Monday, June 12, 2017

AHIMA Pillar: Leadership - Develop HIM Leaders across All Healthcare Sectors

Definition of Leadership ~ the activity of leading a group of people or an organization  or the act of inspiring subordinates to perform and engage in achieving a goal.  

Leadership involves:
1.    Establishing a clear vision,
2.    Sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly,
3.    Providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision, and
4.    Coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.

“A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations.  Unlike management, leadership cannot be taught, although it may be learned and enhanced through coaching or mentoring. Someone with great leadership skills today is Bill Gates who, despite early failures, with continued passion and innovation has driven Microsoft and the software industry to success”.

The AHIMA 2014 – 2017 Strategic Plan defines its Leadership Initiative as follows ~ “To move the industry forward, HIM directors must recruit the best and the brightest and develop their current workforce to provide innovative solutions for capturing, processing, and creating intelligence based on health data. They must proactively offer their knowledge and decision support expertise as they become more integrated into organizational leadership, with AHIMA providing support and training to allow them to feel confident in doing so”. (AHIMA 2014 - 2017 Strategic Plan)

This goes without saying, we as HIM professionals need to display a certain level of confidence, poise and flexibility to lead this ever-changing profession. As the industry changes, we need to change along with it. Having specific leadership skills and communication & analytical skills will take us far in our careers.  We need to support one another with education, training and create pathways for recognition of our current skills.  Expanding our education and advancing our careers with additional certifications, are excellent ways to excel in this constant state called change.  Collaborating with other healthcare professionals (not necessarily HIM) is a good way to step out of one’s comfort zone to learn new skills or strategies to handle everyday life. Possibly look for courses at a local community college or something online as well.  Look for a community leadership group that will offer a mentor program or outreach program that will further one’s abilities. 

We as HIM professionals also need to encourage our government, colleges and universities to increase awareness of our industry, be on the cutting edge of topics in our field, and encourage the development of leadership skills early on.  This is our profession and we need to take control of it!  It’s up to us to lead the change and ensure that it’s beneficial for everyone involved. Please feel free to review the Strategic Plan for more information about this pillar. 


About the Author

Kim Garver, RHIT, CHTS-IS is a CIS Application (Epic) Analyst at Dayton Children's Hospital.  Kim also serves on the OHIMA Board of Directors as the Director of Public Good and Committee Chair of the e-Newsletter Committee.  She is also active in the Miami Valley Health Information Management Association as a Student Involvement Project Leader.


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