Healthcare Leadership and Innovation

1.  Bachelor's Degree in HIM Internship

Posted 09-12-2017 12:02
Our facility will be hosting a student that is obtaining her bachelor's degree in Health Informatics who will be in her last year of college. I would like to have a project for her to complete during her time with us, she will be completing 120 hours. She would not have access to our EHR as our facility does not send interns for training when they are with us for this amount of time. We have tossed around the idea of having her organize our chart storage area, reviewing our retention policies and procedures and updating our retention and destruction logs. I'm wondering if other facilities run into this situation with interns not having access to their EHR and if you have them do special projects or if you have them just observe management tasks and functionality?
Thank you,
Bethany Loncorich-RHIA

Bethany Loncorich RHIA

2.  RE: Bachelor's Degree in HIM Internship

Posted 09-13-2017 09:45

Is the degree in HIM or health informatics?  Those are different.  Although we are a graduate school, I would be surprised if HI taught medical record storage for physical records.


Susan H. Fenton
Associate Professor
UT School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston

3.  RE: Bachelor's Degree in HIM Internship

Posted 09-13-2017 11:22
Thank you for your willingness to host a PPE student. This is a a great way to support our future leaders!
AHIMA has a site devoted to PPE here: On this site you will find a PPE guide that may assist. The guide provides a list of suggested projects and learning activities to support site mentors and promote student success.
Please feel free to reach out to me with questions.

Christi Lower RHIA, MS, FAHIMA
Subject Matter Expert, Academic Affairs

4.  RE: Bachelor's Degree in HIM Internship

Posted 10-06-2017 14:50
​It is through Department of Healthcare Informatics and Information Management.

Bethany Loncorich RHIA

5.  RE: Bachelor's Degree in HIM Internship

Posted 09-13-2017 13:00
Edited by Kristen Piccirillo 09-13-2017 13:18

I also graduated with a CAHIIM accredited BS in HIM and completed the required practicum experience.  My practicum included completing a medical record review process by collecting data from the EHR, then submitting the data for Patient Center Medical Home recognition from NCQA.  What my preceptor had me do was to complete HIPAA and EHR training that regular employees complete.  I happened to be completing the practicum at the central office where EHR training took place, so it was a bit easier for me to complete it at no cost to myself or the organization.  I completed 2 training sessions over 2 days that were already taking place.  I opted to do both the practice management training and physician training for Allscripts EHR.  I also had to complete a 2 hour interactive online session with exit exam in order to go through the credentialing process.  I believe I was given read-only access to the EHR.

The two most important things my preceptor told me when using the EHR was to ensure that I logged out when I was away from my workstation and to not access any patient records of people I knew or recognized.  I also was not allowed to bring anything home with me and had to leave all my paperwork or things I was working on at my workstation in an area that would be locked every night.  I had to ensure that any printouts that contained patient information were not left at the printer.

In my opinion, the practicum experience is much more meaningful to the student if a student is given some responsibility and accountability. Obviously you will want to assess the student's skills and abilities and take it on a case by case basis, but treating the student more like an actual employee instead of coddling them prepares them much better for the real world.  It also makes more sense for the student to complete tasks that reflect the real world healthcare environment, and the EHR is the central component of healthcare in the technological age.

It is extremely hard for students to gain actual relevant work experience in HIM before graduating, and all too often employers are unwilling to hire these students right out of school because of lack of training.  I believe the HIM PPE should be treated more as a lab course where actual relevant hands on experience occurs, rather than just a summer internship where the student helps organize some charts and storage areas, and only reads through policies and procedures.  I know it can be hard to trust someone who lacks experience, but showing them the ropes little by little helps promote a more skilled and trained HIM workforce.

Kristen Piccirillo, RHIA, CCS, NASM-CPT
Chair Engage Advisory Committee
Engage Community Facilitator

6.  RE: Bachelor's Degree in HIM Internship

Posted 09-13-2017 14:59

One project I like to do is have the intern do an in-service for the department at a department meeting.  It get them out in front of the department and helps them with public speaking.


Kelly Savoy, RHIA

HIM Director

501.985.7312 office

501.982.3055 fax

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