Preparing tomorrow’s providers with the latest EHR technology

Posted by John Richey, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA on July 28, 2020

Medical students walking through corridor at the university

When new providers enter the field, they need to be ready to deliver quality care to patients, and it’s important that they’re equipped with healthcare technology experience to complement their medical expertise.

In addition, the continually changing healthcare IT landscape poses another challenge for medical professionals.

At the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), we deliver practical experience to our students and prepare them to move seamlessly into the healthcare workforce by incorporating commercially available electronic health record (EHR) applications into their curriculum — including MEDITECH Expanse.

By providing these modern tools, AHIMA ensures that students can learn theory in their courses, and then put that theory into practice as part of their educational program.

Through our collaboration with Sisu Healthcare IT Solutions, which is providing the hosting infrastructure for AHIMA’s MEDITECH Expanse implementation, our students will get to use the latest medical technology in e-learning tracks ranging from certificate-level to graduate programs.

How to deliver effective instruction 

The backbone of AHIMA’s educational programs is AHIMA VLab™, our platform for delivering experiential learning in healthcare information and informatics.

Launched in 2006, AHIMA VLab™ gives us the flexibility to offer fully remote instruction — an important option in this time of COVID-19 — while maintaining the hands-on experience that is so important for students to build and hone their health information skills.

Among the biggest benefits for students is that they’re using real-world, commercially available healthcare technology instead of simulated EHRs, meaning they’ll have a smaller learning curve when applying for jobs.

Students are also building their privacy, security and confidentiality skills by using authentic medical records on the AHIMA VLab™ platform to prepare them for future, on-site experiences.

Giving students a leg up in the workforce

The ultimate goal of AHIMA VLab™ is to prepare students for what they will see in the healthcare workplace, and that includes the technology they’ll be using. 

Working in partnership with Sisu, AHIMA VLab™ is actively used by more than 16,000 students to further enhance their knowledge of current EHR technology, as well as their own marketability when they enter the healthcare workforce.

And by using the MEDITECH Expanse Ambulatory module, students can see how the clinical side of care delivery interacts with other aspects of health IT, such as coding and HIM solutions, within the larger trend in the healthcare industry toward outpatient care.

We consider MEDITECH Expanse to be the flagship EHR application among the suite of AHIMA VLab™ applications that we provide to students, and we look forward to our planned go-LIVE this fall.


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Topics: Physician, Nurse, Health IT, Implementation, Transformative Technology

Written by John Richey, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA

John Richey, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA is an AHIMA Academic Affairs Subject Matter Expert with a wealth of experience in health information professional practice, academic program development and teaching, and membership association leadership. His 36-year career features leadership and management roles in Health Information Management, Coding, Revenue Cycle and Chargemaster, and Occupational Health Services. Mr. Richey founded two academic programs: an associate degree program in health information technology - leading the program to CAHIIM accreditation, and a Master of Science in health informatics program. Mr. Richey serves as the Staff Liaison for the AHIMA Professional Certificate Approval Program (PCAP) and the Council for Excellence in Education’s (CEE) Graduate Resource Alliance. He is a past president and distinguished member of OHIMA (Ohio). He is also a doctoral candidate in the Biomedical Informatics program at Rutgers University.
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