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									HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
        Associate Degree Program




          Student Handbook
               2007 / 2008
Table of Contents:


      SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES CONTACTS                               3

      PROGRAM OVERVIEW                                                 3

      PROGRAM MISSION, VISION AND PHILOSOPHY                           5

      ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS                                           6

      PROGRAM COURSE SEQUENCE                                          7

      CORE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS                                         8

      PROGRAM COURSE DESCRIPTIONS                                      9

      PROGRAM OBJECTIVES                                               12

      TEACHING METHODOLOGY                                             19

      PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MEMBERSHIP                        19

      GRADING                                                          20

      WORK ETHICS                                                      20

      DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY                                          21

      TECHNICAL EDUCATION GUARANTEE                                    21

      AHIMA CODE OF ETHICS                                             23

       For a comprehensive description of all Student Policies and Procedures, please
reference the College Catalog and Student Handbook.
School of Health Sciences Administrators, Faculty and Staff:

Vice President and Chief Academic Officer
Pam Kinney          P405              706.649.1935                         pkinney@columbustech.edu

Dean, School of Health Sciences:
Linn Storey           P200                     706.649.1112                lstorey@columbustech.edu

Coordinator, Health Science Division:
Barbara Gaither       P200            706.649.1178                         bgaither@columbustech.edu

Program Manager:
HIT – Medical Assisting - Medical Coding – Medical Reception – Medical Office Manager
TBA                        P156       706.649.0923




Program Overview:
         Healthcare is one of the fastest growing fields in current-day industry, both locally
and nationally. Technology is driving the way that patients receive care and the way that
clinicians delivery that care. Personal health information is increasingly being captured,
maintained and delivered in electronic format instead of on paper. This ensures the
efficiency, accuracy and speed with which information can be available at the point of
patient care. Because of this shift from paper to electronic data capture, the healthcare
industry is in need of well-trained professionals that can assist in delivering this type of data
in a format that is easy to maintain and use. An education in Health Information
Technology will allow you to acquire and master the skills needed to work in a variety of
healthcare delivery settings and many diverse positions.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) states:
      “Health Information Management is the body of knowledge and practice that assures the
      availability of health information to facilitate real-time healthcare delivery and critical health-related
      decision making for multiple purposes across diverse organizations, settings and disciplines.”

AHIMA also says the following about the health information management professional:
        “Health Information Management Professionals hold many diverse roles, yet all
share a common purpose: providing reliable and valid information that drives the healthcare
industry. They are specialists in working with health information systems, managing medical
records, and coding information for reimbursement and research. Health Information
Management Professionals are uniquely qualified to:

    o    Ensure health information is complete and available to legitimate users
    o    Code and classify data for reimbursement
    o    Analyze information necessary for decision support
    o    Protect patient privacy and provide information security
    o    Enhance the quality and uses for data within healthcare


                                                       3
    o   Administer health information computer systems
    o   Comply with standards and regulations regarding health information
    o   Prepare health data for accreditation standards
    o   Analyze clinical data for research and public policy

HIM Professionals also work throughout the entire healthcare industry in settings that span
the continuum of care and are employed in any organization that uses health information,
including:

    o   Hospitals
    o   Managed care organizations
    o   Long-term care facilities
    o   Behavioral health facilities
    o   Consulting and law firms
    o   Information systems vendors
    o   Ambulatory care facilities
    o   Rehabilitation centers and skilled nursing facilities
    o   Insurance companies
    o   Home care providers
    o   Government agencies
    o   Pharmaceutical companies
    o   Physician practices

Graduates of associate degree programs in health information management are known as
health information technicians. Entry-level health information technicians may be employed
in a variety of settings and they may assume a variety of job titles depending upon their
education, work experience and place of employment. Job titles held by associate degree
health information technicians in today’s job market include clinical coder, coding manager,
clinical data collection and reporting specialist, cancer/other disease registrar, data integrity
specialist, documentation specialist, imaging specialist, reimbursement specialist, financial
services liaison, instructor/trainer. Job titles along with job functions will change as
employment settings continue to rely on information systems and technology. Health
Information Technicians have, and will continue to hold, positions that support health
information management in an electronic environment (e-HIM). Presently, opportunities
for practice are found in numerous settings such as acute care general hospitals, home
healthcare agencies, corrections facilities, behavioral healthcare organizations, insurance
companies, ambulatory settings, state and federal healthcare agencies, etc.”




                                                4 
Program Mission:
        The mission of the Associate Degree Health Information Technology (HIT)
Program is to educate a skilled workforce of Health Information Professionals, contributing
to the success of information management and technology in local and regional
communities. Through a high level of quality education and training, graduates of the HIT
Program will be enabled to successfully contribute to areas of healthcare including but not
limited to:
        Hospitals                             Government Agencies
        Long-tem Care Facilities              Skilled Nursing Facilities
        Physician Practices                   Behavioral Health Facilities
        Insurance Companies                   Consulting and Information System Firms

Program Vision:
        The vision of the Health Information Technology Program is to develop a
comprehensive curriculum that will fulfill the Program Mission Statement. The HIT
Program strives to gain approval for accreditation through The Commission on
Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) thereby
qualifying graduates to obtain the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)
credential recognized by the American Health Information Management Association
(AHIMA).

Program Philosophy:
       To implement a quality program that is in compliance with standards set by the
Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) and The Commission on
Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management to develop students as
Health Information Technology professionals in the community.




                                             5
Admission Requirements:
The Health Information Technology Program has not implemented a competitively selective
process at this time. In order for a student to be admitted into the program, the following
items must be met:

1. Present official documentation of an earned high school diploma or official GED
     Scores.
2.   Be at least 18 years of age.
3.   Meet minimum entrance test scores, or complete required provisional coursework.
4.   Successful completion of Level I background check.
5.   Competitive admission process does not apply.

Compass Scores for Program Admission:

PROGRAM                                      Reading       Writing       Math       Algebra
                                                                          Pre-
                                                                        Algebra
                                              R P           R P          R P         R P
Health Information Technology (Degree)        74 49        61 15        39 21       39 -

More specific detail about applying for and being accepted into the Health Information
Technology Program can be obtained by visiting the College Website @
http://www.columbustech.edu/admissions.cfm or by calling 706-649-1800.




