Academic Advisor

Spring 2009

Welcome to Academic Advisor

The summer of 2009 will go down in the record books as one busy summer for HIM educators! This summer you need to get yourself up to speed on all things ICD-10 to prepare for the necessary changes to your curriculum. And the new Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) means an added emphasis on the electronic health record (EHR) and how to integrate new topics in project management, process improvement, implementation concerns, and vendor selection into your existing EHR lectures. Included in this issue is a preliminary version of the HIM academic timeline with the HITECH initiatives in healthcare that will have an impact on new HIM graduates.

Planning for a leisurely vacation? Better make it next year.

View the Academic Timeline for HITECH and ICD-10-CM/PCS.

Using Social Networking Tools to Connect with Students and Graduates

Reynoldsby Rebecca B. Reynolds, EdD, RHIA

One of the challenges facing the HIM profession is recognition of our profession as a career option for students. In the past, programs visited university career fairs, visited classrooms to talk about the HIM profession, mailed brochures to prospective students, and built Web sites to provide program information. These methods are useful and provide value to meeting students in traditional environments, however, the students today are more likely to check their Facebook or MySpace pages between their classes than visit with friends in the student center on campus. Read more.

Clinical Practice Sites/Professional Practice Experience Guide Available

The Clinical Practice Sites/Professional Practice Experience (PPE) Guide was developed by the HIM Higher Education and Workforce House of Delegates Team and specifically refers to the internship or affiliation students undertake throughout their HIM academic program. The guide is divided into specific areas to provide information and best practices to students, academic faculty or programs, and HIM practitioners on the expectations for the clinical practice sites/PPEs. The underlying goal is for clinical practice sites, educational institutions, and students to partner together to create a meaningful experience for all involved.

Nursing Programs: Inventive Solutions to PPE Challenges

A few years ago, the Lewis and Clark Community College of Illinois received a federal grant to operate a nurse-managed center that provides healthcare to local residents and gives nursing students the opportunities to complete their clinical service requirements. "Finding clinical sites for students had been an issue, so we built our own," says Donna Meyer, dean of allied health and director of nursing at Lewis and Clark. Read more.

Assembly on Education

It’s that time of year! After the end of the spring term, and the mandatory attendance at the graduation ceremony in the non-air conditioned arena, and the 101 obligations you need to fulfill to wrap up the school year, it’s time to do something just for you. Pack your bags. We’re going to Las Vegas! 

Join us for the educational event of the year—the July AOE/FDI Summer Symposium. We have five days of comprehensive presentations from more than 50 speakers guaranteed to revitalize you for the new school year. 

What are you waiting for? Register today and be sure to pack the sun block; we are heading to the desert in July.

Making a Case for ePortfolios

A March 18 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s  “The Wired Campus” blog titled “Electronic Portfolios: A Path to the Future of Learning”  provides insights into the use of ePortfolios at a variety of academic institutions and the role that electronic portfolios play in student retention, demonstrations of learning, and program accountability.

The authors, Randy Bass and Bret Eynon, acknowledge that ePortfolios mean different things to different people but outline four essential aspects that should be present in any comprehensive approach to student based portfolio management. Taking their concepts and refining them for the HIM academic environment presents us with these aspects tailored to the needs of HIM programs.
Read more.

First Student Poster Competition on Ethics

Calling all HIM students! You're invited to participate in the first annual Undergraduate and Graduate Student Poster Competition on Ethics.

The Professional Ethics Committee (PEC) of AHIMA is seeking undergraduate or graduate student proposals on ethics for a poster competition to be displayed and presented at AHIMA’s Convention and Exhibit in Grapevine, TX, October 4-8. Read more.

In the Age of ARRA

Given the recent Obama administration release of the stimulus package and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), an AHIMA internal task force has been meeting weekly to craft a number of papers on aspects of HIM work force, HIM education, faculty training, and new training programs for all healthcare workers who will use the electronic health record (EHR) in their daily work. Much of these efforts stem from the 2008 published report, “Joint Work Force Task Force: Health Information Management and Informatics Core Competencies for Individuals Working with Electronic Health Records”, and the companion matrix tool found on the AHIMA Web site. Read more.

ACCP 2008 Best Practice Award Winner Announced

Gwynedd Mercy College of Gwyned, PA, wins the 2008 Approval Committee for Certificate Programs  Best Practice Award for approved coding certificate programs.“We hope that recognizing coding certificate programs demonstrating high standards in the curriculum, outcomes reporting, and faculty selection will serve as a template for new programs wishing to emulate best practices in setting up coding certificate programs,” says ACCP 2008 chair Sarah Serling, CCS, CCS-P, CPC-I. Read more.

Northern Exposure: Canada’s Transition to ICD-10

As US schools begin to eye the changes needed to successfully move from teaching ICD-9-CM to teaching ICD-10-CM/PCS we asked ourselves, who else has already done this and what can we learn from them? 

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI, the national body to which Canadian facilities are mandated to report health data) converted all provinces to ICD-10 CA and CCI a few years ago (they don’t use the US modifications components).In consequence, the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) and its Education Coordinators have some tips on how to make the required changes in the HIM curriculum. A Canadian educator will present her experiences at the AOE Summer Symposium in July, so we don’t want to steal her thunder here, but we did interview the HIM solutions vendor that supplies the ICD-10 Virtual Coding Tool (VCT) that is being used by Canadian HIM educators.
Read more.

