering the HIM profession?

Initially I started out as a part time file clerk in HIM at Rex Healthcare in 1997. That is when I began to explore the different areas in HIM and I grew an interest in records completion and doctors' workroom area, chart analysis, and all aspects of HIM.
My future plan is certainly to get my RHIT credentials and then additional credentials in CCS or RHIA, after I work and identify where my strengths lie. I thought about compliance a few years ago and perhaps looking into this area on the HIM side particularly with HIPAA, but many wanted RHIAs and more experience than I have and I questioned if I would be able to get that experience. Now I am considering the IT end of HIM and seeing what my potential may be in this area, or what IT services is most appropriate for HIM.
In my high school years, I wanted to be a nurse, and healthcare services attracted me, especially the financial end. HIM deals so much with finances through coding and CDI, I felt like this is a good fit. I like numbers and it interests me how ICD-10 brings diagnoses and procedures into the numerical world.

My advice would be to know what HIM is about and make sure you like it before you start! A lot of my co-students have experience in HIM or healthcare finance before they begin. A lot of people still don't know what Health Information Technology is although because of coding, a lot of people are finding interest in the HIM world.

My student membership affects me positively, as an advantage, because it is my profession and I can keep up with current events. I can be 10 steps ahead of the game by being involved and up to date on current issues.

I attended my first NCHIMA event in May of 2016 and it was exciting with a lot of educational resources. They talked about how to perfect your resume and different coding aspects such as behavioral health and the different codes to use. They were giving the best way to code certain cases. They had different speakers from organizations; Duke, Wake Med, different HIM offices, and leaders from NCHIMA. And through that, since it was my first one, if I continue in the NCHIMA I will be more involved, I will network with professionals and all of this will help me in my HIM profession.​

Introducing NCHIMAstudent Blog Page


The Publications Committee is pleased to announced the launch of our student interactive NCHIMAstudent blog page lead by the charge of our newest committee member Rolliene. The big difference between this blog page and others is that we are blogging with a purpose.

This page provides a series of blogging topics such as business etiquette, how to begin your career in Health Information Management (HIM), student mentoring to help boast your career and upcoming cultural events that take place throughout our great state of North Carolina.

There is also a suggested book of the month read that ties in with the 2016-2017 themes of our bimonthly publication newsletter Footprints.  

Please visit our site at We are open to suggesting, comments and of course new bloggers. Use this page along with other NCHIMA student resources available at to help make your educational journey easier.

Yours in service,

The NCHIMA Publications Committee

Leola Burke – Publications Chair
Pamela Lail – NCHIMA President-Elect (Member Services Chair)
Rolliene Mallari – Publications Committee Member
Sharon Easterling – 2016/2017 NCHIMA President
Ralph Morrison – NCHIMA Executive Director

Business Intelligence and Data Analytics in HIM

by Pamela J. Lail, MHA, RHIA, CHDA, PMP, FAHIMA

What is Business Intelligence? It is a set of tools and methods used to take raw data and turn it in to information that is meaningful for your organization. This data should be in a format that is easy to understand and interpret. This is taking reporting to a whole new level to provide information that gives your organization a competitive advantage in the healthcare marketplace as well as providing more effective information used in decision-making. Having a clearer view of your patient population, your financial operations, and how you provide care to your patients will allow you to make changes that are valuable to patients and the organization.


Announcing New Health Informatics Certification


Newly Credentialed Professionals

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