Practicum Placement

Practicum placement is a very critical component in the curriculums for most degree programs in different universities and colleges. The practicum involves field experiences in which the student observes and documents how the researchers within an organization perform their job responsibilities (Chaudhry et al., 2006). As a student in the Health Information Management (HIT) course, I got an admission to carrying out my placement practice at Martin Treasure Coast Surgeons facility, where I undertook a 45-hours practicum. This paper gives a critical analysis of the Martin Treasure Coast Surgeons facility and insight into the duties I performed. It also evaluates the site preceptor and a brief explanation of how I will use the skills acquired in my HIT career.

Facility Information

Martin Treasure Coast Surgeons facility is a health organization which offers cost-effective, efficient, and safe alternatives to the outpatient surgery in Stuart, Florida, and its surrounding areas. The facility contains a group of surgical specialists including surgeons who are specialized in offering world-class medical care. They maintain high standards of ethical behavior, surgery excellence, and compassion for patients.  There is also another group of certified professionals who provide general surgery and diagnostic services to meet both the medical and surgical needs of patients.  The facility provides a conducive environment not only for the patients but also for the employees who undergo frequent training with the emphasis on mutual respect through teamwork. The patients are individually taken care of despite referrals from physicians and partner hospitals.

The facility is divided into various departments such as the finance department, the nursing department or the human information management department among others. In my case, I was stationed in the HIM, which deals with all patient and staff information in the organization. More specifically, the department deals with the acquisition, analysis, and protection of both digital and traditional medical information which is a requirement in the provision of quality patient care (Shekelle et al., 2006). Traditionally, paper-based records were used to store such medical information in the facility. However, with the recent modern technological advances, health records have been computerized and are transmitted from one department to another electronically, within the organization. In a way, the electronic method of information transfer has enabled easier access to basic information, for example, obtaining a patient’s medical history, for the surgeons and physicians to come up with the right diagnosis and treatment options.

Synopsis of Duties Performed

 As a member of the HIM course program, I was placed in the HIM department of the Martin Treasure Coast Surgeons facility. I was put under the supervision of one senior employee, who was to ensure that I participated in various practical activities that took place in the department. Firstly, I performed medical coding protocols. The codes were assigned as a way to ensure that there was correct reimbursement by payers and insurers such as the Medicare and Medicaid. The codes assigned also played a key role in ensuring that all the health records had proper diagnosis according to the instructed procedure.  I also carried out medical transcription which involved accurate and timely transcription of dictated health information. The data included patient discharge and medical histories, physical, and physician consultation reports. They would then be made accessible to all the authorized departments.

From time to time, I would be tasked with the role of assembling medical records to be used in continuing health care provision. For example, if the Medicaid insurance needed accurate and legal records, I would retrieve and put them ready for use. The filing was also a very important procedure in ensuring that the medical records were well organized, easily accessible, and according to the stipulated laws while protecting the privacy of patients. The medical records would be filed using specific designs and structures which could be accessed by the relevant bodies. Medical information is also highly delicate and has to be secured and retained in privacy. All the employees in the department received frequent training on how to protect the confidentiality of patients. The training also included topics on the protocols used in case any patent information was required for example, by the insurance companies. The forums were highly informative, and I acquired a lot of knowledge in health care information.

Evaluation of the Site Preceptor

My site preceptor was the office manager. He made sure that I participated in all the duties that I got assigned. Every day before I left the site, I had to report to him what was done for the day and the lessons I had learned. In the case of any questions, he was ready and willing to help me as I sought advanced knowledge and skills in my career. I used to write down any new activity I carried out and its importance in my field of practice. After the 45-hours practicum, the preceptor asked to go through my practice workbook to ensure I had the right facts of the various job duties assigned. He also asked for the organizations login book to ensure that I always arrived at the station on time and left after my shift was over. He had to be sure that my 45 hours of practice were well utilized and that I achieved maximum knowledge and participation from the site.

In conclusion, the practicum helped me acquire the relevant skills and hands-on experience on the various duties I am likely to encounter in my career path. From medical coding, medical transcription, assembling of medical records among other tasks. I got to experience what my career in Health Information Technology will entail. I now feel confident enough to take on real jobs in the market that specifically deal with health information management. With the knowledge and skills acquired from the practicum experience, my role as a HIT personnel becomes smoother and easier to work through.

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