1. What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Brenda Jewett, CCS, Coding Supervisor at Lexington Regional Health Center.
2. What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
The amount of knowledge you continue to learn.
3. What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
I like putting the pieces of the puzzle together and the codes are the final pieces.
4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Transitioning to ICD-10.
5. If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
That HIM professionals would be considered an essential player at the table for hospital/clinic oversight.
6. Has anyone influenced your decision to become an HIM professional or to change roles within the HIM profession? If so, who and what did they say or do to influence you?
I started as a medical transcriptionist and an opening for Utilization Review Coordinator came open–it included Inpatient and Emergency Room coding. Charlene Tilson encouraged me to apply and mentored me through the process of learning all of these new processes. She assured me I would never get bored in the health information field as things seem to be constantly changing and we have to adapt to the changes. I have since transitioned into exclusively coding and learning all aspects of critical access hospital coding, and now clinic coding, along with rural health clinic coding.
7. What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
We keep your health information accurate and safe.
8. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
Privacy will be harder to control as technology allows providers and non-clinicians to access patient records from other facilities.
9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
If you are detail oriented and like the paperwork end of health care it can be a very rewarding career.
10. Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
I started my healthcare career as a LPN, and the medical knowledge I have because of that has helped me tremendously in understanding coding.