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Learning Center Experience
By Karalea Fisher, MSIT, RHITSchool of Health Sciences
“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” Leo Tolstoy
When embarking on a new path in
life, it is easy to be apprehensive and excited at the same time. But moving
ahead on that new path and putting one foot in front of the other is what
everyone does at one period in their life. But to start on that path with the
attitude of openness is the compass that will give you satisfaction and
contentment that you are striving for.
If you are looking for a list of
the top five things you need to have to be successful in this field or the top
ten qualities that make a successful health information manager, then you will
be disappointed. There is truly only one element that a person needs to be
successful: be open to change.
Throughout my 20 years of working
in the ever-changing field of health information management, I have found that the
most powerful element of oneself is that of accepting change. Change is the
catalyst that runs the engine of health information management. Whether it is
through the implementation and management of a new electronic health record (EHR)
system or information gathering and data analysis for quality control
purposes, change is part of the equation.
When I worked in a health care
facility in Alaska, change was “on the menu” for our large department. We were
working on a hybrid record system and were in the process of upgrading our
current electronic portion of the record; with this update from the vendor,
that meant there would be changes to how certain processes would look and the
tasks that it would take to complete them. As one would expect, there were
grumblings, complaints, loud echoes of sighing during the training sessions,
and even some arguments between the employees and trainers. Now, one would
think that those who work in a constantly evolving field like health information
management would be more apt to adjust and be open to change. Not so. The
loudest voices against the changes were some of the members of the health information
Unfortunately, the consequences of the personal
decisions to fight change included a slower implementation process, disruption
in team cohesiveness, and an overall cloud of gloom that seemed to settle over
certain areas of the department for months after the upgrade finally went into
effect. Change is a fact of life and those who resist it will feel the
consequences of dissatisfaction in their jobs, lost camaraderie at work with
their teammates, and a high probability of being replaced with someone who is
eager to learn and grow with the facility. This is the reality of what can and
does happen in our field if you refuse to embrace change. So look on change as
your friend, not your enemy!
What do you need to do to obtain this gem so that you can be a
successful health information management professional? The answer is easier
than you think: start small and dream big!
Where in your personal life have
you been fighting the gift of change? What is your attitude toward this change?
If you can be open with yourself on a personal level and identify your
shortcomings in embracing change personally, you are well on your way to seeing
change as a hill to climb and not a mountain that you have to scale. Once you
find yourself choosing an attitude of openness and receptiveness toward that
small area of change, you will automatically be given a bigger area of your
life for change. (Sorry, folks—that is just how life works, right?) Eventually
your positive and open attitude will automatically transfer to your work
mentality and to your outlook on your future career of health information management.
As you continue to build your confidence and rack up success, you will be more
than ready to handle any element of change that our field can offer you.
That is the essence of
success. An open, tested mind and attitude that sees change as a part of real
life; that transfers itself into our daily work environment to help us blossom—not
only as a success member of a health information management team—but also as a
well-rounded, wonderful human being.
*Excerpted from Great-Quotes, Leo Tolstoy (unknown), retrieved from [http://www.great-quotes.com/quote/600997]
Karalea Fisher is a professor of health sciences at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
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And if you are considering pursuing a health sciences degree, we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University's School of Health Sciences and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
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