AHIMA engaged in a strategic planning process that
set the goals of establishing indispensable relationships with members,
customers, makers of health care policy, and other stakeholders.
The planning process launched four expeditionary initiatives that
would be used to position AHIMA for competitive advantage and discover
a new level of relationship with its members. Two of these expeditions
explicitly dealt with creating and sharing knowledge with members,
non-member customers, and other stakeholders.
- Defining, Mapping, and Providing the Body of Knowledge
(BoK) for the Profession. AHIMAs CEO and Board recognized
that its stature as a renowned knowledge provider was a benchmark
of its value to members and its perceived standing in the health
care field. So they made knowledge a strategic imperative.
First, they stated their strategic intent to define the
body of knowledge for health information management
and to access that BoK from the AHIMA Web site and portal, offering
some elements for members only. In the process of defining the
BoK and linking to its components, AHIMA affirmed its concern
that it did not own an iconic text for Health Information Management
(HIM). Therefore, over the course of two years, AHIMA completed
a comprehensive, contemporary text for two-year programs and commissioned
a similar text for four-year programs.
Second, AHIMA made the provision of knowledge and participation
in co-creation and learning a centerpiece of its portal experience.
Its value proposition positions knowledge sharing at the heart
of its aspiration to become indispensable to HIM professionals.
- Growing Communities of Practice. AHIMA explicitly decided to
redirect the energies of staff and members from its governance
model to a community of practice model. Two forces motivated the
change: 1) the existing governance model was overly complex, draining
the associations energies, and 2) the associations
opportunities were found in mobilizing its members expertise
in the emergent practice areas of the profession. To become indispensable
to its members, AHIMA needed to become the place where the conversations
of greatest meaning to practitioners were convened, with members
and non-member customers being co-creators of value, not just
AHIMA developed an enterprise portal that transformed its Web
into the gateway for members, non-member customers, and other
stakeholders. Several geographical communities continued to exist,
leftover from the geographical base of AHIMAs governance
model. But the new communities of practice that have evolved have
been allowed to emerge biologically, in response to the developing
trends and interests in the field, not a predetermined architecture,
established by staff or member leaders. As a result, the new communities
of practice reflect a combination of traditional topics like Medical
Records Coding (6,812 participants), and emergent interests like
Home Coding (800 members who work from home offices), JCAHO Accreditation
Standards, APCS (2,501 participants), and Acute Care (1,673 participants).
A case study describing AHIMAs knowledge strategy,
its expeditionary initiatives, and its prospects for the next several
years may be found at www.transformingeknowledge.info.
In explicitly stating the centrality of knowledge,
AHIMA shaped all four of its expeditions, plus all of its tactical
business plans for both ongoing operations and new initiatives.