American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

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Introduction Since 1928, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has been at the forefront in improving healthcare information management. Health Information Management (HIM) is the practice of the acquirement, storage, and protection of crucial information concerning patients’ health and other personal data. Widespread computerization has introduced Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which has continued to replace the traditional paper-based records. AHIMA’s History and Mission The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is a body of professional health care providers, which is in charge of the effective management of health data and medical records. The history of AHIMA dates back to 1928 when a group…show more content…
Therefore, they have a moral, legal, and ethical duty to protect the sensitive information that they come across as they conduct diagnostic tests or take patients through treatment procedures (American Health Information Management Association, 2008). Within the context of electronic health records, the AHIMA documentation guidelines offer a high degree of control to prevent unauthorized access to such sensitive information. Accuracy, consistency, and completeness of clinical information are highly regarded since they assist in proper coding and reporting of information, which facilitate proper and accurate medical care (Parman, 2014). The documentation guidelines also support the report of all the necessary healthcare elements, such as diagnostic and procedure codes, since the information is required for external reporting. In case of conflict, ambiguity, or incomplete information, health care providers are supposed to clarify through writing or verbally to eliminate medical errors that may put the patients’ lives in jeopardy. AHIMA is also aware of the possible fraudulent dealings in medical care, especially those relating to insurance coverage. Therefore, healthcare providers should avoid documentation practices that increase payment or distort data against federal or state regulations and statutes (American Health Information Management Association, 2008). Evidently, AHIMA…show more content…
AHIMA provides a coding system that identifies all types of medical complications (Parman, 2014). With the coding system, healthcare providers can communicate sensitive patient information accurately without necessarily exposing it to the public. The case of the HIV male patient offers an excellent example of the importance of proper handling of sensitive patient information. S one of AHIMA’s basic requirement, healthcare providers must always protect the confidentiality of health records when handling patients. The health record of the 30 year-old patient contains his HIV status. Such information is considered sensitive due to the stigmatization associated with HIV/AIDS complications. Therefore, the ethical guidelines of maintaining confidentiality and using the coding system are important for protecting the patient’s rights. In such cases, AHIMA recommends that healthcare providers should access only the necessary information. For instance, healthcare providers should identify the patient with his admission number rather than his real name or personal details as a way of protecting her identity. In so doing, the hospital can freely report the number of patients diagnosed with HIV but never expose their identities (Parman,

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