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Closing out the AHIMA20 Virtual Conference, AHIMA President/Chair-Elect Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA, called on the health information profession to grow from a “custodian of record” to “trusted broker,” responsible for seamless and secure data sharing across organizations and nations.

“Health information is complex. It’s nuanced, ever-changing and deeply personal. Because of its uniquely human characteristics, its proper management requires a diverse range of expertise and a deep understanding of a space that is in constant evolution.”

—AHIMA President/Chair-Elect Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA

Health information professionals are seen as “trusted brokers” in the evolving healthcare ecosystem, focusing on the patient and the power of data integrity, according to Lusk.

“Health information is complex. It’s nuanced, ever-changing and deeply personal. Because of its uniquely human characteristics, its proper management requires a diverse range of expertise and a deep understanding of a space that is in constant evolution,” Lusk said. “A trusted advisor with subject matter expertise is imperative to understand and translate the nuances to the different users. As a profession we understand and respect the person behind the information.”

AHIMA’s approach is right in step with other things happening in the industry, Lusk said.

“Think about the 21st Century Cures Act, which requires that barriers to accessing clinical information be removed for the patient. Think about the Open Notes movement… Or think about the Patient ID Now coalition, where we, AHIMA, are leading the market. As a discipline that is committed to management of information for the provider and patient, there is an immediate need for our expertise.” 

Lusk encouraged listeners to take two pledges:

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