Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ask HIM: How do I earn CEs to maintain my credential without going broke?

Question from @CEsformybudget: How do I earn CEs to maintain my credential without going broke? Trying to earn 20 is nearly impossible. I love my job at the clinic, but there aren’t many opportunities to earn CEs.  Any ideas?

Answer from Marie Janes, MEd, RHIA, FAHIMA:  You’re certainly not alone asking this question. Remember, when you chose the field of Health Information Management--continuing education is not only required, but it is an extremely valuable component. It helps maintain the credibility and viability of the profession!

With a bit of research, I believe you’ll find many affordable options from journal articles to events to webinars and online courses.  Keep in mind that an in-person event, such as attending an Annual Meeting & Trade Show, Coding Roundtable, Symposium, Advocacy Day and more will provide several CEs in an interesting and educational environment and provide networking opportunities at the same time!  As an educator, I’m always reminding fellow HIMers that their service as a Professional Practice Experience Site Supervisor will help them earn valuable CEs during the course of their workday, so keep that in mind, as well.
And don’t forget to ask your fellow HIM professionals!  The grapevine is a proven way to “hear” about upcoming CE opportunities!  I have included some suggestions below.

Follow-up on Earning CEs:
There are many areas in which you can earn CEs. For example, consider the following areas: coding, healthcare laws, informatics, reimbursement, leadership, compliance, quality improvement, project management, and more. Check out the emails from reputable professional organizations to see what is offered before pressing delete.

Also consider the following:
  • Provide a Professional Practice Experience for an HIT/HIA student 
    • Site supervisors can earn up to 10 CEs in a 2 year cycle, by simply doing what you know best. 
    • No matter the facility, exposure to on-the-job activities, whether hands on or observation, is extremely beneficial to students, and mentoring a student advances the perception as HIM being a worthy and integral part of the health care industry.
    • Reach out to an accredited HIM or HIT program in your area to find a student!  There is a listing of programs on the OHIMA website.

  • The Ohio Health Information Management Association (OHIMA) offers many opportunities for CEUs!
    • Online education offerings (online courses and webinars) are available for $20 per CEU (and often will offer promotions and discounts so watch their website and other communications!).
    • The largest state HIM Annual Meeting and Trade Show takes place in Columbus, Ohio each year.  The event is in March.  For registration and details, see the OHIMA website in January.
    • Annually, OHIMA hosts an HIM Advocacy Day at the Ohio Statehouse for HIM Professionals.  At this event, attendees meet with their Ohio legislators to address issues related to health information management.  There are also speakers and networking opportunities at the event. 
    • Other events such as the Fall Coding Seminar and Summer Meeting are posted on the OHIMA calendar - so check it frequently for updates!
    • Finally, follow OHIMA's social media pages to receive updates on events, CE opportunities and HIM news.  OHIMA also posts links to free CEUs! 
  • Also, look for a Regional HIM Association in your area!  There are 5 in Ohio.  Find yours on the OHIMA website under Regional Associations.
    • Each of the 5 Regional Associations in Ohio host events throughout the year that are very reasonably priced and can be worth up to 6 CEUs!

  • Check out the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) website for CEs as well.
    • There are quizzes in the Journal of AHIMA that can be completed online for CEs. 
    • AHIMA also offers webinars.  Per the NEW membership model, members will receive FREE access to several webinars (the number will depend on your membership category).  For more information, see their website.

  • Also look for webinars by other organizations.  Vendors, CMS, and others will host webinars (often free!) that are worth CEUs.  

For more information on earning CEUs to maintain your credential, see AHIMA's website under Recertification.

Good Read: AHIMA. "Continuing Education: Resources for Getting Started and Moving Forward" Journal of AHIMA 83, no.8 (August 2012): 46-47.

Do you have a question??  Ask an HIM expert!  We will do our best to answer questions on any topic ranging from HIM, management, beginning your HIM career, CEUs, OHIMA, AHIMA, etc.!  Submit your question HERE.

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