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    Course Sequence: 

                                                      Description                    Contact   Credit
Quarter    Course                                                                    Hours     Hours

  1st     ENG 191    Composition and Rhetoric I                                         5         5
Quarter   PSY 191    Introduction to Psychology                                         5         5
          SCT 100    Introduction to Microcomputers                                     5         3
                                                                             Total     15        13


 2nd      AHS 109    Medical Terminology                                                3         3
Quarter   MAT 191    College Algebra                                                    5         5
          HUM 191    Introduction to Humanities                                         5         5
                                                                             Total     13        13

  3rd     BIO 193    Anatomy and Physiology I                                           7         5
Quarter   SPC 191    Fundamentals of Speech                                             5         5
                                                                             Total     12        10


  4th     BIO 194    Anatomy and Physiology II                                          7         5
Quarter   MAS 112    Human Disease                                                      5         5
          MAS 103    Pharmacology                                            Total      5         5
                                                                                       17        15

  5th     HIT 191    Introduction to Health Information Technology                      5         5
Quarter   HIT 192    Legal Aspects in Health Information Management                     3         3
          HIT 193    Health Data Content and Structure                                  5         5
                                                                                       13        13
                     Total

  6th     HIT 196    Computers in Healthcare                                            5        3
Quarter   HIT 210    Performance Improvement                                            4        3
          HIT 194    Healthcare Delivery Systems                                        5        5
                                                                             Total     14        11

  7th     HIT 215    Coding and Classification I                                        6         4
Quarter   HIT 206    Health Information Technology Practicum I                         16         5
          HIT 197    Healthcare Statistics                                              5         5
                                                                                       27        14
                     Total

  8th     HIT 216    Coding and Classification II                                       6         4
Quarter   HIT 207    Health Information Technology Practicum II                        16         5
          HIT 217    Coding and Classification III                                      6         4
                                                                             Total     28        13


  9th     HCMT 203   Healthcare Supervision                                             5         5
Quarter    HIT 208   Health Information Technology Practicum III                       16         5
           HIT 204   Comparative Records for Health Information Management              5         5
                                                                             Total     26        15


    *Note:  HIT 215 and MAS 151 are substitutes 
            HIT 216 and MAS 153 are substitutes 
            HIT 217 and MAS 152 are substitutes


                                                        7
HIT Program- Core Course Description:
ENG 191 - Composition and Rhetoric I (5-0-5)
Explores the analysis of literature and articles about issues in the humanities and in society.
Students practice various modes of writing, ranging from exposition to argumentation and
persuasion. The course includes a review of standard grammatical and stylistic usage in
proofreading and editing. An introduction to library resources lays the foundation for
research. Topics include writing analysis and practice, revision, and research. Prerequisite:
Program-admission-level language competency or ENG 098

PSY 191 - Introductory Psychology (5-0-5)
Emphasizes the basics of psychology. Topics include science of psychology; social
environments; life stages; physiology and behavior; personality; emotions and motives;
conflicts, stress, and anxiety; abnormal behavior; and perception, learning, and intelligence.
Prerequisite: Program admission

SCT 100 - Introduction to Microcomputers (1-4-3)
Introduces the fundamental concepts and operations necessary to use microcomputers.
Emphasis is placed on basic functions and familiarity with computer use. Topics include
computer terminology, introduction to keyboarding, introduction to the Windows
environment, introduction to networking, introduction to word processing, introduction to
spreadsheets, and introduction to databases. Prerequisite: Provisional admission

AHS 109 - Medical Terminology for Allied Health Sciences (3-0-3)
Introduces the elements of medical terminology. Emphasis is placed on building familiarity
with medical words through knowledge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Topics include
origins (roots, prefixes, and suffixes), word building, abbreviations and symbols, terminology
related to the human anatomy, reading medical orders and reports, and terminology specific
to the student's field of study. Prerequisite: Provisional admission

MAT 191 - College Algebra (5-0-5)
Emphasizes techniques of problem solving using algebraic concepts. Topics include
algebraic concepts and operations, linear and quadratic equations and functions,
simultaneous equations, inequalities, exponents and powers, graphing techniques, and
analytic geometry. Prerequisite: Elementary Algebra ASSET score of 42, COMPASS
Algebra score of 39, or MAT 099 with a grade of “C” or better.

HUM 191 - Introduction to Humanities (5-0-5)
Explores the philosophic and artistic heritage of humanity expressed through a historical
perspective on visual arts, music, and literature. The humanities are presented as a source of
subjective insights for the understanding of people and society. Topics include historical and
cultural developments and contributions of the humanities. Prerequisite: ENG 191 with a
grade of “C” or higher.

BIO 193 - Anatomy and Physiology I (4-3-5)
Introduces the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the
development of a systemic perspective of anatomical structures and physiological processes.
Topics include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, the
integumentary system, the skeletal system, muscular system, respiratory system, digestive


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system, and the urinary system. Laboratory experience supports classroom learning.
Prerequisites: Regular admission and COMPASS scores of 70 in reading and 38 in writing
or SAT equivalent scores

BIO 194 - Anatomy and Physiology II (4-3-5)
Continues the study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include the
reproductive system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic systems, nervous and
sensory systems, endocrine system, and immune system. Laboratory experience supports
classroom learning. Prerequisite: BIO 193

SPC 191 - Fundamentals of Speech (5-0-5)
Introduces the fundamentals of oral communication. Topics include selection and
organization of materials, preparation and delivery of individual and group presentations,
and analysis of ideas presented by others. Prerequisite: Program-admission-level language
competency or ENG 098

MAS 103 - Pharmacology (5-0-5)
Introduces drug therapy with emphasis on safety, classification of drugs, their action, side
effects, and/or adverse reactions. Also introduces the basic concept of mathematics used in
the administration of drugs. Topics include introduction to pharmacology, calculation of
dosages, sources and forms of drugs, drug classification, and drug effects on the body
systems. Prerequisites: Program admission, AHS 101, AHS 109, MAT 101

MAS 112 - Human Diseases (5-0-5)
Provides clear, succinct, and basic information about common medical conditions. Taking
each body system, the disease condition is highlighted following a logical formation
consisting of: description, etiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, treatment,
prognosis, and prevention. Topics include introduction to disease and diseases of body
systems. Prerequisites: Program admission, AHS 101, AHS 104, AHS 109

HIT Program Course Descriptions:
HCMT 203 - Healthcare Supervision (5-0-5)
A course dealing with the problems of management of the small working unit (division,
department, section, etc.) within a larger healthcare agency. Included items will be unit
goals, identification of problems, staffing needs, monitoring of work progress, unit
communication and interpersonal relations within the unit. Further study will include
principles of authority/responsibility, delegation and effective communication, organization
charts, job descriptions, policies and procedures, employee motivation, discipline and
performance evaluation in Health Information Management. Prerequisites: HIT 206

HIT 191 - Introduction to Health Information Technology (5-0-5)
This course focuses on orienting the student to the health information profession. Students
will also be introduced to primary and secondary records systems, context and structure of
healthcare data and data sets of patient data elements; structure of healthcare in the United
States and an outline of its providers; structure and function of the American Health
Information Management Association (AHIMA); accrediting, licensing, certifying, and
government participation in healthcare; documentation of medical information throughout


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the patient’s course of treatment in the healthcare facility.     Prerequisites: Provisional
admission and HIT Program Manager approval.

HIT 192 - Legal Aspects of Health Information (3-0-3)
This course focuses on the study of legal principles related to patient care, medical records
and health information. Also addressed are legal terminology and procedures, court systems
and liability of healthcare providers. Importance of the medical record as a legal document
and the effect of confidentiality on the release of information function; record retention and
destruction of records are studied; current legal issues, ethics and laws are discussed.
Prerequisites: Provisional admission and HIT Program Manager approval.

