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Health Information Administration Research Guide

This guide is intended to help students complete research assignments in health information management.

HIM 150 Sample information problem #1

BACKGROUND.  A hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is advertising a position for a health information technician. I’ve always wanted to live in Tuscaloosa, but I don’t know anything about the hospital. I need to find out more about the hospital to help me decide whether to apply.

 

1.      Define problem – what information is needed?

 

Who operates the hospital? How many beds does it have? How many admissions per year? What approvals and accreditations are held by the hospital? What specific services are offered? Is it profit or not-for profit?

 

2.      Develop a strategy - what sources are likely to supply evidence/answers?

 

The answers to my questions will be facts and statistics about the hospital, so I go to the section of the “Guide to Research for Health Information Management Courses” that has sources about research on health information management. There I find the sub-section on “definitions, facts and statistics” sources.

 I scan through the descriptions of the sources listed to see if any of them provide statistics for specific hospitals and discover 2 sources focused on hospitals that might have the answers:

  •  AHA Guide to the Health Care Field -- Provides statistics, addresses, licensure, and much more information about hospitals in the U.S. 
  •  AHA Hospital Statistics – Provides data compiled from AHA Annual Survey of Hospitals.

 

3.      Locate the information - Use tools like library catalog, article databases, reliable web sites, etc.

 

My next step is to locate the two sources to discover if one or both will actually have the answers I need. To find out if the library has these two sources, I would search the Library Catalog. And, if I find them in the catalog, I’ll need to get the call number for each one so that I can find them on the shelf.

                            

question-mark AHA guide to the health care field.  Published annually by American Hospital Association.

What is the Library call number for the AHA Guide? ________________________________

 

SPECIAL NOTE TO DISTANCE STUDENTS. Some pages from the AHA guide to the health care field may be required for one of the course assignments in HIM 150.  Your professor will tell you how to get the AHA Guide pages when you get the assignment.

 

4.      Read the information you selected and extract the information needed

 

With the right source(s) in hand, I am now able to answer the questions about the hospital.

 

5.      Synthesize information (integrate information drawn from various sources; interpret what you’ve learned & draw conclusions; cite sources) in your paper or presentation

 

My new knowledge about the hospital will help me decide whether to apply for the job.

HIM 150 Sample information problem #2

BACKGROUND.  I’m curious to learn more about the Joint Commission accreditation. I want to know what accreditation standards and processes they follow. Also, I’d like to know what others are writing about the Joint Commission -- what aspects of the Joint Commission’s activities are currently getting attention in trade magazines and scholarly journals.

 

1.      Define problem – what information is needed

 I have two questions to answer.

a. What accreditation standards and processes are used by the Joint Commission  for the accreditation of healthcare organizations?

b. What aspects of the Joint Commission’s work are in the news, that is, are mentioned in recent professional articles?

 

2.      Develop a strategy (what sources are likely to supply evidence/answers?) 

 For question 1a.

I'm expecting the Joint Commission's website to provide information about their accreditation process and standards. I could search Google to find their website, but I am going to use the tab in the guide labeled "Research health information management topics."

None of the 4 sections in that tab of the guide seems like an obvious choice for finding the link to the Joint Commission website. However, the Joint Commission's work is important to the health information management professional so it must be there.  I scan down the tab and find the Joint Commission in two of the sections -- in the "magazine/journal articles and reports" tools and in the "definitions, facts, and statistics" research tools.

For question 1b.

The answers to my questions will be in articles in which the Joint Commission is mentioned, so I go to the tab in the guide labeled "Research health information management topics." There I notice the section about “finding current information in magazine and journal articles.”

 I scan through the descriptions of the sources listed and select Pubmed, because it is the premier database for scholarly articles in the health professions. I plan to search for recent articles about the Joint Commission.

 

3.      Locate the information (use tools like library catalog, article databases, reliable web sites, etc.)

 For question 1a.

I use the link to the Joint Commission and then navigate around the web site to learn about accreditation processes.

For question 1b.

I link to Pubmed, and in the search box, type: “joint commission”

I scan through the articles found with my search. The Joint Commission is mentioned in the article summaries, but I’d like the articles to be more focused on the Joint Commission. To get better search results, I decide to search for articles where “Joint Commission” appears in the titles of articles.

  • I click on Advanced Search
  • In the “Search Builder” area, I change the dropdown box from ALL FIELDS to TITLE
  • In the box to the right, I type: “joint commission” and the click on the “Add to search box” button
  • That places my title search into the search area at the top of the window, and I now click on the Search button.
  • Now, all the articles in the resulting list have “joint commission” in the title.

 

4.      Read the information you selected and extract the information needed

 I can click on each title to read a summary of the article and find out why the Joint Commission is being mentioned.

 

5.      Synthesize information (integrate information drawn from various sources; interpret what you’ve learned & draw conclusions; cite sources) in your paper or presentation

 I am now able to create a list of the topics/issues that are currently being reported about the Joint Commission and its work.

 

==========question-markSEARCH PROBLEM. YOUR TURN!==========

 

BACKGROUND. Your professor asks you to find professional articles on electronic health records.

 Search for  the topic electronic health records in PubMed but search only for articles in which "electronic health records" appears in the titles of the articles

 1. How many articles did you find?

2. In the search results, find the article whose first author listed is JA GOLD, and record the following information about the article:

authors:

title of article:

title of journal (full title, not abbreviated title):

year of publication:

volume number:

issue number:

 ==============================================

 Answers when searched on 7/17/2019:

1. 2113

2.

Authors:      Gold R, Burdick T, Angier H, Wallace L, Nelson C, Likumahuwa-Ackman S, Sumic A, DeVoe JE.

Title of article:      Improve Synergy Between Health Information Exchange and Electronic Health Records to Increase Rates of Continuously Insured Patients.

Title of journal (full title, not abbreviated title):      EGEMS

Year of publication: 2015

Volume number:   3

Issue number:   1

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