AHIMA recently announced its “HIM Jobs for America” Initiative at its 83rd annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in what the eighty-year-old, 63,000-member professional society says will be a sustained effort to support American employment as well as help improve the healthcare of underserved Americans in communities across the country in which research shows healthcare disparities exist based on race, income, and geographic variables.
AHIMA’s workforce initiative will be buttressed by news of an existing partnership, announced simultaneously, between Health and Human Services, AHIMA, and North Shore Medical Labs, Inc. In this program, AHIMA will provide free HIT training to providers and staff in underserved communities, and North Shore will donate EHR software and services through Nortec Software, Inc. The demonstration program will assist physicians in small practices in Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
“AHIMA is proud to provide leadership in this important initiative that supports the employment and reemployment of tens of thousands of health information management professionals, who are, in many cases, already educated and properly credentialed. The entry and return to the workforce of HIM professionals means we’ve created sustainable, full-time, career-track jobs that, once filled, will make a significant contribution to American society, even beyond helping to shrink our unemployment rolls,” says Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, RHIA, president of AHIMA.
AHIMA’s “HIM Jobs for America” Workforce Initiative includes a legislative platform that addresses what may form the cornerstone of effective job creation in the HIM profession, including the following:
According to Bill Rudman, vice president of educational visioning at AHIMA and executive director of the AHIMA Foundation, “AHIMA wants to build a partnership with business, academia, and the federal government to create the estimated 40,000 jobs required to properly build and maintain a national electronic health records initiative. We’re engaged in several health information workforce development programs that, like the Alliance to Reduce Health IT Disparities with HHS and North Shore, meet the standards set forth in the President’s American Jobs Act.”
These standards include providing a demonstrable public benefit by helping advance a more effective and cost-efficient healthcare delivery system and creating permanent, sustainable, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer employment security and cannot be outsourced.