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Editor's e-Note
AHIMA is making a concerted effort to spread the word about information governance and how HIM professionals can enhance the concept. In this month’s E-News Exclusive, three members of the organization’s practice excellence group explain the idea of transparency within information governance.

As an added bonus this month, reporter Heather Hogstrom, probably best known for donning an ICD-10-related Halloween costume for our Facebook page, offers observations from the recently concluded HIMSS conference.

Lee DeOrio, editor

e-News Exclusive
Transparency: What It Means in Information Governance
By Lydia Washington, RHIA; Lesley Kadlec, MA, RHIA; and Barb Glondys, RHIA

AHIMA has developed the Information Governance Principles for Healthcare (IGPHC)—adapted from ARMA International’s Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles—to guide health care organizations in managing all types of information on an enterprisewide level. The IGPHC, developed with input from more than 80 subject matter experts, provide a foundation for health care organizations seeking to realize full value from all different types of information the data collect, create, use, and share—by developing the capabilities afforded by an information governance program. The program aims to give organizations a framework for decision-making regarding information management throughout its lifecycle while also describing who is accountable for what when it comes to managing information.

An information governance program in health care should be based on the following eight principles: accountability, transparency, integrity, protection, compliance, availability, retention, and disposition. These attributes are familiar to many HIM professionals. However, probably among the least understood is the principle of transparency.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Edifecs Clears Interoperability Hurdle

Edifecs, a global HIT solutions company, recently unveiled the results of the company’s recent participation at FHIR Connectathon 8. At Connectathon 8, Edifecs was the only company to present interoperability spanning EMR system and external partners, such as payer systems.

To demonstrate cross-enterprise interoperability between payers and providers, Edifecs leveraged Open EMR, Edifecs XEServer, and a third-party Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) server. As part of the demonstration, the Edifecs team successfully converted continuity of care document to a FHIR Patient Resource with integration to Open EMR. In the simple but important demonstration, Edifecs was able to show that investments by the industry in CDA R.2 constructs can be leveraged and made interoperable using FHIR Resources without a major rewrite of interfaces and native EMR functionality.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Where's the Payoff?
Despite design flaws, EHRs add value to health care. Nevertheless, experts say the technology is capable of much more. Read more »

The Complicated Anatomy of ICD-10-PCS
What has prevented coders from feeling comfortable with PCS? What needs to change in order to boost coder confidence going forward? Read more »

Life on the Low End of the Pay Scale
Medical transcriptionists believe their compensation doesn't match their contributions. Read more »

In Search of Actionable Data
As the bytes pile up, health care organizations must be able to sift through the more appetizing pieces to gain value from their cumulative information. Read more »
Other News
Graphical Displays of Diagnostic
Test Results Compared in Eight EHRs

EHR systems threaten patient safety, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Figure 1 App Creates Concern
About Legal and Ethical Risks

A medical app that shares patient photos tiptoes the HIPAA line, according to BuzzFeed.
Gift Shop
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10 Observations at HIMSS15
By Heather Hogstrom

1. Number of times I heard a speaker say they’d been working in HIM/HIT “since before Al Gore invented the Internet”: Three.

2. Forty-six percent of Americans will have a mental health disorder over the course of their lifetime, reported Lucia Savage, JD, chief privacy officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, demonstrating the necessity of data segmentation for privacy. She added that an estimated 18 states have rules regarding mental health data that are more privacy protective than HIPAA.

3. EHR implementation is like a wedding and EHR adoption is the marriage, according to Heather Haugen, PhD, managing director of The Breakaway Group, who pointed out that EHRs require long-term commitment and the focus must be on more than just the go-live event, including continually providing training after upgrades or for new employees that missed the “wedding” but need a similar experience.