HIT 193 - Health Data Content and Structure (4-1-5)
This course will examine various technologies used for the collection and management of
clinical data. Topics include numbering, filing, patient registration, master patient index,
monitoring chart completion, tracking chart location, and correspondence; organization
requirements, and contents of disease registries; data abstracting and retrieval techniques,
and management of medical transcription services. The methods range from paper to
computer-based systems, including optical disk and voice recognition. Prerequisite: AHS
109 and HIT Program Manager approval.

HIT 197 - Healthcare Statistics (4-1-5)
This course analyzes the study of methods and formulas used in computing and preparing
statistical reports for healthcare services and vital records. It also focuses on the study of
methods and techniques used in presenting statistical data. Topics include: reporting
statistical data; mathematical review; healthcare overview and data collection; census;
percentage of occupancy; mortality rates; autopsy rates; length of stay and discharge days;
miscellaneous rates; data presentation and computerization. Prerequisites: MAT 191, HIT
191, HIT 192, HIT 193

HIT 210 - Performance Improvement (2-2-3)
This course introduces the student to the peer review process and the role health
information plays in evaluating patient care. The course investigates the components of
performance improvement programs in health care facilities, including quality assessment,
utilization management, risk management and critical clinical pathways. State and local
standards are included as well as review of the federal government’s role in healthcare and
orientation to accreditation requirements of various agencies. Prerequisites: HIT 191, HIT
192, HIT 193

HIT 206 - Health Information Technology Practicum I (1-15-5)
This course is a combination of in-class meetings and a supervised internship in an acute-
care setting. This course will prepare the student to perform the basic functions and tasks in
a health information management department. Activities will include application of health
information management procedures learned in the classroom and lab. The HIT
Department Head and the health care facility preceptor will guide the student in
accomplishing the objectives set forth in the Professional Practice Experience Handbook. This
course is designed to help the student gain entry-level competencies as set forth by the
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Prerequisites: HIT
Program Manager approval.


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HIT 207 - Health Information Technology Practicum II (1-15-5)
This course is a combination of in-class meetings and supervised internship, designed to give
students additional supervised activities in alternative care settings, to include internship in
physician’s office, nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, and local county health
departments. The HIT Department Head and the health care facility preceptor will guide
the student in accomplishing the objectives set forth in the Professional Practice Experience
Handbook. This course is designed to help the student gain entry-level competencies as set
forth by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Prerequisite: HIT 206, HIT Program Manager approval.

HIT 208 - Health Information Technology Practicum III (1-15-5)
This is a continuation of HIT 206 Practicum I and HIT 207 Practicum II. This course is
designed to allow students to apply all functions related to the HIM profession. Students are
acquainted with occupational responsibilities through realistic work situations and are
provided with insights into management and supervisory applications on the job. The
students will be given advanced health information management experience to include
additional HIM-related functions such as patient intake, business office, revenue cycle
management, legal and risk management and compliance. Occupational-based instruction is
implemented through the use of an internship and all of the following: written
individualized training plans, written performance evaluation, and required in-class seminars.
The HIT Department Head and the health care facility preceptor will guide the student in
accomplishing the objectives set forth in the Professional Practice Experience Handbook. This
course is designed to help the student gain entry-level competencies as set forth by the
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Prerequisite: HIT 207,
HIT Program Manager approval.

HIT 204 – Comparative Records for Health Information Management (5-0-5)
This course introduces students to health information management in a wide variety of
settings. Students will examine regulatory issues; documentation; reimbursement; quality
improvement and utilization management; and risk management and legal issues in each of
these settings. Topics include: hospital-based ambulatory care, freestanding ambulatory
care, managed care, dialysis, correctional facilities, dental care settings, veterinary settings,
substance abuse, facilities for mentally challenged, mental health, long-term care, subacute
care, home health care, hospice, rehabilitation, and consulting. Prerequisite: HIT 206

HIT 196 - Computers in Health Care (2-3-3)
Topics include hardware and software components of computers for medical record
applications; database software and information management; specialized information
management systems in healthcare; methods of controlling confidentiality and patient rights;
accuracy and security of health information data in computer systems as well as future
directions of information technology in healthcare. Prerequisites: SCT100, HIT 191, HIT
192, HIT 193

HIT 194 – Healthcare Delivery Systems (5-0-5)
This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the basic structures
and operations of the United States healthcare industry. The course focuses on the
conceptual basis for the system; its historical origins; the structures of ambulatory care,
inpatient care and other important services structures and the impact these structures have


                                               11
on the cost and quality of healthcare. Students will analyze the organizational structure of
healthcare facilities including professional and medical staff, administration and the
governing board. Consideration for healthcare regulatory agencies will be examined
throughout this course. Prerequisites: HIT 191, HIT 192, HIT 193

HIT 215 - Coding and Classification I (2-4-4)
This course provides an introduction to and application of professional guidelines and
standards in assignment of codes to diagnoses and procedures using the International
Classification of Diseases – 9th Revision – Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM). Coding rules
will be applied to case studies. DRG’s will be assigned using a grouper. Prerequisites:
Certificate or Diploma Track: AHS 101 within 2-years, AHS 109; Degree Track: BIO 194
*Note- MAS 151 may substitute for HIT 215.

HIT 216 - Coding and Classification II (2-4-4)
This course provides an introduction to and application of codes using CPT/HCPC system.
Areas of study include the CPT-4 Manual, assigning Evaluation and Management codes,
anesthesia and surgery, radiology and pathology and medicine. Codes will be applied to
workbook exercises, case studies, and actual outpatient charts. Prerequisite: HIT 215 Co-
requisite: HIT 217 *Note- MAS 153 may substitute for HIT 216.

HIT 217 - Coding and Classification III (2-4-4)
This course builds off of introductory ICD-9-CM coding rules, guidelines and standards
learned in HIT 215. Students explore more in-depth coding guidelines as they relate to
individual body systems. Prerequisite: HIT 215 Co-requisite: HIT 216*Note- MAS 152
may substitute for HIT 217.


HIT Program Objectives:
defined by AHIMA Entry-Level Competencies
       Columbus Technical College will prepare students in the Health Information
Technology Program to meet and/or exceed the following competencies as defined by the
American Health Information Management Association. There are two levels of core
competencies that the curriculum must achieve in preparing students. The first is defined as
Entry-Level Competencies and the second level are Knowledge Cluster Content and
Competencies.

Upon receiving the class syllabus for each Program class, these competencies and knowledge
clusters will be outlined for your. This will demonstrate what areas will be covered and what
areas you will be responsible for demonstrating proficiency in.

Domains, Subdomains, and Tasks
For 2006 and beyond

I. Domain: Health Data Management
A. Subdomain: Health Data Structure, Content and Standards
1. Collect and maintain health data (such as data elements, data sets, and databases).


                                              12
2. Conduct analysis to ensure documentation in the health record supports the diagnosis
and reflects the patient’s progress, clinical findings, and discharge status.
3. Apply policies and procedures to ensure the accuracy of health data.
4. Contribute to the definitions for and apply clinical vocabularies and terminologies used
in the organization’s health information systems.
5. Verify timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of data and data sources
for patient care, management, billing reports, registries, and/or databases.

B. Subdomain: Healthcare Information Requirements and Standards
1. Monitor and apply organization-wide health record documentation guidelines.
2. Apply policies and procedures to ensure organizational compliance with regulations
and standards.
3. Report compliance findings according to organizational policy.
4. Maintain the accuracy and completeness of the patient record as defined by
organizational policy and external regulations and standards.
5. Assist in preparing the organization for accreditation, licensing, and/or certification
surveys.

C. Subdomain: Clinical Classification Systems
1. Use and maintain electronic applications and work processes to support clinical
classification and coding.
2. Apply diagnosis/procedure codes using ICD-9-CM.
3. Apply procedure codes using CPT/HCPCS.
4. Ensure accuracy of diagnostic/procedural groupings such as DRG, APC, and so on.
5. Adhere to current regulations and established guidelines in code assignment.
6. Validate coding accuracy using clinical information found in the health record.
7. Use and maintain applications and processes to support other clinical classification and
nomenclature systems (such as ICD-10-CM, SNOMED, and so on).
8. Resolve discrepancies between coded data and supporting documentation.
D. Subdomain: Reimbursement Methodologies
1. Apply policies and procedures for the use of clinical data required in reimbursement
and prospective payment systems (PPS) in healthcare delivery.
2. Support accurate billing through coding, chargemaster, claims management, and bill
reconciliation processes.
3. Use established guidelines to comply with reimbursement and reporting requirements
such as the National Correct Coding Initiative.
4. Compile patient data and perform data quality reviews to validate code assignment and
compliance with reporting requirements such as outpatient prospective payment systems.

II. Domain: Health Statistics, Biomedical Research, and Quality
Management
A. Subdomain: Healthcare Statistics and Research
1. Abstract and maintain data for clinical indices/databases/registries.
2. Collect, organize, and present data for quality management, utilization management,
risk management, and other related studies.
3. Compute and interpret healthcare statistics.
4. Apply Institutional Review Board (IRB) processes and policies.


                                               13
5. Use specialized databases to meet specific organization needs such as medical research
and disease registries.

B. Subdomain: Quality Management and Performance Improvement
1. Abstract and report data for facility-wide quality management and performance
improvement programs.
2. Analyze clinical data to identify trends that demonstrate quality, safety, and
effectiveness of healthcare.

III. Domain: Health Services Organization and Delivery
A. Subdomain: Healthcare Delivery Systems
1. Apply information system policies and procedures required by national health
information initiatives on the healthcare delivery system.
2. Apply current laws, accreditation, licensure, and certification standards related to
health information initiatives from the national, state, local, and facility levels.
3. Apply policies and procedures to comply with the changing regulations among various
payment systems for healthcare services such as Medicare, Medicaid, managed care, and
so forth.
3. Differentiate the roles of various providers and disciplines throughout the continuum of
healthcare and respond to their information needs.

B. Subdomain: Healthcare Privacy, Confidentiality, Legal, and Ethical Issues
1. Participate in the implementation of legal and regulatory requirements related to the
health information infrastructure.
2. Apply policies and procedures for access and disclosure of personal health information.
3. Release patient-specific data to authorized users.
4. Maintain user access logs/systems to track access to and disclosure of identifiable
patient data.
5. Conduct privacy and confidentiality training programs.
6. Investigate and recommend solutions to privacy issues/problems.
7. Apply and promote ethical standards of practice.

IV. Domain: Information Technology and Systems
A. Subdomain: Information and Communication Technologies
1. Use technology, including hardware and software, to ensure data collection, storage,
analysis, and reporting of information.
2. Use common software applications such as spreadsheets, databases, word processing,
graphics, presentation, e-mail, and so on in the execution of work processes.
3. Use specialized software in the completion of HIM processes such as record tracking,
release of information, coding, grouping, registries, billing, quality improvement,
and imaging.
4. Apply policies and procedures to the use of networks, including intranet and Internet
applications to facilitate the electronic health record (EHR), personal health record
(PHR), public health, and other administrative applications.

B. Subdomain: Data, Information, and File Structures


                                             14
1. Apply knowledge of data base architecture and design (such as data dictionary, data
modeling, data warehousing) to meet departmental needs.

C. Subdomain: Data Storage and Retrieval
1. Use appropriate electronic or imaging technology for data/record storage.
2. Query and generate reports to facilitate information retrieval.
3. Design and generate reports using appropriate software.
4. Maintain archival and retrieval systems for patient information stored in multiple formats.
5. Coordinate, use, and maintain systems for document imaging and storage.

D. Subdomain: Data security
1. Apply confidentiality and security measures to protect electronic health information.
2. Protect data integrity and validity using software or hardware technology.
3. Apply departmental and organizational data and information system security policies.
4. Use and summarize data compiled from audit trail and data quality monitoring programs.
5. Contribute to the design and implementation of risk management, contingency
planning, and data recovery procedures.

E. Subdomain: Healthcare Information Systems
1. Participate in the planning, design, selection, implementation, integration, testing,
evaluation, and support for organization-wide information systems.
2. Use the principles of ergonomics and human factors in work process design.

V. Domain: Organizational Resources
A. Subdomain: Human Resources
1. Apply the fundamentals of team leadership.
2. Organize and contribute to work teams and committees.
3. Conduct new staff orientation and training programs.
4. Conduct continuing education programs.
5. Monitor staffing levels and productivity standards for health information functions,
and provide feedback to management and staff regarding performance.
6. Communicate benchmark staff performance data.
7. Prioritize job functions and activities.
8. Use quality improvement tools and techniques to monitor, report and improve
processes.
B. Subdomain: Financial and Physical Resources
1. Make recommendations for items to include in budgets and contracts.
2. Monitor and order supplies needed for work processes.
3. Monitor coding and revenue cycle processes.
4. Recommend cost-saving and efficient means of achieving work processes and goals.
5. Contribute to work plans, policies, procedures, and resource requisitions in relation to
job functions.


