HIIM to Host Eastern Missouri Health Information Management Association

Saint Louis University's Julie Howe, Instructor of Health Information ManagementThe Saint Louis University Department of Health Informatics and Information Management will host The Eastern Missouri Health Information Management Association for a presentation by SLU HIIM instructor Julie Howe, MBA, D-ABMDI. Howe will speak on Forensic Applications in Health Information Management. The event will take place Thursday, June 5, 2014 from 5:30 - 7pm in the Allied Health Building, room 1040.

Approximately one percent of the U.S. population dies annually, amounting to more than two million deaths. Of those, approximately 50 percent are referred to the medical examiner and coroner offices where complete death investigations are conducted approximately 20 percent of the time. There are less than 473 practicing forensic pathologists in the U.S., covering 3,343 counties. To compensate for this deficiency, medicolegal death investigators are employed.

The role of the medicolegal death investigator is to take the initial report from health care providers or law enforcement and determine the extent of the investigation (i.e. whether a scene investigation is warranted). Medicolegal death investigators must be familiar with federal, state and county laws; conduct thorough, timely, scientific and systematic death investigations; be knowledgeable and proficient in the basics of medical knowledge; communicate effectively in multidisciplinary teams; complete detailed reports and testify in civil and criminal proceedings when necessary.

On a regular basis, medicolegal death investigators handle record requests, review medical records, communicate with health care providers, determine appropriate release of information, and maintain and destroy appropriate records as state statutes dictate. They are instrumental in research leading to public health initiatives and are the liaison for organ and tissue procurement agencies. Seventy percent of donation results from medical examiner and coroner cases.

The similar skills of the HIM professional and medicolegal death investigators will be outlined with case examples provided.

The Eastern Missouri Health Information Management Association’s mission is to promote the art and science of the health information management profession, to improve the public’s welfare through the promotion of high-quality, comprehensive health information services, and to promote continuing education and interdisciplinary communication between health information professionals, physicians and allied health professionals.

For more information on EMHIMA, see mohima.org/eastern. For more information on Howe’s talk, please contact her at howej@slu.edu.

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