Susan Brierley, RHIA

Susan Brierley is the Director of the Clinical Information Department at South Shore Mental Health.  In this capacity she is responsible for managing agency-wide medical records.

We asked Susan to tell us about her career path and how she got to where she is.  Here is her story:

“After graduating from University of Rhode Island with a BA in Elementary Education I found myself working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. I was a Financial Review Specialist and then a Pre-Admitting Test Center Coordinator when I was awarded a great opportunity to pursue my RHIA at Northeastern University while continuing to work at the hospital.  I enjoyed the courses, meeting new colleagues and learning about the field of medical records and potential career opportunities.   

After receiving my RHIA, I worked in the HIM Department at Brigham and Women’s.  I was very fortunate to work under the leadership of Karen Grant and Jackie Raymond.  Working with Karen and Jackie, I not only learned about all aspects of medical records but also learned how to efficiently and effectively manage a department.”

Since 1997 Susan has worked at South Shore Mental Health, a nonprofit behavioral health organization located in Quincy.  Susan is currently the Director of Clinical Information Management Department.  In this capacity, Susan worked on the implementation team for an EHR system at the agency in addition to her ongoing responsibilities for regulatory changes, scanning, auditing, compliance, form, HIPAA, release of information, and training of staff. 

The healthcare industry, like others is rapidly changing.  Susan has responded to these changes with enthusiasm.  “In today’s environment, the healthcare industry is experiencing significant change and disruption, I view this change and disruption as opportunities for me to demonstrate my skills and expertise, applying the principles I have learned through courses and webinars offered by AHIMA and MAHIMA, among others.  Successful leaders understand that continuous learning and education is critical to long-term professional development and I intend to leverage this acquired knowledge throughout my career in HIM.”

In closing, Susan had a few words of wisdom in the form of a letter to her younger self: “If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would advise my younger self to pursue a career in the HIM profession as I have found it very interesting and rewarding.  I would also encourage my younger self to be an active member in AHIMA and MAHIMA, participate in conferences and webinars, and seek opportunities to network with other professionals in order to share ideas and best practices.”

Sounds like great advice!