AHIMA Entry Level Competencies

For Registered Health Information Administrators

Health Information Management

Baccalaureate Degree


Tom Jackson Building

  Domain I.  Data Content, Structure & Standards (Information Governance)

 Sub-domain I.A Classification Systems

  1. Evaluate, implement and manage electronic applications/systems for clinical classification and coding
  2. Identify the functions and relationships between healthcare classification systems.
  3. Map terminologies, vocabularies and classification systems
  4. Evaluate the accuracy of diagnostic/procedural coding

Sub-domain I.B. Health Record Content and Documentation

  1. Verify that documentation in the health record supports the diagnosis and reflects the patient’s progress, clinical findings, and discharge status.
  2. Compile organization-wide health record documentation guidelines
  3. Interpret health information standards

Sub-domain I.C. Data Governance

  1. Format data to satisfy integration needs
  2. Construct and maintain the standardization of data dictionaries to meet the needs of the enterprise
  3. Demonstrate compliance with internal and external data dictionary requirements
  4. Advocate information operability and information exchange

 Sub-domain I.D. Data Management

  1. Analyze information needs of customers across the healthcare continuum
  2. Evaluate health information systems and data storage design
  3. Manage clinical indices/ databases/registries
  4. Apply knowledge of database architecture and design to meet organizational needs
  5. Evaluate data from varying sources to create meaningful presentations

Sub-domain I.E Secondary Data Sources

  1. Validate data from secondary sources to include in the patient’s record, including  personal health records

Domain II. Information Protection: Access, Disclosure, Archival, Privacy & Security

Sub-domain II. A. Health Law

  1. Identify laws and regulations applicable to health care
  2. Analyze legal concepts and principles to the practice of HIM

Sub-domain II. B. Data Privacy Confidentiality and Security

  1. Analyze privacy, security and confidentiality policies and procedures for internal and external use and exchange of health information
  2. Recommend elements included in design of audit trails, data quality monitoring programs
  3. Collaborate in the design and implementation of risk assessment, contingency planning, and data recovery procedures
  4. Analyze the security and privacy implications of mobile health technologies
  5. Develop educational programs for employees in privacy, security, and confidentiality

 Sub-domain II.C. Release of Information

  1. Create policies and procedures to manage access and disclosure of personal health information
  1. Protect electronic health information through confidentiality and security measures, policies and procedure

  Domain III. Informatics, Analytics and Data Use

Sub-domain III.A. Health Information Technologies

  1. Utilize technology for data collection, storage, analysis, and reporting of information
  2. Assess systems capabilities to meet regulatory requirements
  3. Recommend device selection based on workflow, ergonomic and human factors
  4. Take part in the development of networks, including intranet and Internet applications
  5. Evaluate system architecture, database design, data warehousing
  6. Create the electronic structure of health data to meet a variety of end user needs

Sub-domain III.B.  Information Management Strategic Planning

  1. Take part in the development of information management plans that support the organization’s current and future strategy and goals
  2. Take part in the planning, design, selection, implementation, integration, testing, evaluation, and support of health information technologies

 Sub-domain III.C. Analytics and Decision Support

  1. Apply analytical results to facilitate decision-making
  2. Apply data extraction methodologies
  3. Recommend organizational action based on knowledge obtained from data exploration and mining
  4. Analyze clinical data to identify trends that demonstrate quality, safety, and effectiveness of healthcare
  5. Apply knowledge of database querying, and data exploration and mining techniques to facilitate information retrieval
  6. Evaluate administrative reports using appropriate software

 Sub-domain III.D. Health Care Statistics

  1. Interpret inferential statistics
  2. Analyze statistical data for decision making

Sub-domain III.E. Research Methods

  1. Apply principles of research and clinical literature evaluation to improve outcomes
  2. Plan adherence to Institutional Review Board (IRB) processes and policies

Sub-domain III.F. Consumer Informatics

  1. Educate consumers on patient-centered health information technologies

Sub-domain III.G. Health Information Exchange

  1. Collaborate in the development of operational policies and procedures for health information exchange
  2. Conduct system testing to ensure data integrity and quality of health information exchange
  3. Differentiate between various models for health information exchange

