Emerging into E-Health
Reflections on e-health and my career aspirations
-Kathleen M. Nickerson, RHIA, MT(ASCP)
I enthusiastically believe in electronic health records, e-health
and electronic health information management for the benefit of
each individual patient and the community of people who have
been affected with a condition or disease that negatively affects
their lives. I’m excited to get involved in the process of moving
health care toward more e-health initiatives, to engage physicians
and patients in these initiatives and to turn medical data into
clinically useful information. One of the critical missions of health
information management (HIM) professionals is to promote the
adaption of electronic health information in order to enhance the
quality of care.
There are many challenges to the implementation of e-health
initiatives, electronic health records and health information
organizations. With these challenges, exciting new opportunities
My Personal Strengths
• Unique combination of medical and information technology experience.
Twenty years in medical laboratories and 12 years in digital asset
management allows me to bring new perspectives from both disciplines.
• Sincere and intense interest in learning with the comfort, ability and desire
to advance technically. Learning new software, new processes, and new
management techniques is not only exciting, but critical in moving forward.
I’ve embraced the challenges of being a non-traditional student; my
academic and career records prove my ability to adapt and succeed.
• Being a member of the technologically sandwiched generation. Individuals
older than I am may have adverse feelings toward new technology; younger
folks are much more comfortable in the digital environment. I can identify
with the reluctance of established, seasoned professionals to change and I
enjoy working with Generation X and Millennials.
• Detail oriented and data driven. My experiences as a Medical Technologist,
Image Bank Archivist and Digital Asset Specialist have sharpened my strong
appreciation for detail, data and organization.
• Healthcare Consumer Advocate - Medical information, insurance
issues, and billing issues can be intimidating and confusing. As the
population ages and the available information grows, the need for
guidance in these areas will increase.
• Client Support Specialist – Maximizing the technology tools
available to patients and/or physicians is important to the
advancement of e-health.
• Clinical Research Coordinator – Acquiring data and transforming it
into useful information for the benefit of current and future patients
is an honorable and worthy goal.
• Health Data/Information Resource Manager – Data and information
needs to be made accessible to the individuals that need it. Finding
the information is a critical step before knowledge, change and
action can occur.
• Find the right first position. Research organizations, academic
institutions, companies, and the positions they have available.
Clinical Research Coordinator, Data Analyst and Medical Record
Abstractor are some of the job titles that interest me; but would
certainly consider more traditional HIM roles, such as document
scanning and retrieval, release of information and medical
• Get connected. Attend Georgia AHIMA and HIMSS activities and
make connections at the national AHIMA meeting in Atlanta this
fall. Stay in touch with students from the GRU Health
Information Administration program and with contacts at DeKalb
Medical Center. Continue to go to the Emory Health Informatics
seminars. Improve my LinkedIn profile; regularly update my
• Continue to learn. Take advantage of the AHIMA courses and
webinars. Consider working toward a specialty certification in
cancer or trauma registry or health data analysis.
Employ my health information management
knowledge with my clinical and information
technology skills in a new position focused in health
data collection, abstraction and analysis, in
implementation of e-health initiatives or in record
identification and management.
Thanks for viewing and I hope you will contact me in the
near future to discuss how I can bring my expertise and
experience to your institution.