Skip to main content

Leadership Interview Series

AHIMA International highlights leaders from across the globe during this unprecedented time and the impact of COVID-19 and the way ahead.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we sat down with Dr. Osama Elhassan, PhD, M.Sc., who is the co-founder and vice-chair of Emirates Health Informatics Society. Dr. Osama sheds light on the current focus and initiatives in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and how COVID-19 is highlighting the need for timely, accurate and complete health data.

 

Dr. Osama, what does health information management (HIM) mean in the region? 

In my opinion, HIM is the logical grouping of heterogeneous yet integrative disciplines/professions within healthcare that aim to maximize the quality and trust of health information. This trust is initiated by ensuring the conformance of patient assessment documentation and by demonstrating compliance throughout the health information exchange process.

What are primary health focus areas in your region?

Most of the GCC region countries have realized that universal health coverage, along with digital transformation projects facilitating connected care, are the most effective ways governments can tame the rising cost of healthcare.

Are there any key initiatives you wish to highlight?

Health information exchange projects are mushrooming across the GCC region. We are also witnessing projects that target public health and outbreak management.

What has been the impact of COVID-19? 

The region has learned many lessons from COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of data standards and medical coding to achieve timely, accurate, and complete health information, connected care solutions (such as HIE), and disease registries. Also, virtual care is becoming an important part of the new normal in healthcare delivery. 

What does the future hold?

Both healthcare organizations and regulators are seeking HIM professionals that can support digital transformation projects across the healthcare ecosystem. Through its training programs, AHIMA can provide an international perspective with a local flavor, as well as best practices and implementation tools to ensure the accuracy and the reliability of clinical information for better healthcare outcomes. 

As a member of the AHIMA International Strategic Advisory Council, what do you hope to contribute?

I look forward to assisting AHMIA through my expertise and deep understanding of the healthcare ecosystem dynamics in the GCC region, and in the UAE in particular. I can help AHIMA tailor its strategy, service provision. and workforce development activities according to our specific needs and challenges. I believe we can work together to build strategic partnerships while localizing education content and certification programs.

Related Content

September 17, 2020

Personal Health vs. Data Privacy During and After a Global Pandemic

There is an inherent conflict between a person’s healthcare needs and a right to privacy. In order to deliver quality care, it would be best if all patient health information were be instantaneously available to everybody.

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA

September 4, 2020

COVID’s Impact on the Future of HIM: Coding, CDI, and ROI

In this virtual roundtable, three HIM experts share insights gleaned from their experiences during the initial COVID-19 outbreak. The focus is on challenges and best practices in coding, clinical documentation improvement, and release of information.

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA

August 26, 2020

Can Social Determinants of Health Meet Its Moment in a Pandemic?

Joe Nicholson, DO says that COVID-19 offers an opportunity for deep and widespread adoption of SDOH initiatives—not just as a response to the pandemic, but a viable pathway for closing long-standing disparities and inequities in our public health system.

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA

August 3, 2020

Privacy on the Global Stage

Examining how other countries face the growing threats to the privacy and security of personal information, and how those approaches relate to US laws

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA

July 23, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Work Life of HIM Professionals: An IFHIMA Survey

Between March 19 and April 11, IFHIMA conducted a survey of its membership who are representative of the WHO regions, including Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South East Asia, and Western Pacific. The survey results represent the early days of the pandemic.

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA

July 7, 2020

Health Information Management Best Practices for Quality Health Data During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

The emergence of the deadly COVID-19 virus, resulting in the current worldwide pandemic requires effective information management and accurate data reporting to enable the healthcare community’s efforts to learn as much as possible about this specific strain of coronavirus and halt the pandemic. 

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA