International Federation of Health Information Management


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@670 words, 4 pages including cover sheet and sources. Written June, 2011

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International Federation of Health Information Management

  1. 1. InternationalFederation June 8ofHealthInformation 2011Management
  2. 2. Mary Strube IFHIMA June 8, 2011 The International Federation of Health Information Management (IFHIMA) is a non-governmental international organization established in 1968 whose mission is to bring togethernational organizations for the purpose of improving the use of health records worldwide.IFHIMA supports all nations in the implementation and improvement of health record systemsby serving as a forum for the exchange of information. It is a non-profit affiliate of the WorldHealth Organization and a partner of the International Medical Informatics Association.According to the organization’s website, “the purposes of IFHIMA are to: promote the development and use of health records/information management in all countries advance the development and use of international health records/information management standards provide for the exchange of information on health records/information management education requirements and training programs provide opportunities for education and communication between persons working in the field of health records/information management in all countries promote the use of technology and the electronic health record” (IFHIMA, 2007) IFHIMA’s leadership is by Executive Committee, which is comprised of eight electedofficials: the President, the President-elect, and six Regional Directors, one to represent Europe,the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Africarespectively. There are four levels of membership available in IFHIMA: the NationalMembership, for associations that represent the health information management (HIM) field; theAssociate Membership, for individuals who work in the HIM field; the Corporate Membership,for companies that provide healthcare services; and the Honorary Membership, which is given bythe Executive Committee to individuals who have “earned exceptional merit in furthering thegoals and interests of IFHIMA.” Activities include publication of an organizational newsletter,educational programs, international committees, task groups and projects and one meeting every 2
  3. 3. Mary Strube IFHIMA June 8, 2011three years of IFHIMA’s International Health Records Congress, the most recent having takenplace in November, 2010 in Milan, Italy. (IFHIMA, 2007) Three key strategic initiatives of IFHIMA concern the needs of developing countries, theimplementation of a globally similar electronic health records (EHR), and global standardizationof HIM education. (IFHIMA, 2007) Needs of developing countries address the issues of healthinformation systems in these areas which are often weak, incomplete, and that contain data thatis not easy to access and is of poor quality, as well as the paradox that the countries with theworst health problems are most often those with the weakest health information systems.(Bennett, Wangila, & Hatta) Consistent record keeping that applies all of the same conventionsand rules of coding in records across all countries allowing for comparable, more accurate, andbetter quality data are the hallmarks of international implementation of the EHR. (Skurka, 2010)One important educational goal of IFHIMA is to build a map of HIM education across the globeand have national directors provide updates to member nations concerning types of courses,credentials and education available in each country so that a global system of education can becreated. (IFHIMA, 2007) The impact of such initiatives on healthcare in the US and in all nations of the world willbe far reaching. A global system of recordkeeping will benefit those who travel not only fromstate to state, but also international travelers by providing continuity of care and improvedpatient services. Better recordkeeping in disadvantaged countries will help to improve thecollection of data and aid in accurate records concerning incidence, morbidity and mortalitywhich will have significant impact on research in the US as well as lead to better control ofdiseases, and increased containment in the event of epidemic. Global initiatives such as these arevery important for the HIM industry not only in the US, but also across the world. 3
  4. 4. Mary Strube IFHIMA June 8, 2011Works CitedBennett, V., Wangila, R., & Hatta, G. (n.d.). Discussion paper on Needs of Developing Countries. Retrieved June 2011, from g%20Countriesinitiative.pdfIFHIMA. (2007). IFHRO. Retrieved June 2011, from International Federation of Health Information Management:, M. (2010, November). Skurka Margaret PDF. Retrieved June 2011, from Margaret.pdf 4