HIM Role in Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality
As the demands for health information become more diverse, health information management (HIM) professionals use their expertise to protect health information and ensure the right information is available to the right people at the right time. Successful privacy, security, and confidentiality programs depend on HIM professionals, the experts on the applicable rules and regulations who are skilled in managing healthcare data. For example, HIM professionals ensure privacy and security programs meet regulatory requirements. Once a program is in place, HIM professionals use their expertise to monitor and audit the program to ensure compliance.
HIM professionals hold diverse roles such as organizational and corporate privacy officers, compliance officers, and are change agents in policy development.
Sample job descriptions include:
HIM professionals advocate for strong privacy and security programs as electronic health record (EHR) systems are implemented and upgraded. HIM professionals provide the functional requirements for electronic health information, taking into account federal and state laws, including e-discovery, to ensure appropriate access, use, and disclosure of health information.
HIM professionals also impact privacy, security, and confidentiality standards, laws, and regulations outside of their organization. Volunteering on state HIT and HIE initiatives, responding to public comments periods, and looking for ways to participate on standards development groups such as HL7 and HIEs are a few ways HIM professionals may influence and affect change.
Organizations count on HIM professionals’ skill sets. The convergence of people, processes, regulations, structure, standards and system design is vital to the organization. Sound privacy, security, and confidentiality practices lead to more effective management of health information, contributing to safe, high-quality patient care.