HIT Program Objectives:
defined by AHIMA Knowledge Cluster Content and Competency Levels

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For2006 and Beyond

Competency Levels
1 = Awareness Introductory recall and recognition
2 = Literacy Knowledge of framework and content
3 = Concept Comprehension, translation, extrapolation and interpretation of meaning
4 = Detailed Understanding Appropriate application of knowledge in a structured or
controlled context
5 = Skilled Use Application using analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in new situations

Health Data Structure, Content and Standards
• Data versus information (4)
• Structure and use of health information (individual, comparative, aggregate) (4)
• Health information media (such as paper, computer, web-based) (4)
• Health record data collection tools (forms, screens, etc.) (4)
• Data sources (primary/secondary) (4)
• Data definitions, vocabularies, terminologies, and dictionaries (4)
• Data storage and retrieval (4)
• Data quality and integrity (4)
• Healthcare data sets (such as OASIS, HEDIS, DEEDS, UHDDS) (4)
• Data monitoring and compliance reporting (5)
• National Healthcare Information Infrastructure (NHII) (4)

Healthcare Information Requirements and Standards
• Type and Content of health record (paper, electronic computer-based, e-health-personal,
web based) (5)
• Health record documentation requirements (such as accreditation, certification, licensure)
(5)
• Health record monitoring and compliance reporting (5)

Clinical Classification Systems
• Classifications, taxonomies, nomenclatures, terminologies, and clinical vocabularies (4)
• Principles and applications of coding systems (such as ICD, CPT, DSM) (5)
• Diagnostic and procedural groupings (such as DRG, APC, RUGs, SNOMED) (5)
• Casemix analysis and indexes (4)
• Severity of illness systems (4)
• Coding compliance strategies, auditing, and reporting (such as CCI, plans (5)
• Coding quality monitors and reporting (5)

Biomedical Sciences
• Anatomy (4)
• Physiology (4)
• Medical terminology (4)
• Pathophysiology (4)
• Pharmacotherapy (4)

Reimbursement
• Commercial, managed care and federal insurance plans (4)


                                              16
• Payment methodologies and systems (such as capitation, prospective payment systems,
RBRVS (4)
• Billing processes and procedures (such as claims, EOB, ABN, electronic data interchange)
(4)
• Chargemaster maintenance (5)
• Regulatory guidelines (such as LMRP, peer review organizations) (3)
• Reimbursement monitoring and reporting (5)
• Compliance strategies and reporting (3)

Healthcare Statistics and Research
• Indices, databases, and registries (4)
• Vital statistics (5)
• Healthcare statistics (5)
• Descriptive statistics (such as means, frequencies, ranges, percentiles, standard deviations)
(5)
• Statistical applications with health care data (5)
• Institutional Review Board processes (4)
• National guidelines regarding human subjects research (4)
• Research protocol monitoring (4)
• IRB processes (4)
• Data selection, interpretation, and presentation (5)
• Knowledge-based research techniques (such as library, MEDLINE, web-based) (5)

Quality Management and Performance Improvement
• Quality assessment and improvement (such as process, collection tools, data analysis,
reporting techniques) (4)
• Utilization management, risk management, and case management (3)
• Regulatory quality monitoring requirements (4)
• Outcomes measures and monitoring (4)
Healthcare Delivery Systems
• Organization of healthcare delivery in the United States (4)
• Healthcare organizations structure and operation (4)
• External standards, regulations, and initiatives (such as licensure, certification,
accreditation, HIPAA) (4)
• Payment and reimbursements systems (4)
• Healthcare providers and disciplines (4)

Healthcare Privacy, Confidentiality, Legal, and Ethical Issues
• Legislative and regulatory processes (3)
• Legal terminology (5)
• Health information/record laws and regulations (such as retention, patient
rights/advocacy, advanced
• directives, privacy) (5)
• Confidentiality, privacy, and security policies, procedures, and monitoring (5)
• Release of information policies and procedures (5)
• Professional and practice-related ethical issues (5)
Information and Communication Technologies



                                               17
• Computer concepts (such as hardware components, operating systems, languages, software
packages) (3)
• Communication and internet technologies (such as networks, intranet, standards) (3)
• Common software applications (such as word processing, spreadsheet, database, graphics)
(5)
• Health information systems (such as administrative, patient registration, ADT, EHR, PHR,
lab, radiology,
pharmacy) (4)
• Voice recognition technology (3)
• Health information specialty systems (such as ROI, coding, registries) (5)
• Application of systems and policies to health information systems and functions and data
requests (5)

Data Storage and Retrieval
• Document archival, retrieval, and imaging systems (5)
• Maintenance and monitoring of data storage systems (5)

Data Security and Healthcare Information Systems
• Systems architecture and design (3)
• System acquisition and evaluation (3)
• Screen design (4)
• Data retrieval and maintenance (4)
• Data security concepts (3)
• Data integrity concepts (4)
• Data integrity and security processes and monitoring (5)
• Data recovery and risk management (4)
• Work process design (such as ergonomics, equipment selection) (3)

Organizational Resources
• Roles and functions of teams and committees (5)
• Teams/consensus building and committees (4)
• Communication and interpersonal skills (5)
• Team Leadership concepts and techniques (4)
• Orientation and training (such as content, delivery, media) (5)
• Workflow and process monitors) (4)
• Performance monitors (4)
• Revenue cycle monitors (4)
• Organizational plans and budgets (framework, levels, responsibilities, etc.) (4)
• Resource allocation monitors (4)




Teaching Methodology:


                                               18
Students at all learning levels have a multitude of styles that best suite their needs to
understand and retain information. Because of the varying degree of styles that learners
possess, the HIT Program will use several different methods of teaching within the
curriculum.

Didactic Instruction: Many of the classes within the curriculum, both core and post-core,
will use a certain amount of didactic instruction in a classroom setting. Didactic
methodology will be utilized when new theory is introduced to students. In order for this
method of teaching to be most effective, it will be mandatory within all HIT Program classes
to come to class prepared by completing any reading assignments beforehand.

Laboratory / Hands-on Instruction: The HIT Program will contain classes that combine
didactic instruction with laboratory exercises to enhance student’s learning experiences.
Health Information Management-specific software will be deployed in a lab setting, creating
a mock-office environment to simulate real-world applications. The lab setting will include
most, if not all, of the following applications: chart management; chart tracking; chart
deficiency; release of information; coding encoder and grouper; abstracting (database);
master patient index; registries.

Web-Enhanced: Some classes are web-enhanced. This means that there is a percentage of
the class that will be accessed via Blackboard (instructions on Blackboard will be
disseminated and reviewed at the course level). Blackboard will allow a web-based
interaction between student – teacher and also student – student. Because of the increasing
use of computers, Internet, email, and other forms of electronic communications in the
workplace, students will benefit from learning in this environment. As the HIT Program
expands, more and more classes will become web-enhanced or delivered in a totally
electronic environment (on-line classes).

Professional Practice Experience: During three practicum encounters, students will perform
learned skills and utilize acquired knowledge at various local healthcare facilities in a
multitude of settings. This clinical exercise will allow for students to gain real-world
experience in a live work setting. Students will be challenged at all levels of the curriculum in
these settings. More information can be found in the Professional Practice Experience Handbook.

