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Spotlight: Health Information Professionals

Information can be used as an asset to improve patient health and benefit healthcare organizations by boosting their overall performance. But achieving aims such as improving cost, quality, and population health depends on the ability to turn data into knowledge.
Todd Jackson has worked in the informatics department at the University of Connecticut’s UConn Health facility in Farmington for the last four years. Jackson got his start as an emergency department nurse before an opening in the electronic medical records department got him his start in the health information field. 
“They needed someone to step in and take over, so I volunteered and I took to it right away,” said Jackson, a state employee and member of our University Health Professionals (UHP) union.
Jackson and his HIP colleagues interview staff in both inpatient and outpatient facilities, seeking out and analyzing the workflow of the medical team. Their goal is to make sure all procedures, prescriptions, and actions of the doctors and hands-on caregivers are on record for future reference. From there, HIPs help train new staff on the proper methods for documenting all of the team’s work on behalf of their patients.
Ria Racette is in the same department with Jackson at UConn Health working as a Clinical Systems Informatics Analyst. She and her colleagues implement and support the NextGen Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. 
“We’re part of a team that partake in the planning, development, maintenance, and evaluation of the system,” said Racette, also a UHP member. She added that their role includes review of “needs assessment, workflow analysis, capabilities and limitations of systems, and system change designs.”
Jackson, Racette and their colleagues provide more than health information-related services. They also contribute toward the development of policies and procedures, prepare training manuals and workshops, and facilitate meetings with end users, physicians, and the clinical system advisory committee.
Click here to learn more about informatics services at UConn Health.
Improving overall patient health outcomes while raising quality and lowering costs depends on the ability to turn data into knowledge at acute care facilities across the country. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) this week honored the role HIPs play in achieving these goals during its 27th annual HIP week recognition. 
Click here to learn more about HIP week from AHIMA.
As the healthcare industry continues to undergo rapid changes, the reliability, integrity and security of patient data will become increasingly important. The hardworking professionals at UConn Health are to be commended for their commitment to the principles embodied by the theme of this year’s HIP week, “Accurate Information, Quality Care.”

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