News

 


Networking Nook Ė Sara Ingram-Bandur (3/17)

1. What is your first and last name, current school, which program are you in, and how many years do you have left?
My name is Sara Ingram-Bandur. Iím currently enrolled at Grand Island Central Community College in the HIM program. Iím currently taking classes this semester and my plan is to finish up with classes in the fall.

2. What got you interested in a degree in HIM?
Job security in the future is a big thing to me. Getting a job in a field that has a possibility of not always being around is scary when you think about your future. The medical field is one of the jobs that will always be there, so that was the biggest interest to me. I kind of just looked online at job opportunities in the medical field and for some reason HIM just caught my eye. The specific details and all of the possible job opportunities really helped make my decision.

3. What career path do you intend to pursue once you graduate?
In August of 2015 I accepted a part time coding position at Valley County Hospital in Ord, Nebraska and in July of 2016 I accepted a full time Health Information Management position. At first my career goal was to get a medical coding position and then overtime get a management position, so I did meet both of my career goals. With time, I do hope to move my way up higher within the facility. Everyone at Valley County Health System has been great to work with, which makes the whole experience even better.

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had in the HIM program so far?
In my own personal experience, the hardest thing would be having to balance multiple classes with a full time job, but to me that is a good problem to have. All of the health information classes are online, so another hard thing for me is that when I get home after work and do homework, the teachers are not available to answer questions at that exact moment if I have any.

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM program, what would it be?
Thereís nothing that I can think of that I would change. I think the program is a great all around program.

6. What is an element of being an HIM program you wish more people understood?
I don't think a lot of people completely understand what all the health information profession and the HIM program consist of. Many people think that Health Information is just taking care of the medical record, but it's much more. You have to understand and learn all of the coding, insurance, and billing aspects of the medical field as well as all the rules and regulations, and release of information.

7. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
I think the HIM profession will definitely become more detailed than what it already is as well as more strict. There is going to be more rules and regulations that HIM professionals will need to be aware of.

8. What would you tell someone who is thinking about enrolling in the HIM program?
I would tell the person that is thinking about enrolling how great the program is and that there are so many job opportunities that could be offered within this profession.

9. What is one way you think we could engage the student population in the state HIM association?
I think one way to help engage the student population within the state HIM association would be to host a mini convention for just students. I went to the annual NHIMA convention in Kearney last year and it was overwhelming to me because I was new to the program and didnít understand everything that was being talked about. I could see it being overwhelming for other students that are just starting out within the program. There is a lot of information that has to be taken in and I think that if there would be a convention for just students that focus on the overall HIM professions as well as specific things within the profession, I think it would really help bring students in.

10. Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
I would just like to thank you for taking the time to recognize me. The health information program as well as the profession is great to be a part of.


Networking Nook Ė Shari Colabello (2/17)

1. What is your first and last name, current school, which program are you in, and how many years do you have left?
Shari Colabello
Clarkson College, Omaha Ne.
Health Information Management
Pursuing an associate degree in Health Information Technology
Expected graduation: December 2017

2. What got you interested in a degree in HIM?
I have always been interested in being part of health care in some capacity. My late husband and I were small business owners for many years so I had a solid business background. After my youngest was on her way in college, I decided it was a perfect time to do something that I was passionate about and that was getting into health care. In the HIM department I am able to combine my business experience with the healthcare field.

3. What career path do you intend to pursue once you graduate?
I actually would love to work in a hospital in an HIM department. I realize that in this area of study there are opportunities to telecommute but the idea of being out there in the fast-paced health care setting is appealing to me. I think I feel this way because this is a brand-new career for me and I am very excited to become part of that. I have started my coding classes this semester and absolutely love this area of study. This may be a definite possibility of a career path I would pursue.

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had in the HIM program so far?
The greatest challenge for me personally was the decision to go back to college after so many years. This created a huge learning curve for me but one that I am so happy to have done. I began taking classes in medical terminology and pharmacology and this was difficult for me because I had no medical background. The HIM profession involves areas of study that are constantly changing such as technology and rules and regulations concerning the health record. This is challenging in the sense that a student needs to be completely open and aware that things are changing and not to let yourself get overwhelmed. I personally love that I am exposed to new ideas all the time and that is what makes this field of study exciting.

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM program, what would it be?
I believe that the HIM professional needs to be well rounded in the different areas of healthcare. Learning about the history of medicine, how hospitals and clinics operate, role of PT and OT and many more, only enriches our understanding of the healthcare profession as a whole. I am very fortunate to be studying at Clarkson where this is standard in our program. Some of the required core classes at Clarkson challenge us as students to expand our thinking and stress the moral and ethical way we need to approach our work. I believe these classes enrich our education and I feel will help me be a better health care professional.

