MT Week May 16-22, 2011 – Capturing America’s Healthcare Story

Click Here to Download the 2011 MT Week Poster
Click Here to Download the 2011 MT Week Poster

Originally written for AHDI. To read the article at AHDI or get more links and information, click here.

Every American citizen has a health story. And we can’t afford to lose it. It is more than a database of care statistics. It is the chronicle of every care encounter, treatment decision, clinical conversation, and health outcome in a patient’s life from birth to death. Preserving that story will be critical to:

  • Capturing an information-rich care record for coordinated care and treatment decisions.
  • Facilitating truly practical adoption and integration of electronic health record (EHR) systems.
  • Engaging patients in their own care story in a way that empowers them to make better health decisions and meet care compliance goals.

How AHDI is Advocating for America’s Health Story and Your Role in Capturing It
AHDI fully supports our nation’s goals for EHR adoption. Our sector has historic perspective, expertise, and innovative solutions that address how those health stories need to be captured and documented. We have the unique ability to facilitate truly practical EHR adoption in a way that preserves America’s healthcare story – so that the focus isn’t just on patient health data, but rather on meaningful patient health information. Medical transcriptionists and editors play a critical role in capturing and preserving America’s health story. We partner with physicians and other providers to ensure an accurate, secure, and meaningful health record.
We advocate for:

  • A federal requirement for EHR systems to receive transcribed reports generated from narrative dictation so that physicians can document a patient’s full health story and still meet federal requirements for EHR adoption.
  • The use of currently existing innovative technologies that will convert narrative text into the kind of codified data required by EHR systems.
  • The role of the documentation knowledge worker in partnering with physicians and these emerging technologies to ensure that the focus is not just on how health information is captured but also on how well and how accurately it’s being recorded.
  • Federal funding for workforce development that will ensure your skills continue to play a relevant and contributory role in the healthcare documentation process.

What Can You Do to Support this Effort?
More than anything, healthcare needs our sector to deliver on its promise – that our industry has innovative technologies and documentation professionals ready to contribute skills and solutions that facilitate EHR adoption and improved patient care outcomes. As a member of this sector’s workforce, healthcare delivery will look to you to ensure America’s healthcare story is captured and managed in an accurate, secure manner that facilitates clinical decision-making and coordinated care efforts. Here are just a few high-impact ways you can contribute to those goals:

  1. Get credentialed. Our healthcare delivery system places a high value on the credentials that testify to your skills and training. With lower exam pricing and new exam options, including the ability to take an exam online from your own computer, it’s never been easier to achieve this goal. Visit our Why Get Certified? page to get started.
  2. Prepare for emerging roles. With emerging technologies like SRT and data-driven EMRs reshaping how care is documented, our sector will be asked to engage in much more than traditional transcription. Editing, data abstracting, and data analysis are likely to become some hybrid skills a future documentation professional will be asked to deploy. Consider taking an SRT editing course as a first step toward retooling and upgrading your skill set. Sign up for AHDI’s SRT Editing Course.
  3. Brush up on regulatory compliance. Due to HITECH changes in regulatory compliance for health record privacy and security, more scrutiny than ever before is being placed on protected health information (PHI) – who has access to it and how it’s being handled. If you aren’t operating in compliance with those regulations, start your advocacy efforts with self-education. AHDI has a powerful resource to assist you – Ethical Best Practices: Resource Guide for Healthcare Documentation Specialists.
  4. Be an advocate. Consider an active role in advocacy by joining AHDI’s legislative leaders program or advocate in your own work environment by sharing this poster and our advocacy materials with your employer, colleagues, providers, clients, and others who need to understand the importance of an accurate health story. Learn more about AHDI’s advocacy efforts by downloading the AHDI and CDIA Advocacy Agenda.