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.