Ruth Gappa

1. What is your first and last name, current title/role, and credentials?
Ruth Gappa, RHIA, CCS, in career transition at the moment from Senior Application Analyst position in IT

2. What has surprised you about being the HIM profession?
Close knit network; translation of skills to other roles.

3. What do you like best about being an HIM professional?
The role of data integrity in healthcare; having the right tools and resources to analyze a problem.

4. What have you found to be the most challenging experiences you have had as an HIM professional so far?
Increase in reliance on data and what that translates to for policy/procedures.

5. If you could change one thing about the HIM profession, what would it be?
Greater awareness of value among other healthcare/IT professionals.

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?
One of my former directors noticed my abilities, and encouraged me to apply for a DRG Education Coordinator role. They offered their support in the transition to that role. It is invaluable when a leader is willing to mentor.

7. What is an element of being an HIM professional you wish more people understood?
The mix of skill sets and resourcefulness that is brought to the table.

8. What do you think will change about the HIM profession over the next five to ten years? Why?
I think that there is going to be a greater shift in opportunities from the hospital to the ambulatory/clinic setting because of health systems’ increasing focus on health and preventing hospital visits where possible.

9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming an HIM professional?
If you are fascinated with the healthcare industry, give HIM a chance. The opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals regarding the data that is being generated is a rewarding experience.