17 December 2008

CE Quizzes

Did you know... you can access and purchase AHIMA Continuing Education Quizzes to count directly toward your CEs for the year? It's simple and a good way to complete your CE requirement at the last minute!

Just click... AHIMA Members have the convenient option of taking continuing education (CE) quizzes online. This highly popular, members-only service offers a number of time-saving advantages.

  • Allows you to register and pay for multiple quizzes at once
  • Delivers immediate results
  • Provides an efficient learning tool with a results report including the correct answer for each question
  • Instantly creates a CE certificate upon successful quiz completion
  • Quizzes are $15 each, payable by credit card

All quizzes have 10 multiple choice questions, cost $15 per quiz, and are based on either an article from the Journal of AHIMA, an AHIMA published book, or from a listed community of practice resource. You can readily access all quiz articles before taking the quiz. To view your current list of available quizzes and to read the articles, log in using the 'myAHIMA' log in box on the ahima.org homepage and proceed to the CE Quiz area.

There is a great selection of articles to choose from. If your CEs are due this month, you still have time to complete these!

08 December 2008

Your Medical Term of the Week


A dense layer of fatty tissue growth, usually in the abdominal cavity. It is often the result of morbid obesity and can be mistaken for a hernia or tumor. In layman's terms, a panniculus is referred to as the "apron". Panniculus in Latin means "a little piece of cloth". Abdominal panniculi are graded by size from 1 to 5. A panniculus can also result from tissue loosened by pregnancy or massive weight loss.

02 December 2008

Your Obscure Medical Term of the Week


You may know it as edentulous; that is, toothless.

25 November 2008

Your Medical Term of the Week


An inability or difficulty in pronouncing the letter "r".

Elmer Fudd's description of Bugs Bunny as a "wascally wabbit" is an example of rhotacism.

21 November 2008

Studying for the CCA

Did you know there is an AHIMA COP (Communities of Practice) for individuals who are Studying for the CCA (Certified Coding Associate) examination?

Logon to AHIMA: www.ahima.org, sign in, and go to MyAHIMA. Click on Communities of Practice (COP), then click on Join/Visit Communities, then choose 'S' in the alphabetical index at the top of the screen. In the window, you will see the 'Studying for the CCA' link - click on this link and you will be directed to this COP. Don't forget to click on 'Join Now' in the upper left corner if you wish to join this Community.

What a great way to network with other HIM professionals while studying for this exam!

19 November 2008

Your Medical Term of the Week


The vertical groove in the middle of the upper lip.

18 November 2008

AHA endorses Identity Force to thwart identity theft

The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced in a November 4 press release that it has endorsed Identity Force™, a company specializing in proactive identity theft protection for individuals, businesses, and government agencies, for its development of an identity theft solution product. The product is designed to help hospitals protect patients and employees from identity theft and fraud, respond quickly to breaches, and comply with regulatory requirements.


17 November 2008

Ahima has certainly been busy!

They've posted their comments to the CMS on the adoption of ICD-10 - It is interesting reading.


Also, they have been hard at work with AMIA developing competencies for anyone who will be working eith electronic records.




14 November 2008

Types of Transcribed Reports

Medical transcriptionists type a variety of reports. One report type is the Discharge Summary.

The discharge summary is the concise summarization of the patient's hospital stay and outcomes. Some headings included on the discharge summary:

Admission date/Discharge date
Admitting diagnosis/Discharge diagnoses
Specialist physicians consulted during hospitalization
Procedures/surgeries performed
Complications incurred during hospitalization
History of patient upon admission
Hospital course
Discharge plan (including medications, therapies, consultation follow-ups, etc.)

The discharge summary will be placed on the patient's hospital chart, and may also be forwarded to the patient's primary care physician and/or consulting physicians whom they saw during the hospitalization or are advised to followup with afterward.

12 November 2008


Visit AHIMA at www.ahima.org and click on Schools/Jobs and visit their Student Website. This is a great resource for HIT Students!

11 November 2008

Your Medically Related Word of the Week


A weak or sickly person, especially one morbidly concerned with his/her health.
Can also be used as an adjective.

04 November 2008

Your Medical Term of the Week with bonus synonym


The splitting of hairs at their ends, giving them a feather-like appearance.
Also known as schizotrichia, although there is a subtle difference between the two terms.

AHIMA urges HHS to delay ICD-10 implementation under 2012

In a letter to Michael Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, dated October 20, Dan Rode, MBA, FHFMA, vice president of policy and government relations for AHIMA, urged CMS to delay ICD-10 implementation to no later than October 1, 2012.

Although Rode, on behalf of AHIMA, applauded CMS in issuing the proposed rule, he also stated that it’s important to recognize the cost of such a conversion on some "financially burdened segments of the industry." Rode also urged CMS to provide information about how ICD-10 will affect the existing DRG and other Medicare prospective payment systems.