6. What is an element of being an HIM program you wish more people understood?
One element that I feel may not be realized is the role that an HIM professional has as stewards of the medical record. The extent of knowledge needed to understand the changing technology along with privacy and security of the health record is challenging. HIM professionals also need a solid background in medical terminology and knowledge of how the healthcare system works as a whole.

7. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
The main area of growth will be in more health records shifting from paper and hybrid systems to electronic. With that being said, this creates an ongoing need for HIM professionals to remain skilled and knowledgeable in order to keep up with the changes. Technology is constantly changing in all area of our lives in how we communicate and it is no different in the medical field. As medical advances are constantly being made using new technology, the HIM profession is also changing at the same pace with keeping up with cutting edge technology.

8. What would you tell someone who is thinking about enrolling in the HIM program?
I believe the main thing is having the passion to be in healthcare. The HIM field will give someone that opportunity along with using their business skills. I could have chosen another route in business but for me it was the desire to be part of health care in some capacity. The other thing I would mention is that this profession offers so many different opportunities and choices of jobs.

9. What is one way you think we could engage the student population in the state HIM association?
I would love to see more networking opportunities made available to students. I think it would be exciting for students to become more involved in professional organizations and be able to interact with those who are out there in the real world. I feel that you gain so much from learning from others that you cannot get from a textbook.

10. Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
The only other thing I want to add is the satisfaction of being able to have more than just a job. At my age I never would be going back to school to begin a completely new career if I was not passionate about it. I look forward to coming home at the end of my day and knowing that I made a contribution to a field that cares for people. I look forward to approaching my career with high integrity and am so proud that Clarkson is preparing me to meet the challenges ahead.


Networking Nook - Mary Wolfe (4/16)

1. What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Mary Wolfe, RHIT

2. What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
There are a lot of people, professionals and patients who do not take HIM seriously

3. What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
The rules and regulations, interacting with patients and staff members.

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
People taking the HIM department seriously

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
You would have to be credentialed to hold a management position

6 Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
Yes, my old boss from a long time ago.

7. What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
That it is a serious profession, we have a code of ethics, and not everyone can do our jobs.

8. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
It is hard to tell with patient portal, government measures, and the ever-changing roles of healthcare.

9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
go for the gold and get your RHIA or your CCS.

10. Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
I have enjoyed my career in HIM and the challenges that go along with all of the regulations and changes.


Networking Nook - Dawn Goodsell (4/16)

1. What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Dawn Goodsell / Instructor

2. What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
The changes that are constantly developing

3. What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
Networking and educational growth

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Getting overwhelmed with acronyms

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
Nothing

6. Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
Ellen Jacobs. Keep up with the changes and trends to make you marketable

7. What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
The importance if higher education

8. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
Medicare career change as well as Medicaid

9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
You become a lifer in this field. It is not a job but a career

10. Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
Be prepared for nonstop changes.


Networking Nook - Monica Seeland  (3/16)

1. What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Monica Seeland, RHIA, Vice President Quality Initiatives

2. What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
The variety of opportunity that is available to us; the profession keeps evolving

3. What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
There is always something new and different to learn

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
The need to always promote our abilities and what we can do to as a member of the healthcare team.

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
More emphasis on personal responsibility for health information, and how we can use that information to improve our own individual health.

6. Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
Actually, my mother who was a dietitian knew about the HIM profession and she influenced my decision to explore the field. There were many others throughout my career who gave me the opportunity to use my HIM skills in non-traditional settings.

7. What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
How varied our profession is and how our skills and abilities can be useful in a variety of ways.

8. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
The profession is always evolving, no predictions!

9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
Go for it! The field is varied so there is something for almost everyone.


Networking Nook - Mary Jo Chandler   (2/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Mary Jo Chandler, RHIA Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital - Omaha, HIM Supervisor

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
I am surprised about the amount of federal regulations and the time spent monitoring compliance.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
The knowledge I have gained about the disease process through coding.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Changing behaviors to meet regulatory requirements

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
A universal EHR to assist with continuity of care.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
I made a career change to the HIM profession in my late thirties. Fortunately I was hired as a part-time HIM employee without any HIM experience. This lead to a full-time position that worked with my school schedule. My boss was very involved with the education and development of HIM professionals. I am extremely grateful for the guidance and encouragement she provided during my career transition.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
It takes collaboration to improve processes and decrease frustrations. We rely on other medical professionals to understand regulations and adapt to changes.

