Winter 2020 Introduction

The Winter 2020 2019 issue of AHIMA’s research journal, Perspectives in Health Information Management, is now available. This issue’s articles explore a range of topics, including maintaining data quality during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of patient portals, and the integration of medical scribes.

The deadly COVID-19 pandemic requires effective information management and accurate data reporting. It is essential that health information management (HIM) professionals ensure COVID-19 documentation, data capture, data analysis and reporting, as well as coding are accurate and reliable to support clinical care, organizational management, public health reporting, population health management, and scientific research.

In “Health Information Management Best Practices for Quality Health Data During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic,” the authors argue that many HIM professionals in inpatient and ambulatory care settings are struggling to provide direction on COVID-19 data capture due to evolving guidance. This paper presents best practices in health information management across a wide range of organizational and public health settings.

In “Characteristics of Individuals Using a Patient Portal via Mobile Technology,” the authors explore characteristics of individuals using a patient portal in Ohio, with a particular focus on those who choose to access the portal via a mobile application. The results show that individuals who were black, living outside of the Columbus metropolitan area, enrolled in Medicaid, or unemployed had lower odds of being mobile portal users than individuals who were white and non-Hispanic, living in the Columbus metropolitan area, commercially insured, or employed. As a result of this insight, healthcare providers may wish to reconsider future strategies to extend patient portal use specifically to underserved groups.

Scribes are often used to resolve challenges associated with use of electronic medical records. The authors of “Integration of Medical Scribes in a General Pediatric Outpatient Clinic: Pilot Results Studying Provider Satisfaction” assess the impact of the pilot study of scribes on provider satisfaction in an outpatient pediatrics clinic. Eleven providers completed 164 surveys before the pilot. Almost all agreed they were able to stay on schedule. Following the pilot, most reported that scribes were helpful with completing notes. In this high-volume clinic where providers generally report having enough time with patients, most still found scribes helpful. The areas for improvement identified in this study could enhance the usefulness of scribes in outpatient pediatric clinics.

In the two-part paper “An Evaluative Study of a Health Information Management Program Following a Significant Curriculum Change,” author Jennifer Peterson, PhD, RHIA, CTR, performs an in-depth case study of one HIM academic program, including a program review and evaluation to determine the impact of the recent required curriculum changes on the program.

As the author notes, “This study used a utilization-focused evaluation framework that included evaluation capacity building. The study specifically assessed the ability of the recent curriculum changes to adequately prepare students for the current HIM field as well as the effects of the changes on the program as a whole. This evaluative study goes beyond the use of metrics such as enrollment, retention, and RHIA exam pass rates and delves deeper through surveys, interviews, and focus groups to collect data on the students’, graduates’, and employers’ perceptions.”

Read the full issue here. Learn more about submission guidelines here.

Perspectives in Health Information Management is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal, referred to by professors, professionals, public officials, industry leaders, and policy-makers. Since 2004, Perspectives has been one of the most credible and respected journals of the HIM industry and is referenced in notable indices such as PubMed Central (PMC), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), and Google Scholar.

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