Christina Roosen, Vice President, AHIMA International
2020 taught us many lessons as we navigated the unprecedented and tremendous year now behind us. While COVID-19 continues to present incredible challenges in 2021, we are also seeing the acceleration of many exciting ventures in healthcare. Digital health is expanding at an extraordinary rate and offers opportunities previously thought to be years away. According to Fierce Healthcare, 2020 marked a recording breaking year with investments in digital health up 103% as compared to 2019. Health information professionals are uniquely positioned to play an innovative role to lead this transformation.
AHIMA has a rich history as a trusted partner; at AHIMA International we continue to adapt our resources and educational offerings to meet everchanging market needs. This is why in 2021 we’ll focus on activities that continue to address areas that have been impacted by COVID-19, as well as those that affect health organisations and patient safety. Let me expand on some key 2021 activities below.
As the volume of healthcare data continues to increase, clinical documentation integrity (CDI) is more important than ever. Quality health information is crucial to decision making and helps to manage risk for patients and physicians. At AHIMA we know health information is human information and CDI is at the center of quality care. AHIMA International offers a variety of resources and customized education opportunities in CDI for professionals at every level and healthcare setting. AHIMA International successfully partnered with Al Ain Hospital in the UAE, and the hospital’s CFO Dr. Sarah Sebai remarked that "While AHIMA was working closely with our clinical and revenue cycle management teams, we were able to achieve an improvement in the case mix index (CMI) by 16% and an increase in claims resubmission success rate to 90%.”
As the world prepares for ICD-11, AHIMA will be well positioned to lead efforts, support adoption, and provide education to coding professionals and other stakeholders. During the implementation of ICD-10, AHIMA provided training and education to numerous health information professionals and organizations to empower an efficient transition. This year, AHIMA International will partner with health information professionals to prepare them for the ICD11 transition.
Telehealth adoption continues to expand as many patients and healthcare professionals embrace this innovative technology. AHIMA International is developing resources and education offerings in response to the accelerating telehealth environment. The new education offerings will launch at the AHIMA Middle East conference (24-25 March) and provide instruction to ensure quality data capture during telehealth consultations, thus increasing accurate health information. Visit https://viaahima.org/ for the latest resources, learning, and insight to ensure tomorrow's healthcare will be even more connected, accurate, and innovative than ever before.
As the pandemic continues, so does the increased risk of cyber vulnerabilities. Large amounts of healthcare data from telehealth visits and remote work environments put our vulnerable healthcare data more at risk than ever. BBC World News predicts that healthcare will be on cybersecurity's front line this year and that criminal ransomware poses a threat at a time when the pandemic has increased our reliance on technologies. Recent attacks emphasize the importance of strong cybersecurity training and preparation. AHIMA International will soon launch a cybersecurity course focused on preparing health information professionals to curtail these threats to vulnerable healthcare systems and data.
AHIMA International is committed to transforming global workforces in digital health and health information. Health information is complex, dynamic and invaluable. We look forward to collaborating with strategic partners to provide relevant resources and empower health information professionals.