Professional Organizations and Membership:
All students are strongly encouraged to become a student member of the American Health
Information Management Association (AHIMA). AHIMA is the premier association of
health information management (HIM) professionals. AHIMA's 50,000 members are
dedicated to the effective management of personal health information needed to deliver
quality healthcare to the public. Founded in 1928 to improve the quality of medical records,
AHIMA is committed to advancing the HIM profession in an increasingly electronic and
global environment through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong
learning.




                                               19
Student Membership can be purchased at an annual cost of $35.00. Students may join at the
ahima.org website. A list of benefits can be found at:
http://www.ahima.org/membership/member_benefits.asp

Grading Structure:

                90 – 100         A        Excellent                4 Points
                80 - 89          B        Good                     3 Points
                70 - 79          C        Average                  2 Points
                60 - 69          D        Below Average            1 Point
                0 - 59           F        Failure                  0 Points

                S                Satisfactory
                U                Unsatisfactory
                W                Withdrawn
                WF               Withdrawn Failing (Is same as F when calculating GPA)
                WP               Withdrawn Passing
                I                Incomplete
                AU               Audit
                E                Exemption by Examination
                TR               Transfer Credit


Work Ethics:
Columbus Technical College agrees with industry that an important area of student
development should be "Work Ethics". A work ethics grade of 0 (Unacceptable), 1 (Needs
Improvement), 2 (Acceptable), or 3 (Exceeds Expectations) will be reported in accordance
with Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education Standards. An important area
of student development is work ethics or good work habits such as: Attendance, Character,
Teamwork, Appearance, Attitude, Productivity, Organizational Skills, Communication,
Cooperation, and Respect

In order to aid in development of work ethics, the student is given a work ethics grade in
each course along with his/her course grade. A work ethics grade is a noncredit grade that does not
affect academic GPA but is recorded on the student’s permanent record.

Work Ethics Evaluation
If a student receives a work ethics grade of less than 2 for any course during any five (5)
week period, the instructor will schedule a counseling session with the student to identify
areas that need improvement and discuss steps for that improvement.

The purpose of the Disciplinary program is to provide a system of dealing with unacceptable
behavior in a fair and consistent manner.

Most students will spend their entire period of training at Columbus Technical College
without experiencing any disciplinary actions. True discipline is designed to "teach" as well
as to "correct".


                                                 20
DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY:
It is the policy of Columbus Technical College that NO alcohol or illegal drugs are permitted
on the school campus. Any student who attends class apparently under the influence of
drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave, and MUST attend a counseling session with the
Program Department Head and other school officials deemed necessary by the Program
Department Head before returning to class. A second occurrence will result in disciplinary
action up to and including dismissal from the program.


TECHNICAL EDUCATION GAURANTEE:
         The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education guarantees employers
that graduates of State Technical Colleges shall possess and be able to demonstrate those
competencies defined within the approved state curriculum standards. Should any student
within two years of graduation be identified by their employer as performing below a
satisfactory level as specified in the standards, the Department in cooperation with local
technical colleges agrees to provide retraining to the former student at no charge to the
employer or employee.
Implementation of a claim shall follow the procedures as outlines below:
         A.    Employer contacts local technical college identifying employee with a need
               for retraining.
         B.    Technical college representative visits employer and employee to analyze
               claim request.
         C.    College representative completes guarantee claim report after consulting with
               appropriate personnel
         D.    College representative informs employer of action to be taken.
         E.    Employee is informed by letter of services to be provided by Technical
               College.
         F.    If college processing claim is not the college from which student graduated,
               they are notified of guarantee claim and services to be provided.
         G.    Local technical college forwards a copy of the warranty claim report to the
               State Department of Technical and Adult Education.

For a comprehensive description of all Student Policies and Procedures, please
reference the College Catalog and Student Handbook.




                                             21
American Health Information Management Association
Code of Ethics
Preamble

The ethical obligations of the health information management (HIM) professional include
the protection of patient privacy and confidential information; disclosure of information;
development, use, and maintenance of health information systems and health records; and
the quality of information. Both handwritten and computerized medical records contain
many sacred stories—stories that must be protected on behalf of the individual and the
aggregate community of persons served in the healthcare system. Healthcare consumers are
increasingly concerned about the loss of privacy and the inability to control the
dissemination of their protected information. Core health information issues include what
information should be collected; how the information should be handled, who should have
access to the information, and under what conditions the information should be disclosed.

Ethical obligations are central to the professional's responsibility, regardless of the
employment site or the method of collection, storage, and security of health information.
Sensitive information (genetic, adoption, drug, alcohol, sexual, and behavioral information)
requires special attention to prevent misuse. Entrepreneurial roles require expertise in the
protection of the information in the world of business and interactions with consumers.

Professional Values

The mission of the HIM profession is based on core professional values developed since the
inception of the Association in 1928. These values and the inherent ethical responsibilities
for AHIMA members and credentialed HIM professionals include providing service,
protecting medical, social, and financial information, promoting confidentiality; and
preserving and securing health information. Values to the healthcare team include promoting
the quality and advancement of healthcare, demonstrating HIM expertise and skills, and
promoting interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration. Professional values in
relationship to the employer include protecting committee deliberations and complying with
laws, regulations, and policies. Professional values related to the public include advocating
change, refusing to participate or conceal unethical practices, and reporting violations of
practice standards to the proper authorities. Professional values to individual and
professional associations include obligations to be honest, bringing honor to self, peers and
profession, committing to continuing education and lifelong learning, performing
Association duties honorably, strengthening professional membership, representing the
profession to the public, and promoting and participating in research.

These professional values will require a complex process of balancing the many conflicts that
can result from competing interests and obligations of those who seek access to health
information and require an understanding of ethical decision-making.




                                             22
Purpose of the American Health Information Management Association Code of
Ethics

The HIM professional has an obligation to demonstrate actions that reflect values, ethical
principles, and ethical guidelines. The American Health Information Management
Association (AHIMA) Code of Ethics sets forth these values and principles to guide
conduct. The code is relevant to all AHIMA members and credentialed HIM professionals
and students, regardless of their professional functions, the settings in which they work, or
the populations they serve.

The AHIMA Code of Ethics serves six purposes:

Identifies core values on which the HIM mission is based.

Summarizes broad ethical principles that reflect the profession's core values and establishes a
set of ethical principles to be used to guide decision-making and actions.

Helps HIM professionals identify relevant considerations when professional obligations
conflict or ethical uncertainties arise.

Provides ethical principles by which the general public can hold the HIM professional
accountable.

Socializes practitioners new to the field to HIM's mission, values, and ethical principles.

Articulates a set of guidelines that the HIM professional can use to assess whether they have
engaged in unethical conduct.

The code includes principles and guidelines that are both enforceable and aspirational. The
extent to which each principle is enforceable is a matter of professional judgment to be
exercised by those responsible for reviewing alleged violations of ethical principles.

The Use of the Code

Violation of principles in this code does not automatically imply legal liability or violation of
the law. Such determination can only be made in the context of legal and judicial
proceedings. Alleged violations of the code would be subject to a peer review process. Such
processes are generally separate from legal or administrative procedures and insulated from
legal review or proceedings to allow the profession to counsel and discipline its own
members although in some situations, violations of the code would constitute unlawful
conduct subject to legal process.

