» CEO Q&A
Interview with Lynne Thomas Gordon, AHIMA CEO
the revenue cycle. It has just been a great
background for me.
What interested you about the
AHIMA CEO position?
When I saw the position’s specs I said,
‘You know what, I could really make a
difference with this job,’ specifically in this
time that we are facing now with this big
change over from ICD- 9 to ICD-10.
I’m a big fan of B-HAGs—the big hairy
audacious goals—and I thought, ‘Okay
this is a good B-HAG I would love to get
my hands on.’ And the other thing was
the fact that (HIM) is changing so much.
We have such an opportunity in hospitals
to be the go-to person for
We are going to need to listen to our
membership so that we become sponges
and say, ‘Okay, if this is going on what
products and services do we provide to the
members to make them successful?’
Lynne Thomas Gordon
MBA, RHIA, FACHE
On September 29, Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE,
became the new chief executive officer
of AHIMA. A 33-year HIM industry
professional who has worked in roles
ranging from HIM director to c-suite
hospital administrator, Thomas Gordon
says she is excited to take the reins of the
association at such a pivotal time for the
HIM industry. AHIMA Advantage recently
interviewed Thomas Gordon about her
views on HIM and how she feels AHIMA
can help members do their jobs.
How can HIM
that go-to person?
Well, I do think we (HIM
professionals) have the
information at our finger
tips and we understand the
information better than
anyone in the organization.
But we need to do a better
job of being proactive and
providing information, or
putting ourselves out there
to be that go-to person.
What is one piece of advice you
could give to members on how
to weather these exciting but
also challenging times?
The great thing is our members are not
alone. They have AHIMA that is going
to be right there with them, partnering
with them, listening to them, trying to do
what they can to make sure that everyone
is successful. Patient care is
the ultimate issue that we
can’t forget. Even though our
job as an association is to be
here for the members, it is all
about the patients. And that
is what I always try to say,
‘How can we tie this back to
care?’ You can lose that when
you are in your day-to-day,
because you are so busy, but
it always ties back to that.
We are the
need to be the
people that are
‘Wait, have you
this?’ Because if
we don’t do it,
who is going to
What are some aspects of HIM
that you really love?
One thing that I really love about HIM
is that you really get the big picture of
the hospital. You know what is going
on. So, having that health information
background gives you that depth of
knowledge that you need. You get
medical terminology, you understand
the information flow, you understand
What do you think
you will bring to the association?
I did work myself up from the bottom,
so I’ve seen (HIM) from an entry-level
position all the way up to the HIM director
and then healthcare administration. I can
see the importance of our role and how it
is viewed from the c-suite. It is almost like
I’ve been preparing for this job all my life
and I just didn’t know it.
How can AHIMA help its
members change and adapt
to some of the new initiatives
(ICD-10, accountable care
organizations, meaningful use,
HITECH/HIPAA changes) that are
Why is the work that
do so vital to the
I think accurate, timely data
is critical for quality patient
care. The other thing is we are so critical
for future research. Future changes that
need to take place in critical care will
become evident through our coding. We
make sure that people can pull up what
they need to do research down the road.