By Megan Patton, Ed.D., RHIA
This year at the 2021 House of Delegates meeting, I had the opportunity to participate in the main delegate business meeting sessions, as well as a breakout session. In the breakout session this year, Ohio delegates conversed with Alaska, Missouri, Rhode Island, Utah, and West Virginia delegates to talk about the changing workforce and new skills that will be needed. As a preparation for the breakout session, we reviewed an article called “The future of work: How can health systems and health plansprepare and transform their workforce?” This article focuses on four areas of change: generational shifts in the workforce, open talent models, technology, and consumerism. Some of the predictions for how the workforce will change is that there will be more automation and more freelance type of workers. Some of the new talent models being used by organizations to improve employee engagement and cut down on costs are to match employee skills to appropriate projects and job roles. My favorite quote from the article that sums up why we need to keep working on our skills is “people who are flexible, innovative, and can think outside the box will be in high demand and are lifelong learners.” (Deloitte Insights, 2019)
As a group, we brainstormed on the skills future HIM workers will need based on some of the transitions the field will undergo. Some of the top skills discussed were critical thinking skills, communication skills, data analysis, generational management, customer service, soft skills, life-long learning of technology, adaptability, and problem-solving skills, to name a few. The skills that really stood out were data analysis skills, critical thinking/problem solving skills, and adaptability.
We, as HIM professionals, must stay relevant by working to enhance these skills mentioned above. The way technology is changing we have to learn new skills to stay relevant. It is important that we stay lifelong learners to maintain our skills and to learn new skills. One participant mentioned how important self-learning is when in the profession to remain valuable to the organization and to our profession. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how to pivot on short notice. We must remain diligent and open-minded when it comes to our future roles in HIM. There are many job roles that we, as HIM professionals, have the capability of performing. Do not box yourself into one area. Stay up to date on changing technologies and other critical skills to position yourself for future change when needed.
Deloitte Insights. (2019). The future of work: How can health systems and health plans prepare and transform their workplace.
Megan Patton, Ed.D., RHIA is currently a 2nd Year Delegate on the OHIMA FY 2021-2022 Board of Directors. Megan is a Program Chair for HIM at Herzing University.