HIM Leadership

Posted on February 25, 2016 I Written By

Erin Head is the Director of Health Information Management (HIM) and Quality for an acute care hospital in Titusville, FL. She is a renowned speaker on a variety of healthcare and social media topics and currently serves as CCHIIM Commissioner for AHIMA. She is heavily involved in many HIM and HIT initiatives such as information governance, health data analytics, and ICD-10 advocacy. She is active on social media on Twitter @ErinHead_HIM and LinkedIn. Subscribe to Erin's latest HIM Scene posts here.

Healthcare leadership is not for the faint of heart; this is especially true in these rapidly changing times we are experiencing in healthcare. There are many different moving parts involved in not only providing medical care but in the important behind the scenes tasks that keep healthcare operations running smoothly. Health Information Management responsibilities are part of these important tasks as they cover many different, multi-layered tasks that are governed by strict laws and guidelines within hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare roles.

Throughout the day, an HIM leader’s conversation can quickly shift between coding and revenue cycle to physician documentation and workflow to scanning records and analyzing reports to releasing information and HIPAA compliance and everything in between. We have to have a thorough understanding of all of these areas and how they overlap with other departments and providers. Of course, none of these responsibilities occur in a consistent or predictable manner on any given day.

By nature, I am a sorter and an organizer and I feel content when everything has a place. But when my daily responsibilities jump around chaotically, I start to squirm a little. Some days I can’t even begin to jot down a to-do list with prioritization because everything is urgent and important and everything is needed now. My point is not to complain about having too much to do but rather to successfully accept all of the responsibility and strategize around it. One of my favorite quotes reminds us:

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The key is to never try to do it all alone. It is not a good idea to try to do everything yourself just because it seems there is no time to train others. Having a great team to support your goals is absolutely critical. Hiring skilled HIM professionals and delegating important tasks to them will create an outlet for these professionals to use their skills and creativity to explore new ways to get the job done. The end result is typically a win-win for HIM professionals, HIM leaders, and organizational performance. Another great quote says:

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This is definitely the key to successfully accomplishing goals and objectives when they seem overwhelming and numerous. We must work smarter not harder; especially when teams are shorthanded.

I know this is probably nothing new to those in similar HIM leadership roles but it always helps to hear that you are not alone. There are probably never going to be perfect days where everything works smoothly and everything fits into its proper place. Tackle all of those tasks as best you can, delegate the responsibility, encourage teamwork, and share in the success.

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