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Brian P. Foley



Celebrate Health Information and Technology Week, November 6-12

Northern Virginia, Nov 8, 2005—Health information is a vital resource to you and the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide your treatment and care. It is the role of health information management (HIM) professionals to ensure your health record is complete, accurate, and available when needed most. November 6 through 12 is Health Information and Technology (HI&T) Week. This annual event recognizes the work of those professionals who manage patient health information. This year’s theme is “Information for a Healthy Nation.”

 “As the healthcare industry moves further into the information age, the role of the HIM professional is becoming even more critical,” stated AHIMA President Mervat Abdelhak, PhD, RHIA. “The move from paper to electronic health records will help doctors make important healthcare decisions on a real-time basis, but these decisions will rely on secure access to clear, concise, accurate, and easy-to-understand information.” CHIMA Executive Director and College Registrar Gail Crook, CCHRA©, CHE, agrees and goes on to say “Nationally, data are used for evaluation of outcomes, grouping of data, healthcare planning, manpower planning, monitoring trends, morbidity and mortality reporting, and patient safety—all critical elements in managing healthcare services today.”

HIM professionals are responsible for the collection, storage, coding, processing, analysis, interpretation, application, privacy, and sharing of information for a wide range of purposes in healthcare settings.  Today, HIM professionals are increasingly performing these tasks using emerging technology and helping healthcare professionals access the information they need to support clinical decision-making, research, financial management, and personal health management. 

The fast-paced changes in technology have accelerated the demand for HIM professionals.  The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 49 percent growth in the number of HIM workers by 2010, making HIM one of the nation’s fastest-growing health occupations. The Department of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSD) in Canada has been approached to define the national shortage of HIM professionals.  The field currently offers nearly 40 different work settings ranging from hospitals and physician offices to education institutions and technology companies. 

“The goal of the HIM profession is to provide quality information to improve the quality of healthcare received,” adds Abdelhak.  “HI&T Week is an opportunity to learn more about the role these professionals play in the healthcare system, as well as recognize and celebrate their contributions to patient care, public health, and the bottom line.”

HI&T Week is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA).  For more information about the HIM profession, visit the AHIMA Web site at

AHIMA is the premier association for health information management (HIM) and allied healthcare professionals. These professionals manage, protect, and utilize complex personal health information for the delivery of quality healthcare to the public. Founded in 1928 to improve the quality of medical records, AHIMA fosters the career growth of its 50,000 members through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning. For information about the Association, go to

The Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) was founded in 1942 to provide a national forum for health information management professionals to share their expertise. Its federal charter was obtained in 1949.


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