Guidelines for ethical and unethical behavior are provided in this code. The terms "shall and
shall not" are used as a basis for setting high standards for behavior. This does not imply
that everyone "shall or shall not" do everything that is listed. For example, not everyone
participates in the recruitment or mentoring of students. A HIM professional is not being
unethical if this is not part of his or her professional activities; however, if students are part


                                                23
of one's professional responsibilities, there is an ethical obligation to follow the guidelines
stated in the code. This concept is true for the entire code. If someone does the stated
activities, ethical behavior is the standard. The guidelines are not a comprehensive list. For
example, the statement "protect all confidential information to include personal, health,
financial, genetic and outcome information" can also be interpreted as "shall not fail to
protect all confidential information to include personal, health, financial, genetic, and
outcome information."

A code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behavior. Moreover, a code of ethics cannot
resolve all ethical issues or disputes or capture the richness and complexity involved in
striving to make responsible choices within a moral community. Rather, a code of ethics sets
forth values and ethical principles, and offers ethical guidelines to which professionals aspire
and by which their actions can be judged. Ethical behaviors result from a personal
commitment to engage in ethical practice.

Professional responsibilities often require an individual to move beyond personal values. For
example, an individual might demonstrate behaviors that are based on the values of honesty,
providing service to others, or demonstrating loyalty. In addition to these, professional
values might require promoting confidentiality, facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration,
and refusing to participate or conceal unethical practices. Professional values could require a
more comprehensive set of values than what an individual needs to be an ethical agent in
their personal lives.

The AHIMA Code of Ethics is to be used by AHIMA and individuals, agencies,
organizations, and bodies (such as licensing and regulatory boards, insurance providers,
courts of law, agency boards of directors, government agencies, and other professional
groups) that choose to adopt it or use it as a frame of reference. The AHIMA Code of
Ethics reflects the commitment of all to uphold the profession's values and to act ethically.
Individuals of good character who discern moral questions and, in good faith, seek to make
reliable ethical judgments, must apply ethical principles.

The code does not provide a set of rules that prescribe how to act in all situations. Specific
applications of the code must take into account the context in which it is being considered
and the possibility of conflicts among the code's values, principles, and guidelines. Ethical
responsibilities flow from all human relationships, from the personal and familial to the
social and professional. Further, the AHIMA Code of Ethics does not specify which values,
principles, and guidelines are the most important and ought to outweigh others in instances
when they conflict.




                                               24
                                     Code of Ethics 2004

 Ethical Principles: The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the
 American Health Information Management Association and apply to all health information
 management professionals.

 Health information management professionals:

   I.   Advocate, uphold and defend the individual's right to privacy and the
        doctrine of confidentiality in the use and disclosure of information.
  II.   Put service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest and
        conduct themselves in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to
        themselves, their peers, and to the health information management
        profession.
 III.   Preserve, protect, and secure personal health information in any form or
        medium and hold in the highest regard the contents of the records and other
        information of a confidential nature, taking into account the applicable
        statutes and regulations.
 IV.    Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical practices or procedures.
  V.    Advance health information management knowledge and practice through
        continuing education, research, publications, and presentations.
 VI.    Recruit and mentor students, peers and colleagues to develop and strengthen
        professional workforce.
 VII.   Represent the profession accurately to the public.
VIII.   Perform honorably health information management association
        responsibilities, either appointed or elected, and preserve the confidentiality
        of any privileged information made known in any official capacity.
 IX.    State truthfully and accurately their credentials, professional education, and
        experiences.
  X.    Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting health
        information practice.
 XI.    Respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.

                            How to Interpret the Code of Ethics

 The following ethical principles are based on the core values of the American Health
 Information Management Association and apply to all health information management
 professionals. Guidelines included for each ethical principle are a non-inclusive list of
 behaviors and situations that can help to clarify the principle. They are not to be meant as a
 comprehensive list of all situations that can occur.

   I.   Advocate, uphold, and defend the individual's right to privacy and the
        doctrine of confidentiality in the use and disclosure of information.

        Health information management professionals shall:




                                               25
      1.1. Protect all confidential information to include personal, health, financial, genetic,
      and outcome information.

      1.2. Engage in social and political action that supports the protection of privacy and
      confidentiality, and be aware of the impact of the political arena on the health
      information system. Advocate for changes in policy and legislation to ensure
      protection of privacy and confidentiality, coding compliance, and other issues that
      surface as advocacy issues as well as facilitating informed participation by the public
      on these issues.

      1.3. Protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of
      professional service. Disclose only information that is directly relevant or necessary
      to achieve the purpose of disclosure. Release information only with valid consent
      from a patient or a person legally authorized to consent on behalf of a patient or as
      authorized by federal or state regulations. The need-to-know criterion is essential
      when releasing health information for initial disclosure and all redisclosure activities.

      1.4. Promote the obligation to respect privacy by respecting confidential information
      shared among colleagues, while responding to requests from the legal profession, the
      media, or other non-healthcare related individuals, during presentations or teaching
      and in situations that could cause harm to persons.

II.   Put service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest and
      conduct themselves in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to
      themselves, their peers, and to the health information management
      profession.

      Health information management professionals shall:

      2.1. Act with integrity, behave in a trustworthy manner, elevate service to others
      above self-interest, and promote high standards of practice in every setting.

      2.2. Be aware of the profession's mission, values, and ethical principles, and practice
      in a manner consistent with them by acting honestly and responsibly.

      2.3. Anticipate, clarify, and avoid any conflict of interest, to all parties concerned,
      when dealing with consumers, consulting with competitors, or in providing services
      requiring potentially conflicting roles (for example, finding out information about
      one facility that would help a competitor). The conflicting roles or responsibilities
      must be clarified and appropriate action must be taken to minimize any conflict of
      interest.

      2.4. Ensure that the working environment is consistent and encourages compliance
      with the AHIMA Code of Ethics, taking reasonable steps to eliminate any conditions
      in their organizations that violate, interfere with, or discourage compliance with the
      code.



                                             26
       2.5. Take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they
       actually perform or to which they contribute. Honestly acknowledge the work of and
       the contributions made by others verbally or written, such as in publication.

       Health information management professionals shall not:

       2.6. Permit their private conduct to interfere with their ability to fulfill their
       professional responsibilities.

       2.7. Take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to
       further their personal, religious, political, or business interests.

III.   Preserve, protect, and secure personal health information in any form or
       medium and hold in the highest regards the contents of the records and other
       information of a confidential nature obtained in the official capacity, taking
       into account the applicable statutes and regulations.

       Health information management professionals shall:

       3.1. Protect the confidentiality of patients' written and electronic records and other
       sensitive information. Take reasonable steps to ensure that patients' records are
       stored in a secure location and that patients' records are not available to others who
       are not authorized to have access.

