Brenda Machmueller

1. What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Brenda Machmueller, RHIT, CPC, Director of Health Information Management, Privacy Officer

2. What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
I have been surprised by the difference in how hospitals and professional practice clinics view the HIM profession. In the hospital arena HIM is sought after for advice and guidance. In the clinic area that is not the case, HIM is most often an afterthought.

3. What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
Because HIM is such a diverse profession, we are able to be a part of many different areas within an organization.

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
For me personally, it is sometimes challenging when working in a smaller facility. This is because of the many hats I must wear throughout the day. While I welcome the variety, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming with all of the changes healthcare is constantly seeing.

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
I would like to see men become more active in our profession.

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?
Two people come to mind that have encouraged me to become an HIM professional and to continue to better myself. Mary Thomas who first sparked my interest in HIM, and then Ellen Jacobs who encouraged me to continue my education beyond a coding certificate.

7. What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
The diversity HIM professionals bring to the table. We are well versed in not only content of the medical record but also in Privacy and Security, and everything in between, as well.

8. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
The role HIM professionals will play in technology will be greatly expanded as well as putting information governance processes in place.

9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
If you like change and to be challenged, HIM is the profession for you. It offers a wide variety of jobs that will be great for those who want to work on a more individual basis like coding, to being involved in day to day decision making such as a Director of HIM can enjoy.