AHIMA is a global nonprofit association representing health information professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year.
Since its formation, the organization known now as AHIMA has undergone several name changes that reflect the evolution of the profession.
AHIMA's founder and catalyst for change, Grace Whiting Myers
The organization traces its origin back to 1928 when the American College of Surgeons established the Association of Record Librarians of North America to "elevate the standards of clinical records in hospitals and other medical institutions."
Such a prescient recognition of the importance of health information underlies the work we do today. Health information remains complex, nuanced, and ever-changing.
In 1938, the Association changed its name to the American Association of Medical Record Librarians (AAMRL) to better communicate the organization’s focus on health records. It was at that time that AAMRL moved forward with the creation of rigorous standards to officially designate expertise in medical record administration.
When the Association became the American Medical Record Association in 1970, hospitals and community health centers actively recruited association members to manage complex programs such as Medicare.
When data analytics and technology began to effect healthcare's momentum, the Association changed its name in 1991 to the American Health Information Management Association. “Health Information Management” accurately captures the influence clinical data has on the entire continuum of care, from the physician’s office, the hospital and beyond.
|1928||Association of Record Librarians of North American (ARLNA) founded|
|1929||Bulletin of the Association of Record Librarians of North America published|
|1933||Registered Record Librarian (RRL) credential established.|
|1938||Bulletin, American Association of Medical Record Librarians, replaces the Bulletin of the Association of Record Librarians of North America|
|1938||Name of association changed to American Association of Medical Record Librarians (AAMRL)|
|1944||Journal of the American Association of Medical Record Librarians replaces Bulletin, American Association of Medical Record Librarians|
|1953||Accredited Record Technician (ART), credential established.|
|1954||Certified Record Librarian (CRL) designation established to recognize RRLs who had been in the field for at least 15 years and had made significant contributions to the profession. It was discontinued in 1964 because the general membership thought its use detracted from that of the RRL.|
|1964||Medical Record News, the Journal of the American Association of Medical Record Librarians replaces Journal of the American Association of Medical Record Librarians|
|1970||Name of association changed to American Medical Record Association (AMRA)|
|1970||Medical Record News, the Journal of the American Medical Record Association replaces Medical Record News, the Journal of the American Association of Medical Record Librarians|
|1978||Registered Record Administrator (RRA) credential replaces the Registered Record Librarian (RRL) credential|
|1980||Journal of the American Medical Record Association replaces Medical Record News|
|1991||Name of association changed to American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)|
|1991||Journal of the American Health Information Management Association (Journal of AHIMA) replaces Journal of the American Medical Record Association|
|1992||Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credential established|
|1997||Certified Coding Specialist - Physician-based (CCS-P) credential established|
|1999||Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association (FAHIMA) designation established to recognize members who have made significant and lasting contributions to the HIM profession|
|2000||Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential replaces the Accredited Record Technician (ART) credential; Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential replaces the Registered Record Administrator (RRA) credential.|
|2001||Certified Coding Associate (CCA) entry-level coding credential established|
|2002||Certified in Healthcare Privacy (CHP) credential created|
|2002||Certified in Healthcare Security (CHS) credential, sponsored by HIMSS and administered by AHIMA created|
|2002||Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS) credential, sponsored jointly by AHIMA and HIMSS, created|
|2008||Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) credential created|
|2011||Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP) credential created|
|2011||Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS) credential|