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Case Study Examines the Role of HIM Professionals in Facility Closure

The Fall issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management, the online research journal of AHIMA, features the latest research on topics such as implications for radio frequency technology on the pharmaceutical industry as well as an evaluation of health information exchange (HIE) systems in nursing homes. 

The case study, "Facility Closure: How to Get In, Get Out, and Get What Is Important," examines HIM's role in the closing of a health care facility as well as the impact on revenue cycle operations. Using the closure of an acute care hospital in 2015 as an example, the authors emphasize that HIM professionals are uniquely positioned to assist an organization in closure efforts because of their knowledge of revenue cycle operations, ability to work with the software products used to generate and store patient information, and solid understanding of the process of care and treatment of the patient. The authors recorded their experiences through the facility closure process so they could offer them to other HIM professionals to provide a basic primer to ensure that all requirements are addressed. "HIM professionals and revenue cycle experts should know and understand what is involved with a facility closure because they will most likely be involved in this process at some point in the near future, either directly or indirectly," the authors wrote. 

"This study emphasizes the value that HIM professionals bring to their jobs every day," says AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. "HIM professionals will liaise with the compliance, legal, risk management, and information technology departments to determine what legal requirements are tied to the facility closure so they can act accordingly. This study should spark ideas or discussions that could help HIM professionals further identify areas that need to be addressed during the closure process."

The fall issue also features the following articles: 

Could the Pharmaceutical Industry Benefit from Full-Scale Adoption of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology with New Regulations? 

Health care regulators are directing attention to the pharmaceutical supply chain with the passage of the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Adoption of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has the ability to improve compliance, reduce costs, and improve safety in the supply chain but its implementation has been limited; primarily because of hardware and tag costs. This research study analyzes the benefits to the pharmaceutical industry and health care system of the adoption of RFID technology as a result of newly implemented supply chain regulations. The findings of this study suggest that implementation of RFID technology could help reduce pharmaceutical costs related to counterfeiting, patient safety, and inefficiencies, and result in greater compliance with new track-and-trace regulations. 

Exploring Health Information Exchange Implementation Using Qualitative Assessments of Nursing Home Leaders 

Limited research exists on nursing home information technologies, such as HIE systems. Capturing the experiences of early HIE adopters provides vital information about how these systems are used. In this study, the authors conduct a secondary analysis of qualitative data captured during interviews with 15 nursing home leaders representing 14 nursing homes in the Midwestern United States that are part of the Missouri Quality Improvement Initiative national demonstration project. The authors found that a consequence of not having electronic HIE in the nursing home setting is that resident information is not shared across organizations, vendors, and geographic boundaries efficiently. 

Historical Data Analysis of Hospital Discharges Related to the Amerithrax Attack in Florida 

This study evaluates the impact of the bioterrorist anthrax attacks on hospital inpatient discharges in the metropolitan statistical area of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties in the fourth quarter of 2001. Three statistical methods were used to determine whether anthrax influenced inpatient utilization. This study is important because public health and community emergency management professionals must address capacity, casualties, and countermeasures for their population during any disaster. 

Effect of Telehealth Interventions on Hospitalization Indicators: A Systematic Review 

Telehealth has been defined as the remote delivery of health care services using information and communication technology. Where resource-limited health systems face challenges caused by the increasing burden of chronic diseases and an aging global population, telehealth has been advocated as a solution for changing and improving the paradigm of health care delivery to cope with these issues. The aim of this systematic review is to investigate the effect of telehealth interventions on two indicators: hospitalization rate and length of stay. In this review, the telehealth interventions aimed at the education of patients were found to significantly decrease both the hospitalization rate and the length of stay, and existing evidence supports this result.  

Implementation and Impact of Psychiatric Electronic Medical Records in a Public Medical Center 

This study describes the efforts to implement electronic charting in a large public psychiatric outpatient clinic with the objective to improve clinical documentation. Data made available through the quality review process are utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of the electronic intervention. The paper is a comparative analysis of the three years before and three years after the point of implementation of electronic charting. The authors revealed that EMR use increased the timely completion of medical records in the outpatient setting. 

Improving the Collection of Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data to Reduce Healthcare Disparities: A Case Study from an Academic Medical Center 

Well-designed EHRs must integrate a variety of accurate information to support efforts to improve quality of care, particularly equity-in-care initiatives. This case study provides insight into the challenges those initiatives may face in collecting accurate race, ethnicity, and language (REAL) information in the EHR. The authors present the experience of an academic medical center strengthening its EHR for better collection of REAL data with funding from the EHR Incentive Programs for meaningful use of HIT and the Texas Medicaid 1115 Waiver program. This study also provided the results of data collection, success, and challenges confronted in the process, and implications for other health care systems and providers.

Source: AHIMA