2018 AHIMA House of Delegates Report

CHIA’s delegates attending the recent 2018 AHIMA House of Delegates held in Miami on Sunday, September 23rd discussed four specific issues of importance to the HIM profession. Each delegate was assigned primary responsibility for one House issue. The four topics presented for discussion and feedback during breakout sessions at the AHIMA HOD were:

  1. Future of the House: Relevance
  2. Future of the House: Apportionment
  3. Environmental Scanning
  4. HIM Reimagined

The four issues and recommendations made are summarized in the CHIA delegate reports.


1. Future of the House: Relevance
Reported by Debra Primeau, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA

Relevancy was initially discussed at the 2017 House Meeting and further discussed during the 2018 HoD. Recommendations were created and included on the House Breakout Session Gap Analysis in relation to relevancy of the House. The following provides a highlight of the discussion:

• How can the House work with the AHIMA Practice Councils to increase governance of the HIM profession?

After the AHIMA strategic plan is completed, identify the issues we have in the profession and refer these to the practice councils, so they can guide HoD in the steps we need to take to move forward. In addition, the group discussed being more involved in the AHIMA strategic plan. Furthermore, the HoD suggested increased communication to represent our true state membership for better alignment with the practice councils. There was a suggestion to have quarterly sessions/reports vs. the current annual report. More connections with other professional organizations such as HIMSS to increase opportunities and collaboration for AHIMA members.

• How do we help AHIMA achieve strategic initiatives?

The HoD suggested we start with the initiatives to ensure the work the practice council is doing is aligned with the CSAs. In addition, it was suggested to increase the membership and advocate for new leaders in the profession and get them engaged. The HoD wants to encourage test taking and AHIMA credentialing. Most importantly, the HoD feels there needs to be more alignment of the state strategic plan with AHIMA’s. The State plan should cascade down from AHIMA to the council, to the CSAs and membership. Then it should go back up the ladder to ensure the goals are being met. Issues should be addressed by effective communication to AHIMA, so they can help us to help them reconstruct the opt out option because most members have opted out.


2. Future of the House: Apportionment
Reported by Kamar Braish, MS, RHIA

In 2015, some AHIMA Component State Associations (CSA) delegates raised concerns on the apportionment of delegates for CSAs. Currently, a delegate is added for every 100 members.

There was direction to move on agreeing/voting to one of the below models during the break out session:

  1. Senate Model – Two delegates per CSA
  2. Senate Hybrid Model
    a. 2 delegates to in-person meeting (concern for expense)
    i. Based on participation, not by title or role, determined by CSA
    b. Keep number of votes per state
  • Many states including California spoke during the break out session on the need to keep the State representation intact.
  • Many suggested to leave it up to the state. If some states are not able to send what is allotted to them by the number of members, then they should be able to make the decision of sending a lower number of representatives.
  • Some suggested having another work group to continue to come up with possible suggestions from the different states on how to move forward.

After the house reconvened from the breakout sessions, the floor was flooded with more remarks from the different states.

Finally, one house of delegate representative suggested a motion to “stop discussing” and to remove “apportionment” from any future AHIMA House of Delegates agenda.

After lengthy deliberation and consultations from different parliamentary experts attending the House of Delegates, the house moved in consensus to remove “apportionment” from future House agenda.


3. Environmental Scanning
Reported by Nancy Andersen, MS, RHIA, CCS

The discussions focused on two areas; 1) if or when a Component State Association (CSA) uses environmental scanning; and 2) if so, what purpose(s) does the CSA use for outcomes of environmental scanning. The outcome of the discussions:

  • CSAs all use Environmental Scanning as a tool for initiating discussions around “hot topics” in healthcare and HIM
  • Plan education programs based on new information provided through the Environmental Scanning activity.
  • The environmental scan topic I brought forward for discussion was block chain technology uses within HIM.

4. Health Information Management Reimagined (HIMR)
Reported by Marie Conde, MPA, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA

AHIMA’s HIMR was initially produced as a white paper by a team of hard-working educators and practitioners. The HIMR national initiative is a 10-year process which started in 2017 with distinct phases to ensure that HIM knowledge, skills, and competencies are updated to prepare the profession for the future.

The HIMR’s primary goal is advancing the educational level of AHIMA members. At the 2018 House of Delegates breakout session, discussions reflected on how to plan for the future of HIM through education and certification and what else needs to be achieved to ensure the profession remains strong and relevant to the envisioned future.

Recommendations on HIMR included:

  • Further consideration needs to be given to the RHIA and RHIT credentials in terms of specialization across all levels of the HIM academic spectrum
  • Professional Practice Experience (PPE) faces challenges in placing students but experiences provide tremendous value
  • The AHIMA certification portfolio needs to be re-evaluated to determine value and relevance
  • Future HIM roles will evolve as workflows adapt to technology. The HIMR task force is needed to determine what HIM skills are relevant or need to be created “We are all not the same but we are one profession”