Consortium Report

The Consortium of Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Health Informatics and HIM held its annual meeting on March 5-7, hosted by the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB). Educators from 12 states came together to discuss issues of mutual concern on topics such as:

  • Admissions and interview criteria
  • Building a collaborative research base for HIM
  • Job market forecast for graduates
  • Credentialing exam success rates
  • PPE approaches—traditional, alternative sites, and Virtual Lab
  • Textbooks, competencies, and syllabi sharing
  • Faculty and student recruitment and retention

Read more.

Attendees at the Consortium of Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Health Informatics and HIM

Student Open House Goes Virtual

Twice a year AHIMA opens its doors for local area HIM college students to tour the office and hear presentations by various staff on topics such as the certification exam application process, maintaining credentials, AHIMA Foundation scholarships and grants, AHIMA membership, Communities of Practice, Body of Knowledge, and the EHR Virtual Lab. Linda Kloss, MA, RHIA, CAE, FAHIMA, AHIMA executive vice president and CEO or Sandy Fuller, RHIA, MA, FAHIMA, AHIMA senior vice president and COO welcomes the students and provides an overview of the current year’s strategic plan.

Everyone enjoys this opportunity to see AHIMA staff in action and students have the opportunity to network with each other. In March, the spring term open house was videotaped and a project was established to build a learning packet within CourseShare for use by programs wishing to provide their students with a “virtual” tour of AHIMA. The project is anticipated to be available by the fall of 2009 for faculty use. A future issue of the Academic Advisor will announce when the project is completed.

Academic Advisor Q&A

Q: The University has become very concerned with determining the identity of distance education students. For example, how do we as an online program identify the students who are taking these courses? Does CAHIIM have any language specifically addressing how to deal with the issue of identifying students enrolled in distance education courses? Read more.




AHIMA Academic Advisor is published four times a year by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), 233 N. Michigan Ave., 21st Floor, Chicago, IL 60601-5809.

AHIMA Staff: Patt Peterson, MA, RHIA; Ann Janis; Sue Fiorio

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Copyright ©2009 AHIMA. All rights reserved.








Updated and revised by the AMA, this best-selling resource is a comprehensive training and education textbook that provides the most in-depth review available of the entire CPT® codebook. Learn more.

Academic Calendar

May 13
Conference call for AOE/FDI speakers, 12 p.m.–1 p.m. EST

May 26
Conference call for AOE/FDI speakers 12 p.m.–1 p.m. EST
All speakers must attend one of the conference calls.

June 1
CAHIIM APAR Closes Today

June 2
AOE/FDI speakers’ PowerPoint presentations and handout materials due to

June 29
Last day for AOE early registration discount.

July 24-26
Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainers
Las Vegas, NV

July 25-26
Faculty Development Institute
Las Vegas, NV

July 26
CAHIIM Special Session
Las Vegas, NV

July 27-29
Assembly on Education
Las Vegas, NV

September 9-11
Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainers
Chicago, IL

October 8-10
Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainers
Grapevine, TX

Upcoming AHIMA Convention & Exhibit Dates and Locations

October 3–8
Gaylord Texan Resort
Grapevine, TX

September 25–30, 2010
Orlando, FL

October 1–6, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT

See a complete listing of all AHIMA events.

Trivia Corner

Speakers at the AOE summer symposium receive a speaker’s stipend. True or False?

True: Individuals selected to speak at the AOE or FDI conferences receive a $50 credit toward the cost of the conference, and qualify for 1 CEU for each 15 minutes of podium time; panel participants get 1 CEU for each 60 minutes of podium time.

Quarterly Quote

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

- Carl Sandburg

HIM Program Receives Recognition at ECU

East Carolina University’s HIM Program was recently featured in The Alliance, ECU’s College of Health Sciences’ annual publication. Graduate and HIM faculty member Dr. Susie Toler Harris, PhD, RHIA, CCS, is featured, as well as graduate Emmanual Yennyemb. View the issue online at

Connect and Network with Your Peers

AHIMA offers many opportunities for you to network with others online, ask questions and learn from your peers, and hear about the latest news from AHIMA.

Communities of Practice

(Members only)
Answers, support, and career advice are available through this well-established professional network. AHIMA members enjoy a wide continuum of benefits:

  • Current coding news and practices
  • Online forums
  • Practical research materials
  • Relevant education resources

The Communities of Practice is a benefit of AHIMA membership. If you are already a member, go to Your user name is your AHIMA member ID including the initial zero(s). For information on becoming a member, click here.

Become a Fan of AHIMA

Check out AHIMA’s Official Facebook page. There is also an AHIMA Careers page dedicated to students and recent graduates pursuing a career in the health information field. Become a fan of one (or both) of these pages and join in the discussions.

Follow AHIMA Resources on Twitter

Become a follower of the AHIMA Resources Twitter page.

AMA's Health Care Careers Directory Reorganizes

The new 2009-2010 edition of the Health Care Careers Directory from the American Medical Association (AMA) has been reorganized to make it easier for students, career counselors, and program directors to quickly find the information they’re seeking.

Look for the next issue of Academic Advisor on August 12.