AHIMA kicks off health information week

By Bryan Malenius

National Health Information Management Week kicked off Monday with the theme, “Leading the Nation with Health Information.”

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) set up this week to celebrate the contributions made by professionals in the field of health information management.

The AHIMA is an association of more that 30,000 professionals.

“It’s a growing profession,” said Karen Frazer, NIU director of Medical Records. “Although not as well known as a business like IBM’s, health information is becoming a better-known field.”

Frazer said various posters have been put on display to pique student interest. She also said there would be a big trivia contest within the health information staff.

“The celebration of National Health Information Management Week is the opportunity we as professionals take in celebrating our profession,” said Carla Wooton, strategy manager of the AHIMA, based out of Atlanta. “There have been press releases and even articles in journals and trade publications full of ideas for individual departments.”

Wooton said there have been a number of receptions and contests in honor of the special week. Frazer said she plans to submit some of her trivia contest ideas used at NIU to the national office.

“We are recognizing health information practitioners who have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” Wooton said.

Wooton said the AHIMA hierarchy also had a photo opportunity with Georgia Governor Zell Miller.

“I’ve sent out artwork for the membership, and even promotional items such as balloons, pens, pencils, shirts, sweatshirts, you name it,” Wooton said.

The health information department at NIU stores the medical history of students. When treating students at the University Health Service, physicians and mid-level practitioners use the records as a “road map.”