We’d like to welcome a new guest blogger to our ranks. If you’re on social media and enjoy HIM topics, then you’ve probably seen Erin Head (@ErinHead_HIM) tweeting about those subjects. Erin is the HIM Director at an acute care hospital in Florida and a real advocate for the HIM profession. I’m excited to have her blogging with us from her unique perspective.
When I look around on Twitter, I don’t see enough Health Information Management (HIM) professionals. Most of the people I interact with have health IT or Informatics-focused careers and are not what we refer to as “traditional HIM professionals.” Don’t get me wrong, there are many engaged HIM professionals on Twitter; however the participation level is nowhere near matching the workforce population.
Why is that? I do not believe it is a generational difference as my Twitter interactions have been with people from all ages and backgrounds. There has to be another reason. Are HIM professionals really “too busy” to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and networking available on social media? Is it rude or disengaging to use social media in the physical presence of others?
This is no excuse – Twitter is very easy to navigate and the content is constantly updating so it is available no matter what time of day or how long you choose to login and interact. Following thought leaders on Twitter or a simple hashtag search will get you instantly connected with others and will get you comfortable using the application quickly. Do HIM professionals feel they are already subject matter experts and don’t need to join the Twitter conversation about new innovations, technology, and changing regulatory matters? If that is the case, I would certainly hope that traditional HIM professionals are garnering this knowledge somewhere else other than social media.
HIMers are a tight-knit group who look forward to annual conferences and events to catch up with fellow HIM professionals and gather information. This in-person interaction is great, but why wait for these events to network and converse? If you are unable to travel to attend an event, a great benefit is “live-Tweeting” where others will share the information that is being learned at an event with those who may not be able to attend in-person. But you must follow the event attendees by using the hashtag associated with the conference; in other words, you must be an active participant in social media to take advantage of this benefit.
Social media gives us an instant connection to other engaged professionals and gives us an opportunity to learn from each other, no matter where we are located physically. Selfishly, I want more interaction with HIM professionals through social media- traditional and non-traditional alike! I encourage all HIM professionals to create a Twitter account (or dust off an unused account) and start connecting. There really is no excuse to miss out on valuable, real-time HIM networking and information that is available at your fingertips.