       3.2. Take precautions to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of information
       transmitted, transferred, or disposed of in the event of a termination, incapacitation,
       or death of a healthcare provider to other parties through the use of any media.
       Disclosure of identifying information should be avoided whenever possible.

       3.3. Inform recipients of the limitations and risks associated with providing services
       via electronic media (such as computer, telephone, fax, radio, and television).

IV.    Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical practices or procedures.

       Health information management professionals shall:

       4.1. Act in a professional and ethical manner at all times.

       4.2. Take adequate measures to discourage, prevent, expose, and correct the
       unethical conduct of colleagues.

       4.3. Be knowledgeable about established policies and procedures for handling
       concerns about colleagues' unethical behavior. These include policies and procedures
       created by AHIMA, licensing and regulatory bodies, employers, supervisors,
       agencies, and other professional organizations.




                                               27
     4.4. Seek resolution if there is a belief that a colleague has acted unethically or if there
     is a belief of incompetence or impairment by discussing their concerns with the
     colleague when feasible and when such discussion is likely to be productive. Take
     action through appropriate formal channels, such as contacting an accreditation or
     regulatory body and/ or the AHIMA Professional Ethics Committee.

     4.5. Consult with a colleague when feasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial
     action when there is direct knowledge of a health information management
     colleague's incompetence or impairment.

     Health information management professionals shall not:

     4.6. Participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud and abuse, or
     deception. A non-inclusive list of examples includes:

        ·    Allowing patterns of retrospective documentation to avoid suspension or
             increase reimbursement
        ·    Assigning codes without physician documentation
        ·    Coding when documentation does not justify the procedures that have been
             billed
        ·    Coding an inappropriate level of service
        ·    Miscoding to avoid conflict with others
        ·    Engaging in negligent coding practices
        ·    Hiding or ignoring review outcomes, such as performance data
        ·    Failing to report licensure status for a physician through the appropriate
             channels
        ·    Recording inaccurate data for accreditation purposes
        ·    Hiding incomplete medical records
        ·    Allowing inappropriate access to genetic, adoption, or behavioral health
             information
        ·    Misusing sensitive information about a competitor
        ·    Violating the privacy of individuals



V.   Advance health information management knowledge and practice through
     continuing education, research, publications, and presentations.
     Health information management professionals shall:

     5.1. Develop and enhance continually their professional expertise, knowledge, and
     skills (including appropriate education, research, training, consultation, and
     supervision). Contribute to the knowledge base of health information management
     and share with colleagues their knowledge related to practice, research, and ethics.

     5.2. Base practice decisions on recognized knowledge, including empirically based
     knowledge relevant to health information management and health information
     management ethics.


                                             28
      5.3. Contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote respect for
      the value, integrity, and competence of the health information management
      profession. These activities may include teaching, research, consultation, service,
      legislative testimony, presentations in the community, and participation in their
      professional organizations.

      5.4. Engage in evaluation or research that ensures the anonymity or confidentiality of
      participants and of the data obtained from them by following guidelines developed
      for the participants in consultation with appropriate institutional review boards.
      Report evaluation and research findings accurately and take steps to correct any
      errors later found in published data using standard publication methods.

      5.5. Take reasonable steps to provide or arrange for continuing education and staff
      development, addressing current knowledge and emerging developments related to
      health information management practice and ethics.

      Health information management professionals shall not:

      5.6. Design or conduct evaluation or research that is in conflict with applicable
      federal or state laws.

      5.7. Participate in, condone, or be associated with fraud or abuse.

VI.   Recruit and mentor students, peers and colleagues to develop and strengthen
      professional workforce.

      Health information management professionals shall:

      6.1. Evaluate students' performance in a manner that is fair and respectful when
      functioning as educators or clinical internship supervisors.

      6.2. Be responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries
      for students.

      6.3. Be a mentor for students, peers and new health information management
      professionals to develop and strengthen skills.

      6.4. Provide directed practice opportunities for students.

      Health information management professionals shall not:

      6.5. Engage in any relationship with students in which there is a risk of exploitation
      or potential harm to the student.




                                             29
VII.    Accurately represent the profession to the public.

        Health information management professionals shall:

        7.1 Be an advocate for the profession in all settings and participate in activities that
        promote and explain the mission, values, and principles of the profession to the
        public.

VIII.   Perform honorably health information management association
        responsibilities, either appointed or elected, and preserve the confidentiality
        of any privileged information made known in any official capacity.

        Health information management professionals shall:

        8.1. Perform responsibly all duties as assigned by the professional association.

        8.2. Resign from an Association position if unable to perform the assigned
        responsibilities with competence.

        8.3. Speak on behalf of professional health information management organizations,
        accurately representing the official and authorized positions of the organizations.

 IX.    State truthfully and accurately their credentials, professional education, and
        experiences.

        Health information management professionals shall:

        9.1. Make clear distinctions between statements made and actions engaged in as a
        private individual and as a representative of the health information management
        profession, a professional health information organization, or the health information
        management professional's employer.

        9.2. Claim and ensure that their representations to patients, agencies, and the public
        of professional qualifications, credentials, education, competence, affiliations,
        services provided, training, certification, consultation received, supervised
        experience, other relevant professional experience are accurate.

        9.3. Claim only those relevant professional credentials actually possessed and correct
        any inaccuracies occurring regarding credentials.

  X.    Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting health
        information practice.

        Health information management professionals shall:

        10.1. Participate in and contribute to decisions that affect the well-being of patients
        by drawing on the perspectives, values, and experiences of those involved in


                                               30
      decisions related to patients. Professional and ethical obligations of the
      interdisciplinary team as a whole and of its individual members should be clearly
      established.

XI.   Respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.

      Health information management professionals shall:

      11.1. Treat each person in a respectful fashion, being mindful of individual
      differences and cultural and ethnic diversity.

      11.2. Promote the value of self-determination for each individual.




                                            31
         Health Information Technology Student Handbook
                      Acknowledgment Form

This form is to be signed and submitted to the HIT Program Department Head within the first two-weeks of
taking HIT 201.



By signing this form, I am stating that I have read and understand the material presented in
the HIT Associate Degree Program Student Handbook. Any questions have been presented
and answered to my satisfaction. I understand that I must abide by the policies set forth by
the HIT Program Student Handbook and, in conjunction, to the policies of Columbus
Technical College as a whole.

I understand that a copy of this signature page will be kept on file and will be proof that I
understand and agree to the information and policies contained in the HIT Program Student
Handbook.

Furthermore, as an HIM student, I have read, understand and will follow the ethical
principles outlined in the American Health Information Management (AHIMA) Code of
Ethics presented in the HIT Program Student Handbook. My signature below also denotes
that I understand and agree to abide by these ethical principles.




Name (Print): ______________________________________________________



Signature:       ______________________________________________________



Student ID#: ______________________________________________________



Date:            ______________________________________________________



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