New funding from the federal government will help AHIMA to develop programs to increase HIM and technology standards and education worldwide.
The funding from the US Department of Commerce, which AHIMA will match, will allow AHIMA to recruit international students to US universities, and to promote curriculum standards for health information education. It also will let AHIMA develop content that can be applied domestically as well as globally and develop an infrastructure that allows online education to further foster the HIM profession.
"Our goal is to position the United States as the global leader in health information management and technology curriculum and education," says AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. "The industry is expanding rapidly throughout the world, and having properly trained professionals is crucial to maintaining the integrity of health information, which will be increasingly transported and shared through advances in health technology."
AHIMA was selected to participate in the International Trade Administration's (ITA) Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), which is designed to increase the competitiveness of US organizations by developing market demand for US products and services globally.
"Acknowledgement of AHIMA's expertise by the Department of Commerce reaffirms the significance of AHIMA's training and credentials, and the value of HIM education both domestically and internationally," says Thomas Gordon. "This opportunity positions AHIMA as a thought leader on a global scale and will help to create recognition of the profession worldwide." While promoting education standards in other countries, the agreement will allow AHIMA to recruit international students to US universities, helping those institutions expand their HIM programs and fund new opportunities. Following graduation, students will create and enforce high standards of practice, and elevate the health information profession and workforce within their home countries.
The arrangement falls into step with the association's recent recognition by the Department of Labor, which certified AHIMA's National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for HIM and technology professionals. Both serve to propel the HIM profession and to define the needs of the future health care workforce.
AHIMA joins six other recipients of the 2013 MDCP awards, which represent various industries and strategies for increasing exports. The MDCP supports nonprofit industry groups such as associations and chambers of commerce by providing financial and technical assistance through an ongoing cooperative agreement. Research conducted by the ITA stresses the important role that exports play in catalyzing America's near-and long-term economic growth, resulting in new job opportunities being created.