8.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
The HIM profession challenges your mind and promotes constant learning.

9.  Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
We will be hiring for coders and medical record assistants for our new Omaha location in the near future.


Networking Nook - Mindi Husman   (2/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Mindi Husman, RHIA - Auditor

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
The complexity of it all!

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
You are guaranteed to learn something new everyday

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
The preparation for ICD-10 and the years of extensions

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
More awareness to the opportunities available within the HIM arena.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
Jen Anderson and Mary Meysenburg for taking the chance on hiring me as Team Leader for Coding in 2010. This was the start of my career.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
It's not simple and there aren't a lot of black and white rules. There is a lot of grey area that is left up to interpretation; strong policies and procedures should be in place.

8.  What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
The security requirements will be increasing with the "mobile" world we are in today. I also believe reimbursement for services will also be changing and focusing more with quality rather than expected fees.

9.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
There are a lot of avenues within the HIM arena so it's easy to find something that fits you the best. For example, if you like puzzles coding is a great area to work!


Networking Nook - Brenda Machmueller   (2/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Brenda Machmueller, RHIT, CPC, Director of Health Information Management, Privacy Officer

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
I have been surprised by the difference in how hospitals and professional practice clinics view the HIM profession. In the hospital arena HIM is sought after for advice and guidance. In the clinic area that is not the case, HIM is most often an afterthought.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
Because HIM is such a diverse profession, we are able to be a part of many different areas within an organization.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
For me personally, it is sometimes challenging when working in a smaller facility. This is because of the many hats I must wear throughout the day. While I welcome the variety, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming with all of the changes healthcare is constantly seeing.

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
I would like to see men become more active in our profession.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
Two people come to mind that have encouraged me to become an HIM professional and to continue to better myself. Mary Thomas who first sparked my interest in HIM, and then Ellen Jacobs who encouraged me to continue my education beyond a coding certificate.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
The diversity HIM professionals bring to the table. We are well versed in not only content of the medical record but also in Privacy and Security, and everything in between, as well.

8.  What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
The role HIM professionals will play in technology will be greatly expanded as well as putting information governance processes in place.

9.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
If you like change and to be challenged, HIM is the profession for you. It offers a wide variety of jobs that will be great for those who want to work on a more individual basis like coding, to being involved in day to day decision making such as a Director of HIM can enjoy.


Networking Nook - Brenda Jewett   (2/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Brenda Jewett, CCS, Coding Supervisor at Lexington Regional Health Center.

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
The amount of knowledge you continue to learn.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
I like putting the pieces of the puzzle together and the codes are the final pieces.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Transitioning to ICD-10.

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
That HIM professionals would be considered an essential player at the table for hospital/clinic oversight.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
I started as a medical transcriptionist and an opening for Utilization Review Coordinator came open--it included Inpatient and Emergency Room coding. Charlene Tilson encouraged me to apply and mentored me through the process of learning all of these new processes. She assured me I would never get bored in the health information field as things seem to be constantly changing and we have to adapt to the changes. I have since transitioned into exclusively coding and learning all aspects of critical access hospital coding, and now clinic coding, along with rural health clinic coding.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
We keep your health information accurate and safe.

8.  What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
Privacy will be harder to control as technology allows providers and non-clinicians to access patient records from other facilities.

9.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
If you are detail oriented and like the paperwork end of health care it can be a very rewarding career.

10. Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
I started my healthcare career as a LPN, and the medical knowledge I have because of that has helped me tremendously in understanding coding.


Networking Nook - Ruth Gappa   (1/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Ruth Gappa, RHIA, CCS, in career transition at the moment from Senior Application Analyst position in IT

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
Close knit network; translation of skills to other roles.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
The role of data integrity in healthcare; having the right tools and resources to analyze a problem.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Increase in reliance on data and what that translates to for policy/procedures.

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
Greater awareness of value among other healthcare/IT professionals.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
One of my former directors noticed my abilities, and encouraged me to apply for a DRG Education Coordinator role. They offered their support in the transition to that role. It is invaluable when a leader is willing to mentor.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
The mix of skill sets and resourcefulness that is brought to the table.

8.  What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
I think that there is going to be a greater shift in opportunities from the hospital to the ambulatory/clinic setting because of health systems' increasing focus on health and preventing hospital visits where possible.

9.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
If you are fascinated with the healthcare industry, give HIM a chance. The opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals regarding the data that is being generated is a rewarding experience.


