|The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor
Posted on Tue, Oct 02, 2012 - 11:34 am
We pointed recently to new questions from HHS about whether providers are using new health IT to squeeze more profits out of their services.
Now, at the opening of its 84th annual Convention and Exhibit in Chicago, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is calling for improved and unified Health Information Governance to standardize EHR use to ensure that the technology is used first and foremost to fulfill its promise of guiding better, more efficient patient care.
In a press release accompanying the announcement, the organization said “AHIMA is ready to work with healthcare industry providers, health plans, quality organizations and vendors as well as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish standards so that healthcare providers have clear principles to guide their patient documentation.”
As AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon put it, “Unified data governance principles will help promote accuracy and consistency and reduce ambiguity . . . Data governance and data integrity have been and will be a critical part of AHIMA’s strategic plan, and we will continue to lead the discussions and the solutions developed in this field.”
As we noted when HHS sounded its alarm, some observers are suggesting that the recent concerns may be overstated, as it could simply be that providers are now taking advantage of being able to bill more efficiently than before. Nonetheless, AHIMA’s goal is certainly sound, as establishing clear governance guidelines will give providers a clearer understanding of what to do and what not to do at the same time as they’ll increase confidence for all stakeholders that new health IT is working that way it was intended to.