Health Information Management, Innovation and Leadership in the Modern Era

By Jon Elion, MD, Founder and CEO Chartwise 

The rapid changes in Healthcare Information Technology present many new challenges to the HIM professional.  We are faced with an onslaught of technology advances to understand and apply, while finding ourselves drowning in data, yet thirsty for knowledge.  My keynote presentation at the MaHIMA Annual Meeting tackles these challenges head-on, looking at how we can innovate while still managing the associated risks and learning new leadership skills.

We’ll start out looking at “Risk Management” and the four basic approaches that can be taken to manage risk: accept It, mitigate (reduce) it, transfer it to someone else, or avoid it altogether. Caught up in “Analysis Paralysis,” hospital administrators often chose the last option, attempting to avoid change altogether, thinking that this would also avoid the associated risks. A simplified risk analysis matrix is introduced and applied to a very non-medical challenge to get the creative juices flowing (HINT: think “Cheeseburger in Paradise!”). 

We’ll also take a look at innovation, and recognizing the opportunities for it. We have all seen too many examples of well-intentioned entrepreneurs saying “Here’s a cool widget; what can we do with it?” This leads to a proliferation of solutions in search of a problem. Instead, we need to listen for what I call a “Magic Moment.” You can recognize it as it usually starts with the words “How come no one has figured out a way to…” That’s when an opportunity to innovate is about to present itself – keep you ears peeled for those words! “Proof of Concept” experiments and “Pilot Projects” can play a valuable role in helping to manage risk while implementing innovative solutions, and we’ll examine a few examples to see how these can be used.

We’ll finish up by looking at potential leadership skills that we can use to help guide and foster innovation, or, if used unwisely, to hinder it. We’ll have some fun looking at how to (or how not to!) analyze all the data we are gathering, and talk about the new AHIMA certifications relevant to these topics (Health Informatics and Certified Health Data Analyst and Certified Professional in Health Informatics).

And, beware, you never know when a chance for musical interlude will pop up (“Medium rare with Muenster’d be nice…”)!