Networking Nook - Barbara Marsh   (1/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Barbara Marsh, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P Currently HIMS Instructor at Central Community College, Grand Island

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
Maybe how many times a patient asked me why I wouldn't just code it the way the insurance company "said to" so it would be paid.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
The employment possibilities that a HIM professional has.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?

Finding quality and reasonable continuing education classes offered locally is one challenge I can think of.

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
More networking opportunities among HIM professionals on a regular basis and not just on an annual basis.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
No

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
What is actually involved in all aspects of what we do.

8.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
Be prepared for constant change, and make sure you are a person who likes to pay attention to detail. Then offer them my contact info so they can stay in touch and ask questions they have along the way.


Networking Nook - Jessica Fiorelli   (1/16)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Jessica Fiorelli Medical Records Coder CCS, CCS-P

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
How quickly the profession has grown and changed.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
It's always challenging and I find myself always learning

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Ensuring that records and documenation are complete and the process of implementing an EHR.

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
Nothing.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
Yes my former instructors Joni Schlatz, Pam Koch and Shawna Stump at CCC-Hastings. I was a student in the Business Technology Program and was going to school for a medical office degree. My advisor Joni Schlatz suggested I take a healthcare reimbursement class with Pam Koch that included coding. I enjoyed Pam's class, especially coding. Pam, Joni and Shawna were very encouraging for me to pursue a career in HIM.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
How important it is for information to be detailed.

8.  What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
I think technology will become an even bigger part of the profession.

9.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
I would tell them that it is a fast growing professional with a lot of different job opportunities and to receive as much education in the field as you can.

10.  Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
I am currently attending CCC-Hastings again to receive my Associate's Degree in Health Information Management with a goal to obtain the RHIT credential.


Networking Nook - Gretchen Joppgretchen  (12/15)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Gretchen Jopp, MS, RHIA, CCS, CPC. I am Assistant Professor in the Healthcare Business Program at Clarkson College

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
That is is a profession I can stay in my whole career and not get bored. It has changed so much in just the past FIVE years, let along 25 years!

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
I enjoy the health science aspect of the profession, but not having to touch patients or blood. I can learn about, and know so much about health and healthcare, but not have to touch patients!! I enjoy the statistical aspect of coding. I enjoy seeing data that can be compiled from coded information.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?

I have become more "techy" than I ever imagined becoming. I started out working on a minor in computers in college, but got overwhelmed because those were the days of writing your own code and arrays and loops, who needs it! I'm glad I was able to pick it back up in the dynamic field of health information.

5.  If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
I would love to see more continuity in the applications we use in the profession, mainly in EHRs. Each is so different, and as of yet, vendors don't play well together, so it is difficult to reach the ultimate goal of the birth-to-death electronic health record when all applications are so disparate.

6.  Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
One genre of HIM that I never imagined working in was education. Once I was done with college, I figured that was behind me, now I'll go DO IT! And that's what I did for about 22 years or so. Without the long story, I really "tripped upon" my position as an Instructor at Clarkson College and I am continually surprised at how happy I am teaching students. It is such a challenge to find ways to demonstrate our profession to students, and I love when they make connections once they get into practice. On a selfish note, I find that education keeps me up on many areas of HIM, where in previous positions, I've felt fairly "pigeon-holed." Teaching has also given me the opportunity to earn my Masters degree in HIM. That is one of my proudest accomplishments and I thank Carla Dirkschneider for her help and encouragement while I worked through that process.

7.  What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
I wish people understood the depth and breadth of HIM. People think it is only data entry, or only billing. There is so much more, and it's so hard to explain.

8.  What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?

Technology and "big data" absolutely, and as technology grows and advances, continual work will need to be done to keep data clean and secure.

9.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
Honestly, HIM isn't for everyone. However, if you enjoy the health sciences, data, working alone, working in groups, working from home, working in an office, working with physicians, working with administrators, not working with administrators, organizing data, making data better, HIM is for you! My point is, I believe there's an avenue within HIM that can interest everyone.

10.  Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
I would like to encourage anyone who hasn't volunteered yet, on some level, at your local, state or national level, to give it a try. Volunteering on even a small committee helps you to meet people and network, and learn so much about what's going on in the HIM world. Give it a try!


Networking Nook - Tina Mazuchtinam   (12/15)

1.  What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Tina Mazuch, HIMS Instructor, RHIA

2.  What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
One thing that has surprised me is the number of opportunities there are in this field.

3.  What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
The field is so diverse and that they are many opportunities to make a difference.

4.  What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Explaining to others what exactly it is that we do.