On behalf of AHIMA, Rode suggests that HHS do the following:

  • Deliver a final rule as soon as possible so providers have a uniform compliance date with which to work
  • Provide a three-year implementation period beginning with the effective date and that the compliance date should be the immediate October 1 date after that three-year period
  • Freeze all ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, and ICD-10-PCS code sets for one year prior to the compliance date

Rode also states that providers should not perform intensive coder training more than six months prior to implementation so coding professionals retain what they have learned. He also advocates for assistance from the federal government and health plans, such as a low-cost or interest-free loan, that will help offset adoption costs.

03 November 2008

AHIMA Job Bank

AHIMA has an excellent resource for new grads - a Job Bank! Go to www.ahima.org and login. Then, click on Schools/Jobs tab and Career Assist/Job Bank. Click on the Job Search then select by job function and state to narrow down the listings. New jobs are posted daily and employers are searching for you! Be sure to post your resume and search the latest job listings available.

29 October 2008

Types of transcribed reports

Medical transcriptionists type a variety of reports. One report type is the Pathology Operative Report.

This particular report type differs from a typical operative report, or "op note," in that during this procedure, a specimen is removed during the operation and sent for pathological examination. "The operative pathology report of the surgical specimen contains a description of the gross and microscopic examination of the surgical specimen."* The specimen might be a tumor or cancerous growth or any other portion of a diseased organ or tissue.

The pathology operative report details "which structures and organs of the body are involved by the tumor. It verifies the primary site of the cancer and describes the extent to which it has spread. Tumor size will usually be stated in the gross description of the surgical specimen. It is usually specified in centimeters."*

The pathology operative report will feature many of the same characteristics of a typical operative report, including the patient's name, date of the procedure, and preoperative and postoperative diagnosis. As noted above, it may also feature diagnoses relating to the pathological findings of the specimen. Finally, the body of the report will detail the surgical procedure performed and findings therein.

Medical Term of the Week


Since this is Halloween week, a macabre term seems appropriate.
Taphophilia is an abnormal attraction to graves. From the Greek taphos (grave) and
philos (love).

28 October 2008

Red Flags Rule

This is from:

Hospitals encouraged to prepare for Red Flags rule October 24, 2008
Hospitals should make a good faith effort to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flags rule as soon as possible, because the deadline for complying with the rule remains Nov. 1, despite the agency’s recent decision (See this at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/redflags.shtm) to delay enforcement for six months. Hospitals are likely to meet the rule’s broad definition of “creditor,” requiring them to develop a written identity theft prevention program. Working with outside counsel Hogan & Hartson, AHA has developed a sample policy (link follows below) that hospitals can use as a first step in developing their written identity theft programs. “While it may be appropriate to start with the sample policy, the regulation requires that the program be appropriate for the organization’s size and complexity and the nature and scope of its activities,” said Lawrence Hughes, AHA assistant general counsel. “Each organization must adapt the sample document to address the specific risks they face and to ensure an appropriate and reasonable organizational response to those risks.” The sample policy is not intended to substitute for responsible legal advice. Hospitals should examine the sample document as part of a comprehensive risk assessment.

Link to Red Flags Rule:
Link to sample policy http://www.aha.org/aha/content/2008/document/08redflagsoverview.doc

22 October 2008

Career Counseling at AHIMA

Did you know AHIMA offers Career Counseling?

Go to www.ahima.org and login, then go to Schools/Jobs and click on Career Counseling. There you will find access to HIM job resources including Career Assist - an area constructed to help connect AHIMA members with new employment opportunities. You can Post an Anonymous Resume and View Jobs available throughout the U.S.!

20 October 2008

Medical Term of the Week

Muscae volitantes

From Latin, literally "flitting flies".
The Latin term for a "floater".
A floater is a translucent speck that floats across the visual field, due to small bits of protein or cells floating in the vitreous.

17 October 2008

Types of transcribed reports

Medical transcriptionists type a variety of reports. One report type is the SOAP note. SOAP is an acronym for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. Typically a note such as this might be dictated by a doctor in a clinic setting. The doctor would enumerate the patient's complaints or reasons for being seen, then outline what his examination of the patient revealed. That is the Subjective and Objective portion. The Assessment would indicate what his conclusions were, and the Plan portion would detail what steps are needed to rectify the problem, whether further testing is needed, changes in diet or lifestyle, a consultation by a specialist, a diagnostic or surgical procedure, medication, etc. These types of reports can range from one or two sentences under each heading to multiple pages in length.

16 October 2008

Medical Term of the Week

Hopefully these posts are not having a soporific effect on the reader.

15 October 2008

AHIMA Communities of Practice

Did you know you there is a COP for Recent Graduates? Go to www.ahima.org and login, then go to the Communities of Practice (COP) and click Join/Visit Communities. Click on 'R' and scroll down to Recent Graduates to join this COP! This community is for recent graduates of any HIM program to be able to discuss their experiences taking the credentialing exam, finding a job, experiences with their new job, etc.

