Resources for Regional Extension Centers
AHIMA congratulates those organizations that were selected as regional extension centers (REC) under the HITECH Act. AHIMA understands a REC's need to act quickly in building its operations, developing products (e.g., training materials, practice guidelines, etc.), and offering services to the clinicians in their region. To support REC efforts, AHIMA is offering resources to RECs that may help them:
- Incorporate vital content into the products and services they provide to the clinicians in their region
- Accelerate the development of their products and services
- Quickly build REC staff so that they can deliver your products and services as soon as possible
We ask in return that, should these resources be used, RECs give proper attribution to AHIMA and abide by fair use laws.
This table is derived from a report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on Regional Extension Center activities, as of 21 May 2012 (http://dashboard.healthit.gov/rec/). The three sections display progress in each of the three Milestones set by ONC, for which payments are attached:
- Milestone 1: Signing physicians as REC members.
- Milestone 2: Implementing Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in the physician's office.
- Milestone 3: Attesting for Meaningful Use (MU).
Each of the sections lists a column with the total physicians, followed by the percent of physicians that have reached the Milestone. In the first section, many RECs have taken on more members than agreed in their award, as indicated by the percentages over 100%. In the second section, many RECs have reached close to their goal of implementing EHRs in physician's offices. The third section indicates the number and percentage of physicians who have successfully attested for Meaningful Use.
The columns are sorted on the percentage reaching Milestone 2, indicating RECs with the greatest percentage of PPCPs who have implemented EHR systems.
Linking Regional Extension Center Services to HIM Skills
Sample Set of Resources
Below is a sample set of resources that provide information to help RECs develop materials for various steps in the process - from EHR system selection to system implementation and support, including guidelines, policies, and procedures for records management; clinical documentation; privacy, confidentiality, and security; revenue cycle management; quality reporting; terminologies (e.g., SNOMED), and more.
Legal EHR principles
General HIM principles
Revenue cycle management
Additional Resources in AHIMA's Body of Knowledge
Since AHIMA strongly supports the regional extension center initiative, we are happy to make AHIMA's Body of Knowledge, which contains over 5,000 documents, available to RECs for their fair use. All materials in the Body of Knowledge can be downloaded in full by AHIMA members on REC staff or those with whom they collaborate in their state or region. Non-members can download a high percentage of the documents in full from the Body of Knowledge without charge.
Here are instructions on how to use the Body of Knowledge.
If you need the expertise of a health information management professional to help you interpret such things as privacy laws (e.g., HIPAA, consents, accounting of disclosures, etc.) or health information management policies, procedures, and practice guidelines, AHIMA can help you by answering occasional questions at no cost or subcontract with you if you need greater assistance. Contact David Sweet at David.Sweet@ahima.org or 312-233-1501 to begin the process. (See below if you think you need to hire a professional in this area.)
Sample Job Descriptions and Job Roles
Below are sample job descriptions contributed by existing RECs which RECs can customize in their own job descriptions. Also included is a graphic illustration of the alignment of REC Services and HIM skill sets.
The Health Information Management (HIM) Professional: a key to success
- HIM is an established discipline with four academic pathways (from pre-degree certificate to masters degree) , there are more than 250 accredited HIM programs in the U.S.
- The HIM workforce has over 56,000 nationally credentialed members
- HIM credentials include: Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)
Finding Professionals to Hire
Here is a link to AHIMA's Job Bank where RECs can post their positions and quickly reach over 56,000 individuals. AHIMA will send out broadcast alerts to our members and others HIM/HIT and clinical professionals who may be interested in these positions, so that they know to visit the Job Board and look for posted job openings.
AHIMA members on REC staff can post job descriptions at no charge. As a special measure to support REC efforts, AHIMA is willing to discount its fee of $300 per job description for non-members. Simply apply for a discount coupon code during the process of posting a job description, and then enter the code at the end to receive the discount.
Collaborating with HIM/HIT Leaders in Your State
Search for leaders of health information management by state. AHIMA has already informed these leaders of the regional extension center initiative, as well as of our actions in supporting RECs.
We wish RECs the best as they start the important work of improving health through health information. AHIMA stands ready to assist RECs in this effort. For additional information, please contact David Sweet at David.Sweet@ahima.org or 312-233-1501.