Health Informatics and Information Management: Technical Skills Needed
HEALTH INFORMATICS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Technical and Professional Skills and Standards
The goal of Shoreline Community College's Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) Program is to prepare students for the practice of the professions in Health Information Technology and Medical Coding and Reimbursement. HIIM professionals must be able to do the following essential functions either without or with reasonable accommodation. If you believe you would need accommodation to do these essential functions as a student, please consult with Shoreline's Student Accessibility Services.
1. Verbal communication:
This includes speaking and listening using the English language and medical terminology. The individual must be able to communicate clearly with teachers, fellow students, physicians, staff, patients, attorneys, third party payers, government officials, and others. This individual must be able to listen and speak clearly over the telephone either without assistance or with hearing/speaking devices.
2. Written communication - reading and interpretation:
This includes extensive reading ability using English and medical terminology when reviewing medical records and reference books (medical dictionaries, coding books, etc.) needed to perform jobs/duties. While attending school, this individual must be able to read and interpret textbooks, computer online materials, handouts, etc.
3. Written communication - writing:
This includes using English and medical terminology for college assignments and job-related documents. Examples of writing required on the job include telephone messages, memos, letters, professional e-mail messages, business proposals, job descriptions, policies, procedures, quality improvement reports, etc.
4. Visual needs:
Ability to read names and numbers on medical records, distinguish colors for color coded file systems, read voluminous medical records in paper or computer form, read code books and other reference materials, read information in a variety of computer programs and databases, read own handwritten or computer documents. Ability to prepare office layouts, design forms and computer screens.
5. Motor function:
Ability to keyboard at a minimum of 40-45 words per minute. Some HIIM positions require the ability to sort medical record forms, assemble records in correct order, and file records in open shelf files. This may include overhead reaching and stooping/bending/kneeling to the lowest shelves at or near floor level and the ability to lift to waist height and carry 20 pounds of paper records for a distance of 50 feet in an office.
6. Computer skills:
Ability to work with a wide variety of computer software programs following written instructions, reading and inputting/responding to information displayed. This includes PC word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database and flow-charting software, as well as specialized health information programs (e.g., electronic health records, encoders, chart tracking systems, etc.). Jobs may include up to eight hours per day of computer work.
7. Mathematical ability:
Ability to calculate mathematical information such as hospital statistics, productivity information, quality improvement studies, budgets, equipment and supply needs/costs, medical bills, etc. This individual must also have the ability to apply appropriate algebraic formulas when preparing computerized spreadsheets.
8. Walking, sitting and standing abilities:
Ability to walk or move (50 feet minimum) from one job station to another in an office environment, and ability to sit for long periods (two hours in succession) in an office job. Typical job is eight hours with a meal break and two short rest breaks during the shift. Many HIIM positions require the ability to stand for average periods of time (one hour).
9. Intellectual or conceptual abilities:
Ability to synthesize information from a variety of sources and apply it in making decisions related to either the class/lab assignment or performing work assigned on the job. Examples include the ability to take information learned in class theory and apply it in a virtual lab or practice setting, or taking information learned in a previous class and applying it to a later class. Another example is the ability to read and interpret information in a patient's medical record, remember information learned regarding coding principles, check references when needed, and then to code that patient's record independently with accuracy and speed.
10. Behavioral and social abilities:
Respond effectively in situations of stress while placing the needs of others first, and demonstrating emotional stability and flexibility. Examples of this type of behavior include demonstrating willingness to alter plans or change approaches to the learning or work environment, express concern for the well-being of others during times of stress, maintain composure when stressful events occur and continue to function with accuracy. This person must have the ability to perform the assigned work according to the quality and timeliness standards required by the facility. HIIM students and professionals must be able to work independently when required. These individuals must also be able to function effectively as part of a team (consult, negotiate, share). HIIM students and professionals must show respect to self, peers, instructors, fellow employees, physicians, patients, other professionals, and supervisors. HIIM students and professionals must show dependability in attendance and completing work according to deadlines.
11. Confidentiality, honesty and ethics:
HIIM students and professionals must be able to protect the confidentiality and security of health records, as well as facility/practitioner business information. These individuals must be able to comply with all laws, regulations and standards regarding the practice of health information management. HIIM students must demonstrate honesty and ethics in the learning environment including not cheating on exams or assignments and not plagiarizing on assignments. HIIM professionals must demonstrate honesty and ethics as defined by the employer and the professional association.