13 October 2008

Medical Transcription equipment

The equipment required to perform Medical Transcription includes a computer, earphones, and a foot pedal (pictured.) The foot pedal connects to the computer and to the software the transcriptionist uses to listen to their dictations. Typically, one presses on the middle of a foot pedal to play the recorded dictation, lifting the foot to stop the playback. The left button on the foot pedal typically rewinds the dictation and conversely the right button will fast forward.

08 October 2008

Your Weekly Medical Term


diaphoros - difference

In medicine, neither harmful nor helpful.

05 October 2008

Credentials for Medical Transcriptionists

Just as graduates from the HIT program can become credentialed through AHIMA, namely RHIT or RHIA, the same applies for Medical Transcriptionists.

Our professional organization, AHDI, offers 2 levels of credentialing: RMT and CMT. These stand for Registered Medical Transcriptionist and Certified Medical Transcriptionist.

AHDI offers a voluntary exam process to qualify for these credentials. The RMT exam is offered to new graduates, or those with less than 1 year experience transcribing. The CMT exam is offered to those with 2 years acute care transcription experience.

Upon graduation from the Medical Transcription Certification Program at HCC, individuals possess the education needed to obtain employment as a medical transcriptionist. However, going on to become credentialed through the AHDI is voluntary, though recommended, as many employers are showing trends of preference towards credentialed transcriptionists.

30 September 2008

Medical Term of the Week



26 September 2008

Production-based pay for Medical Transcriptionists

When looking for a job as a Medical Transcriptionist, you might see some employers offering compensation as $0.06 or $0.12, etc. This does not translate into being paid six or twelve cents an hour. This is what is called production-based pay.

Production-based pay for Medical Transcriptionists is compensation on a per line basis. Therefore, if an employer offered you $0.12 per line, for every line you type in a report, you would receive $0.12. For example, if a history and physical exam report has around 25 lines, that would be $3.00 that you would be compensated for that report. If you can transcribe 5 H&Ps per hour, that would correspond to $15 an hour, which is about the median average wage for MTs, according to the Department of Labor.

This is just one example of production-based pay for Medical Transcriptionists. Many employers offer incentives to pay a higher rate with a higher line count, or a higher rate for working certain hours or days, or typing STAT reports, etc.

24 September 2008

Medical Term of the Week


From the Greek diastema meaning an interval or space.

A space between two adjacent teeth. Think Madonna or David Letterman.

19 September 2008

A special feature of a transcribed report

Medical Transcription is the practice of transcribing or typing medical reports dictated by doctors or other health professionals. A special feature of a transcribed report, something you should see at the bottom of any report that has been typed by a medical transcriptionist, is as follows:

D: 9/18/08
T: 9/19/08

This feature can be found at the bottom of the report, following the physician's signature. The initials "AH" would indicate the initials of the dictating doctor. The initials "cr" designate which transcriptionist typed this particular report. The date following "D:" reveals on what day the report was dictated, and the date following "T:" indicates on which day the report was transcribed.

Therefore, in this instance, Dr. Anthony Hall dictated this report on 9/18/08 and transcriptionist Cassie Rangel transcribed this report on 9/19/08.

So, next time you are reviewing a typed report in a health record, be sure to look for this key feature, identifying the initials of the health professionals involved in generating this report, and bringing you a little closer to the world of medical transcription.

17 September 2008

Medical Term of the Week

brom/o-foul smell
A condition of foul smelling sweat of the feet.

12 September 2008

Medical Transcription employment prospects

The US Department of Labor notes that Medical Transcription is expected to have significant professional growth in the next 10 years. In 2006, it was noted that there were 98,000 transcriptionists employed nationwide, with an estimated projection of 112,000 to be employed by 2016. That is an anticipated growth of 14-20%!

Job prospects are expected to be exceptionally good for those who are certified. HCC offers the only entirely-online Medical Transcription certification program in the state of Kansas.

09 September 2008

Weekly Salient, Obscure or Downright Goofy Medical Term

till/o=to pull
ex/o=outside of
mania=obsession, "condition of madness"

Definition: compulsive nose picking

05 September 2008

Medical Transcription Professional Organization

All HIT students know about our professional organization, AHIMA. But did you know that Medical Transcription also has a professional organization? It is called the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI - formerly AAMT.)

For more information on the national organization of Medical Transcription, please visit their website: www.ahdionline.org

For more information on the Kansas Chapter of the AHDI, please visit: www.kahdi.com

If you would be interested in attending a KAHDI meeting, contact Cassie Rangel for more information. The next meeting is scheduled for September 27 in Derby, KS.

01 August 2008


Hi everyone. This is my first post in my blog. I'm hoping this will be a way to communicate with HIT students at HCC about what is going on. Let's all just take one day a week to post something interesting for students.