Ethical Issues in Professional Practice and AHIMA Code of Ethics Presentation

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The health information management professional serves a role in protecting the confidentiality, privacy, and security of personal health information found in a patient’s health record. A health information management (HIM) professional (awarded any AHIMA certification, e.g. RHIA) agrees to follow the principles and values of the AHIMA Code of Ethics. There is an ethical obligation in this role that spans multiple experiences within the daily work of managing health information. As a leader in the professional field, the HIM professional should work to educate others on the importance of the ethical obligation held by all who work with health data in all its forms: paper, electronic, and oral.

The following task is one that you may someday perform in your career. As a leader in the field, you will be called on to mentor those coming into the HIM profession, and you will use your experiences and educational background, and the AHIMA Codes of Ethics to encourage them to see the critical importance of their role and that role’s inherent responsibilities.


You are a registered health information administrator (RHIA) working in a rural hospital. There are 10 staff members working in the HIM department. One of your professional colleagues, also an RHIA, works for the local community college as an adjunct faculty member of the registered health information technician (RHIT) program, which is the associate’s degree level for HIM professionals.

Your colleague has asked you to create a multimedia presentation to present to a class of 20 students outlining the ethical obligations of the HIM professional at all levels. Your colleague has asked you to focus specifically on issues related to the HIM profession and to present your ideas in such a way as to stimulate discussion and questions. This presentation should be interactive and should encourage students to realize what may lie ahead for them in the areas of ethical challenges specific to their future role.


A. Create a multimedia presentation (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote) (suggested length of 12–14 slides), including presenter notes and introductory and closing slides, in which you do the following:

1. Discuss three issues in the health information management (HIM) profession and the ethical challenges that may occur as a result of these issues.

a. Explain why each of these challenges can pose concerns in the HIM profession.

b. Explain how HIM professionals can address each of these challenges effectively using the AHIMA Code of Ethics as their guide.

2. Develop three questions to stimulate student discussion.

B. Acknowledge sources, using APA formatted in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

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