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Welcome to Global Standards Update

Since its founding in 1928, AHIMA has been actively engaged in standards development and advancement. There is a need throughout the global healthcare community for clinical data standards. This e-newsletter is published three times a year to keep AHIMA members, collaborating organizations, and other HIM professionals informed about industry standards and AHIMA’s standards-related work. If you're not a subscriber yet, please click here.

Collaboration for HIM Standardization

Interest in standards for healthcare is driven by the increasing need to share and re-use information captured for more than one purpose. It has long been recognized that technical standards are needed to achieve higher quality and less costly health delivery services by leveraging innovation and efficiency gains.

Collaboration provides the wheels to get standards rolling down the information highway. The value of nurturing collaboration in healthcare standards development to save resources and improve quality has been discussed by leaders in advancing global standards. 1 When organizations come together and collaborate rather than compete with each other the result is development of complementary standards.


1. Hammond, William Edward; Jaffe, Charles; Kush, Rebecca Daniels "Healthcare Standards Development: The Value of Nurturing Collaboration" Journal of AHIMA 80, no.7 (July, 2009)

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What Standards? Why Now?

Suddenly, the healthcare industry is acutely aware of the need for contemporary standards to address new technology. The use of standards is not new. In fact, “global standards have been driving innovation, contributing to the growth of markets and protecting the health and safety of workers and the general public for centuries.” 1

What may be new to HIM professionals is the emerging development of standards pertaining to electronic health records (EHRs) to enable interoperability between providers and business associates and better care, as well as more convenient and helpful services for patients. What the world needs now are contemporary standards which enable products and services used in healthcare to be implemented and used with confidence in all settings.

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An Introduction to ISO and Standards Development

What do toothbrushes, pasta, wine, hockey masks, and medical devices have in common? They’re all associated with one or more International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. Standards ensure that the composite material used in manufacturing toothbrushes is safe to put in your mouth and that the bristles will not injure the delicate edge between the tooth and gum. Standards dictate the magic cooking time of 7-9 minutes for perfect al dentè pasta, no matter what kind of stove you cook it on or pot you cook it in. Al dentè pasta or even toothbrush safety may not sound like overly serious topics, but how about the privacy and accuracy of personal health information?

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How I Discovered Global Standards and Emerging Roles for HIM Professionals

By Krista Lilly, RHIA, CCS, Valdosta, GA

Standards are included in the education domains for health information professionals, but they may be among the least understood and available areas of health information management practice. However, standards are getting more attention in HIM, as they are necessary for the transition to seamless interoperability of electronic health records and information exchange, and are also rapidly creating unique employment opportunities. In 2012, I accepted a position as a map specialist with the international SNOMED CT organization, the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO).

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Interested in Contributing to Global Standards Update?

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March 29


August 2



AHIMA staff members supporting global standards and this newsletter include:

Rita Scichilone, MHSA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, Senior Advisor, Global Standards
Lisa Spellman, MBA, CPHIMS, ISO/TC215 Secretary and US TAG
Kim Osborne, PMP, Global Standards Coordinator



Calendar of Events

May 13-15
World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition eHealth Week
Dublin, Ireland

May 13-15
IFHIMA 2013 Congress