By Katherine Lusk
As I start this column, I am reminded of Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
To me, this illustrates the gamut of emotions as we prepare for the future—sorrow in letting go of the past with joy for the future. The world has shifted to the convenience and efficiency of telehealth, personal health records, and APIs that monitor our well-being while recognizing the depth of needs with public health. The value of trusted, readily available data for research and public health has intensified with a realization that data normalization across platforms is required in this societal shift. Healthcare has changed, and we as professionals have been realigning and changing as well to meet market needs.
I am inspired daily by social media notifications where AHIMA-credentialed members are announcing promotions and new jobs. While many of the roles are in what we previously would have called “traditional” within a healthcare system, there are just as many nontraditional roles. The breadth and depth of our penetration into the market gives me faith in the journey toward a consumer and wellness focused healthcare ecosystem where information safely travels with the individual.
As health information professionals, we have no boundaries and continue to support trusted data regardless of the service line, location of delivery, or whether it’s research or public health facing. I am buoyed by the knowledge that we are intentionally seeking out ways to contribute in a meaningful way. We are taking on roles that span from healthcare delivery, to startups, public health, technology analysts, informatics, privacy, interoperability, and regulatory. Our skills allow us to have a broad reach, and we are embracing the “season of light.”
We have met the challenges of the current environment by embracing our culture of lifetime learning while holding fast to serving as a trusted intermediary for health information. This year continues to be the year of strengthening our community, of having the fortitude and courage to lead in uncertain times toward trusted data that supports a flourishing healthcare ecosystem.
As your president, I’m asking that you show the strength of the AHIMA community by sharing via social media the policy statement that speaks to you. We won’t all pick the same policy statement, but that is all right; we’ll illustrate the richness of our subject matter expertise. I’m looking forward to seeing what you share with the community and rejoicing in your gift of sharing in this spring of hope.
Katherine Lusk ([email protected]) is the senior director for strategic relationships for the Texas Health Services Authority.
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