Health Information Management – Successfully improving patient care.

The quality of care for patients has consistently been the top priority in any healthcare facility for over a century.  Back in the days when hospitals were small, independent facilities there was no bottom line to be concerned about.  The only concern was the patient and no request was too big to fulfill. Today, the patient is still the number one priority, but the rules of how that patient is cared for has changed dramatically.  Hospitals, for example, have basically become corporations that have to operate under strict laws and regulations, and those laws are constantly changing.  The one area in hospital administration that keeps things working efficiently and effectively is Health Information Management (HIM) .  This area of expertise is growing and is vital to maintaining compliance within the federal laws under which hospitals operate.

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Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) the federal government is now committed to improvements in health care through expansion of health information technology.  This expansion includes the implementation of the new ICD-10 coding for electronic medical records.  Although the implementation recently has been delayed, medical practices must still be prepared.  This preparation includes quality improvement on the part of each employee of the facility.  Quality improvement goes hand in hand with quality control because It gives each person in the facility accountability for all roles each employee plays.  Continuous quality improvement constantly assesses the facility’s processes to achieve the highest quality of service. The person in this job generates reports that can focus on individual employees and the role they have in the organization. It could be the patient registrar or the practice’s medical coder, but efficiency and accuracy is vital, so continuous monitoring of each work process is a strict requirement for proper quality control.  The reports are then used to develop new procedures that reduce risk of malpractice and improve the efficiency of the facility with the ultimate goal of providing the best patient care.

There are several ways to improve quality control in any medical facility:

  • Perform scheduled audits on front office operations to ensure procedures are being followed properly.
  • Provide training and continuing education for employees to stay up to date with any and all changes regarding policy and procedures.
  •  Ensure all patient information medical coding is accurate and up to date.
  • Provide patient satisfaction surveys to see where improvements can be made.

The patient and their care should always be the top priority in any healthcare setting.  By providing continuous HIM quality control, the risk of losing sight of this priority will be lessened and the patient will have a successful outcome.