HIM Departments: No Complaints Here!

HIM Departments: No Complaints Here!


by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA

I’m so excited to be speaking this year at the AHIMA National Convention & Exhibit in New Orleans! My session on Tuesday September 29, 2015 from 4:30pm – 5:30pm is titled Journey toward the Complaint-Free HIM Department and is categorized as a Leadership session for AHIMA credential holders.

In this session we’ll learn how often we complain (on average), why we complain, how complaining affects us and our departments and (most importantly!) how we can STOP complaining!

Several years ago I was in a career “funk.” I had made some career choices that left me questioning myself and where my career was headed. I was also working way too many hours in a typical week and not having the time to enjoy my family, or my life. In a word, I was miserable.

During that time I came across a book that mentioned this concept of going 21 days without complaining, griping, gossiping (yes, that too!) or moaning/groaning as a way to prepare for something new in our lives. It seemed to be a mental “cleanse” and since I knew people who were doing “juice cleanses” before training for 5k runs, I thought this had some merit as a process. I also believed it would be helpful to me before I took on the project of finding my way back into my career.

I attempted to go complaint-free for 21 days a few times, but I really gained traction when I found the Complaint Free World program and the simple tool they offer for making this important change. That tool? A simple silicone bracelet.

As I worked through the program I realized that the positive benefits I was reaping could transform the healthcare and education worlds I was most familiar with, and specifically; HIM departments. The HIM world has been experiencing extraordinary and rapid change on a continual basis for most of the past couple decades.

Change is hard for us as humans. We don’t seem to be programmed to embrace it with open arms, and what tends to happen in organizations when change is afoot? A whole lot of complaining.

The problem with complaining is that it keeps us laser-focused on what is not working. With that kind of attention on the negatives, it is near impossible for any good ideas or positive happenings to even be noticed, let alone embraced.

The research shared in the Complaint Free World program is fascinating, compelling and worth thinking about whether you are hoping to improve yourself, or your workplace. I look forward to sharing what I have learned and shared within my own HIM department as it relates to “going Complaint Free.”

If you are an HIM Director, Manager, Supervisor or Educator looking for a way to change the conversation within your HIM department, or just someone who wants a new tool for creating positive change in your life at work or at home, I encourage you to stop by on Tuesday at 4:30 and listen to what I have to share.

See you in New Orleans!

About the Author

Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA
Rebecca Harmon returned to HIM practice in a leadership role after spending many years as an HIM educator. Tapping her broad history of diverse healthcare experience that began with a tour of duty in the US Navy, Rebecca writes regularly and speaks on education, workforce issues, management and life. An energetic and engaging speaker, Ms. Harmon enjoys sharing her unique perspective with student, faculty, professional and community groups.

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