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news News Friday, February 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 4:36 PM - Friday, February 21, 2020 4:36 PM

More than medical records

Six questions with Lucress Irizzary, HIM manager

More than medical records

We sat down with HIM Manager Lucress Irizzary to learn a bit more about her and her background.

1. What made you decide to go into health information management (HIM)?

I fell into HIM, believe it or not. I sat down on the floor of my bedroom and prayed to God about what profession would be perfect for me to use my strengths. I excelled in English, literature, science and computers. I had changed my major four times at this point, and I did an internship in each major. I didn’t like any of them. However, as I was turning the pages of the course description book, I saw this small paragraph describing health information management toward the spine of the book, and that is when I found my calling.

2. What do you want people to know/understand about working in HIM?

HIM is so much more than “medical records.” It is the hub of information. The information of an organization is directly responsible for the success or failure of an organization. It is the only way to prove that a service was provided, the action was taken, or service was consented. HIM manages and repurposes information created by providers to obtain reimbursement; share with other providers for continuum of health care; report generation for financial health, health care quality, and trending performance; research, licensure, project planning and so much more.

3. What is the best part about working at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia?

The best part about working at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital are the patients and my team. I appreciate when parents come into the department with their children, and we wrap around the children to occupy their time while their parent completes their request for medical records. Sometimes we will entertain them with either a toy or the moving files.

4. What inspires you each day?

At work, I am inspired by the fact that I am making a difference in the lives of our patients, providers and co-workers.

5. What advice would you give a young adult considering a career in HIM and or health care?

Do it! Health care is here to stay, and HIM is the best degree that your money can buy because it is versatile. It bridges the gap between clinical, technical, business and legal. It doesn’t limit you to one aspect of health care and other industries. You can be an HIM director, corporate director, compliance officer, privacy officer, coder, clinical documentation integrity specialist, HIM tech, electronic medical records analyst, project manager or transcriptionist. You can work in other areas such as risk management, performance improvement, education, information technology, government, insurance or pharmaceutical. You can work as a consultant. There are limitless possibilities.

6. What is the most memorable experience in your career thus far?

There are many, but one that stands out is when I received a call out of the blue to the main number of the hospital where I was working, from my school program director, offering me a management position because she remembered my leadership qualities in school and remembered my desire to lead others.