Read more »
HEALTHCON 2015 Biggest AAPC Conference Yet
By Alex McKinley

AAPC's HEALTHCON 2015 in Las Vegas was a very exciting educational event! With nearly 2,500 attendees and more than 100 breakout sessions, there was something for everyone involved in the business of health care. Generalized and specialized sessions covered trending topics for medical coding, billing, auditing, compliance, and practice management. ICD-10 was another popular focus. Three preconference events dealt with the upcoming ICD-10 implementation date (October 2015) exclusively. The Anatomy and Business of Healthcare Expo contributed unique learning perspectives in a fast-paced environment. Since this was AAPC's biggest conference yet, there were more exhibitors and networking opportunities than ever before. And at the end of each education-filled day, Las Vegas provided plenty of entertainment and dining options to augment the experience. For those who missed it, AAPC is hosting two regional conferences later this year (Dallas, August 16-18, and Chicago, September 3-5), and of course, it's never too late to start planning for next year's national conference in Orlando, Florida (April 10-13, 2016). For more information, visit

— Alex McKinley is senior marketing communications manager at AAPC.
Featured Jobs
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Inpatient Coding Manager—Parallon, Texas
Clinician—Seton Healthcare Family, Austin, Texas
Director of HIM—Bethany Methodist Corporation, Chicago, Illinois
Coding Auditor—M*Modal, Remote/Telecommute
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Ak the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an e-mail to

When would it be appropriate to use Z36, Encounter for antenatal screening of mother, vs Z34.xx Encounter for supervision of normal pregnancy, as it pertains to the hospital outpatient diagnostic setting? Some examples include encounters for lab work, OB ultrasounds, RhoGAM (Rho(D) Immune Globulin (Human)) injections, etc.

Geneve Terry, RHIT
Community Healthcare System
Northwest Indiana

ICD-10 code Z34.xx, Encounter for supervision of normal pregnancy, is used for a routine outpatient diagnostic visit when no obstetrical complication or condition codes found in Chapter 15, Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium are applicable to the encounter. (See the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, guidelines 1.C.15.b.1., 1.C.21.11 and IV.O.) This code would be assigned when a routine pregnancy laboratory panel was ordered.

Read more »
Tech & Tools
TouchCare Releases Product Update
and Android Version

TouchCare’s product update makes it even easier for health care providers and their patients to use their smartphones to connect for remote video calls. The new version has a redesigned interface that enables a provider to download TouchCare’s free app, set up a profile, and invite a patient to connect for a secure video call in minutes. For physicians, the updates make it easier to incorporate the app into existing workflow, including new patient access control settings, one-click e-mail invites to connect with patients, options to upload informed consent and privacy documents, and unique clinic-specific invitation codes that allow patients to connect with all the providers in a practice at once. Upgrades to the patient experience include quick links to providers in their network, automatic appointment reminders, and push notifications for incoming calls. Additionally, the app is now available on Android as well as iOS. TouchCare video calls can be made over both cellular networks and Wi-Fi through the app’s HIPAA-compliant secure platform. Learn more »

Smartphone Accessory Diagnoses
Infectious Diseases

Researchers have developed a low-cost smartphone accessory that can perform a point-of-care test that detects three infectious disease markers (HIV antibody, treponemal-specific antibody for syphilis, and nontreponemal antibody for active syphilis infection) from a fingerprick of blood in 15 minutes. The device replicates all mechanical, optical, and electronic functions of a lab-based blood test, performing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay without requiring any stored energy; all necessary power is drawn from the smartphone. The small, lightweight device easily connects to a smartphone’s audio jack to transmit power and data. Learn more »

Memorial Sloan Kettering Debuts MyMSK
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) has debuted MyMSK, a new mobile app that allows MSK patients to access features that previously were available only through the MyMSK Patient Portal desktop platform, as well as new features designed specifically for mobile use. The app enables users to quickly and easily access lab and radiology results; view upcoming appointments and directions to locations; receive medication reminders; record medications, symptoms, and vitals in online diaries; and communicate with their health care teams (both MSK and non-MSK care providers). Learn more »

Heart Rate App Offers Photo Sharing
BioGram, a free mobile app created by the University of Southern California along with AliveCor and Medable, allows heart rates to be shared with a photo. Medable provides HIPAA-compliant services, so patients using BioGram can securely share their biostats widely on social media or directly with their doctor. BioGram works by stamping heart rates onto photos that can be posted to Facebook and other social media. The user's heart rate is recorded from AliveCor's Heart Monitor, a portable heart rate monitor built into a smartphone case that records, displays, stores, and transfers ECG rhythms wirelessly. For those without an ECG reader, heart rates can be input manually or from another sensor. Learn more »
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