AHIMA helps prepare health information professionals for information blocking final rule

March 24, 2021

As healthcare stakeholders in the United States prepare for the information blocking final rule to take effect on April 5, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) announced it has created evidence-based resources to help health information professionals and other healthcare professionals comply with the rule.

The final rule, developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), is part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The rule empowers patients with access to their own health data, allowing them to share it with the third-party apps and websites of their choice. The rule also brings changes for healthcare systems and providers, who are now required to share patient health data with third parties if directed to do so by the patient. Many of these systems and providers are in the process of making substantial procedural changes to comply with the final rule.

“AHIMA is ready to lead the journey to compliance by equipping health information professionals with the necessary tools to adapt to new realities,” said AHIMA President Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA.

AHIMA’s information blocking resources are free and include case studies, interviews, news, and a podcast series on the clinical, administrative, financial, and legal aspects of the final rule. One popular resource is “Five Strategies for Your Organization’s Information Blocking Plan.” Its authors note the importance of:

·        Reading the new rules

·         Establishing a governance structure

·         Assessing systems for compliance and operational efficiencies

·         Evaluating compliance and system infrastructure

·         Updating policies and procedures

Other recent resources include “How the Information Blocking Rule Will Bring True Innovation to Healthcare” and an episode of the AHIMA HI Pitch podcast titled “Information Blocking: One Hospital's Road to Compliance.” In the podcast episode, Roberta Baranda, the director of health information management for Valley Children’s Healthcare in California, discusses her organization’s efforts to comply with the final rule.

AHIMA has the release.