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Colleen Goethals, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA

Colleen Goethals



Colleen has over 35 years of healthcare experience possessing vast knowledge of HIM operations, revenue cycle management and is a subject matter expert on privacy and security. Past experience includes HIM/Revenue Cycle Regional Director and HIM Director and Corporate Privacy Officer. She is an author and frequent speaker on topics related to leadership, revenue cycle, release of information, and HIPAA Privacy and Security. Colleen is a past AHIMA Board member and current member of AHIMA’s Advocacy and Policy Committee; past-President, Director and Delegate of the Illinois Health Information Management Association (ILHIMA), ILHIMA Distinguished Member, an AHIMA fellow and NARA Certified in Federal Records Management. She is also the recipient of AHIMA’s Triumph Award for Advocacy and Policy.

Hear from Colleen Goethals

Position Statement Question

AHIMA’s mission is empowering people to impact health®. What distinctive expertise and experience do you have to contribute to AHIMA’s mission?

For my entire career in health information, I have been proud to share my knowledge with consumers, colleagues, friends, and family to empower them to make wise healthcare decisions. Here are a few examples of how I’ve shared my knowledge to empower people to impact their health: Educate the public: I participated on the AHIMA my PHR committee and campaign. We created presentations and toolkits to educate and assist consumers of healthcare to manage their own personal health record. I presented the pilot presentation to a group of caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. I continued to conduct these presentations to various groups throughout Illinois helping them to create their own personal health record and explaining how to use the information to advocate for their own personal health. I was also an adjunct instructor for many years at the local community college teaching an introductory HIM course. The education and experiences I provided empowered students to understand health data, importance of accuracy, and privacy. I even influenced a few to further their education in the HI field. Data collection and privacy: As a former HIM Director and Privacy Officer, it was my responsibility to ensure that all health information collected was complete, timely and accurate while protecting the patient’s privacy. I share my knowledge and practical experience I’ve gained as a HIPAA expert by providing presentations throughout the country. Working in the Release of Information environment for many years, I made sure patients had access to their health information when they needed it in a timely manner. Advocacy: I have participated in at least 15 Hill Day and Advocacy meetings over the last 20 years representing ILHIMA and AHIMA. I feel obliged to share my knowledge with elected officials, state and federal, to protect and advance data for improving healthcare across the ecosystem.

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