 Sub-domain III.H. Information Integrity and Data Quality

  1. Discover threats to data integrity and validity
  2. Implement policies and procedures to ensure data integrity internal and external to the enterprise
  3. Apply quality management tools
  4. Perform quality assessment including quality management, data quality, and identification of best practices for health information systems
  5. Model policy initiatives that influence data integrity

  Domain IV. Revenue Management

Sub-domain IV.A. Revenue Cycle and Reimbursement

  1. Manage the use of clinical data required by various payment and reimbursement systems
  2. Take part in selection and development of applications and processes for charge-master and claims management
  3. Apply principles of healthcare finance for revenue management
  4. Implement processes for revenue cycle management and reporting

Domain V. Compliance

Sub-domain V.A. Regulatory

  1. Appraise current laws and standards related to health information initiatives. 
  2. Determine processes for compliance with current laws and standards related to health information initiatives and revenue cycle

Sub-domain V.B. Coding

  1. Construct and maintain processes, policies, and procedures to ensure the accuracy of coded data based on established guidelines
  2. Manage coding audits 
  3. Identify severity of illness and its impact on healthcare payment systems

Sub-domain V.C. Fraud Surveillance

  1. Determine policies and procedures to monitor abuse or fraudulent trends

Sub-domain V.D. Clinical Documentation Improvement

  1. Implement provider querying techniques to resolve coding discrepancies 
  2. Create methods to manage Present on Admission, hospital acquired conditions, and other CDI components

Domain VI. Leadership

Sub-domain VI.A Leadership Roles

  1. Take part in effective negotiating and use influencing skills.
  2. Discover personal leadership style using contemporary leadership theory and principles.
  3. Take part in effective communication through project reports, business reports and professional communications
  4. Apply personnel management skills
  5. Take part in enterprise-wide committees
  6. Build effective teams

Sub-domain VI.B. Change Management

  1. Interpret concepts of change management theories, techniques and leadership

Sub-domain VI.C. Work Design and Process Improvement

  1. Analyze workflow processes and responsibilities to meet organizational needs
  2. Construct performance management measures
  3. Demonstrate workflow concepts

 Sub-domain VI.D. Human Resource Management

  1. Manage human resources to facilitate staff recruitment, retention, supervision
  2. Ensure compliance with employment laws
  3. Create and implement staff orientation and training programs
  4. Benchmark staff performance data incorporating labor analytics
  5. Evaluate staffing levels and productivity, and provide feedback to staff regarding performance

Sub-domain VI.E. Training and Development

  1. Evaluate initial and on-going training programs

Sub-domain VI.F. Strategic and Organizational Management

  1. Identify departmental and organizational survey readiness for accreditation, licensing and/or certification processes
  2. Implement a departmental strategic plan
  3. Apply general principles of management in the administration of health information services
  4. Evaluate how healthcare policy-making both directly and indirectly impacts the national and global healthcare delivery systems
  5. Identify different types of organizations, services, and personnel and their interrelationships across health care delivery system
  6. Collaborate in the development and implementation of information governance initiatives
  7. Facilitate the use of enterprise-wide information assets to support organizational strategies and objectives

Sub-domain VI.G. Financial Management

  1. Evaluate capital, operating and/or project budgets using basic accounting principles
  2. Perform cost-benefit analysis for resource planning and allocation
  3. Evaluate the stages of the procurement process

Sub-domain VI.H. Ethics

  1. Comply with ethical standards of practice
  2. Evaluate the culture of a department
  3. Assess how cultural issues affect health, healthcare quality, cost, and HIM
  4. Create programs and policies that support a culture of diversity

Sub-domain VI.I. Project Management

  1. Take part in system selection processes
  2. Recommend clinical, administrative, and specialty service applications
  3. Apply project management techniques to ensure efficient workflow and appropriate outcomes
  4. Facilitate project management by integrating work efforts

Sub-domain VI.J. Vendor/Contract Management

  1. Evaluate vendor contracts
  2. Develop negotiation skills in the process of system selection

Sub-domain VI.K. Enterprise Information Management

  1. Manage information as a key strategic resource and mission tool

 7.   Supporting Body of Knowledge (Pre-requisite or Evidence of Knowledge)

Pathophysiology and Pharmacology

Anatomy and Physiology

Medical Terminology

Computer Concepts and Applications



Baccalaureate Level HIM Curricular Competencies at AHIMA Foundation






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