AHIMA provides academic and professional support to community members by offering educational opportunities, professional credentialing services, and regularly printed professional journals to aid in the advancement of Health Information Management (HIM). AHIMA's strategic elements have been to innovate and continuously progress as technology advances. The organization's main strategic move is to transition all medical information from paper to an electronic health information infrastructure. This move will be made possible by the benefits of standards based technology and by preparing the Health Information Management community to meet the challenges of the evolving healthcare industry. Currently, AHIMA's primary focus is on creating a national health information network to allow personal health information to be accessible from any medical facility.
AHIMA's mission statement: To be the professional community that improves healthcare by advancing best practices and standards for health information management and the trusted source for education, research, and professional credentialing.
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AHIMA's vision statement: Quality healthcare through quality information.
AHIMA's values are:
The public's right to accurate and confidential personal health information
Innovation and leadership in advancing health information management practices and standards worldwide
Adherence to the AHIMA Code of Ethics
Advocacy and interdisciplinary collaboration with other professional organizations
AHIMA's mission and vision statements do not seem particularly broad in scope but the organization has a very focused agenda. Of the nine mission statement components, AHIMA's mission statement includes eight; therefore the statements adequately identify AHIMA's services and goals. The only missing component is the concern for employees which means AHIMA's mission statement very strong, inspiring, and enduring.
External Factor Evaluation (EFE)
The External Factor Evaluation (EFE) is a strategic management tool used to assess the external opportunities and threats that affects the stability of the organization. Each opportunity and threat is assigned a weight ranging from 0.0 to 1.0. The higher the weight that greater the importance of that particulate threat. Each factor is also assigned a rating score ranging from 1 to 4. The higher the rating score the better the organization's ability to respond to that factor. Ratings are company based whereas weights are industry based. A weighted score is determined by multiplying the weight by the rating. Weighted scores can range from 1.0 to 4.0. A high weighted score indicates a positive response to external opportunities and threats.
AHIMA's external factors include a rapidly expanding health information management industry, new college graduates without certifications, and career switchers. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is the fastest growing industry due to significant increase in the elderly population. Between 2008 and 2018 the healthcare industry will generate 3.2 million jobs. Personnel filling the newly generated positions must be properly trained. This is an excellent opportunity for AHIMA to expand the health information management segment of healthcare by making the organization's benefits and opportunities known to new and emerging healthcare professionals.
College graduates are also a lucrative opportunity for AHIMA because many new college graduates will need professional credentialing to become competitive in seeking employment and advancement opportunity. Another opportunity for AHIMA lies with career switchers. Regularly healthcare workers in other specialties decide to make the switch from clinical positions to administrative positions. These particular healthcare workers will require the proper training to make a successful career switch.
AHIMA does not have any measureable threats to the organization other than the competition of other professional healthcare associations. There are other prestigious medical organizations offering continuing education opportunities, similar professional credentialing, and are advanced in the promotion of quality personal healthcare information. As the HIM industry continues to progress, new professional associations are forming that offer a quality line of products and services.
AHIMA's EFE MATRIX
Key External Factors
Healthcare Industry Rapidly Expanding
New College Graduates
Other Professional Healthcare Associations
AHIMA's weighted score is 3.25 which is well above the average weighted score of 2.5. This puts AHIMA is a powerful position to capitalize on the HIM industry. Such a high weighted average indicates that AHIMA has been successful in responding to opportunities and threats affecting the organization.
Competitive Profile Matrix (CPM)
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
The CPM is a useful strategic management tool because it helps to determine the organizations strengths and weaknesses in relation to its major competitors. The CPM differs from the EFE in that it identifies both internal and external factors. The CPM scores are calculated just as the scores of the EFE Matrix are calculated.
Critical Success Factors
Quality of Information
Longevity in Industry
As the CPM shows, AHIMA is rated solid against its direct competitors. AAPC was able to achieve a total score only 0.1 higher than AHIMA's. AHIMA was not scored the highest because AAPC offers more certifications to the community. In all other factors, AHIMA is equally as strong as or stronger than both AAPC and ACMCS. ACMCS' score is low in comparison to the other organizations because it is a relatively newly formed professional organization. AHIMA and AAPC have been in the industry for 82 and 22 years respectively. AAPC was established in 2007 and only offers three certifications. As the company continues to mature expect its scores to reflect accordingly.
The only areas AHIMA could improve would be the number of professional credentials offered. Although, AHIMA has a respectable number of credentials that can be obtained, AAPC has almost doubled the number of professional credentials being offered. AAPC offers all of the credentials offered by AHIMA plus many other significant credentials. AHIMA's membership fees are also the highest of the three competitors for AHIMA's active status. AHIMA does offer more affordable membership pricing for students, and seniors. New graduates also receive a reduce rate for one year of membership.
The financial ratio analysis for year 2007 and 2008 are calculated based on the data provided in AHIMA's financial statements. The following analysis reveals the organization's trends and overall financial operations. This analysis is important because it allows the organization to compare itself to industry competitors and to evaluate its operational effectiveness. It also assists AHIMA in making informed strategic management decisions based on the organization financial performance.
AHIMA's Financial Ratios (millions)
Net from Operations
Total Net Assets
Debt to Total Assets
Times Interest Earned
Fixed Assets Turnover
Total Asset Turnover
Return on Assets
Program Service Expense
AHIMA's financial analysis indicates that the organization in a relatively strong financial position. In comparison, AHIMA's total assets are $25,048,052 and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), a comparable organization, reported total assets of $5,492,560. AHIMA's total revenue was $17,305,548 in comparison to AACP's total revenue of $9,002,468. AHIMA's debt ratio is also less than one which indicates the organization's assets are financed through equity rather than debt. Expenses increased moderately with a 7 percent increase but were off set with a significant 13 percent growth rate in revenue and financial support. The increase in revenue allowed the organization to show a positive net from operations. The increase in inventories and a negative inventory turnover growth rate indicates that AHIMA is not effectively moving inventory through its system. AHIMA should review its marketing strategy and techniques to determine why total asset turnover is decreasing.
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Despite a decrease in asset turnover, return on assets improved significantly. Improved asset turnover indicates that AHIMA is profiting more from inventory than the year prior. The savings indicator increased which signifies AHIMA is in a better position to add to its net assets. The industry standard of greater than one as a savings indicator indicates the organization is effectively adding to its net assets. The program service expense is well above the industry standard of 65 percent for a nonprofit organization which indicates the majority of funding is used for program purposes. All of AHIMA's revenue ratios indicate a successful growth rate with the exception of membership dues. Membership dues revenue only had a slight decrease which may be due to a response to the recession. Community members may have opted not to pay excessive membership fees.
Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE)
The Internal Factor Evaluation Matrix (IFE) is a strategic management tool used as an internal audit to assess the organization's functional areas of business. The IFE identifies AHIMA's internal strengths and weaknesses. Each factor is assigned a weight ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 much like the system used with the EFE matrix. Higher weights are assigned to factors with the most effect on the organization. Weighted scores above 2.5 signify that the organization has a strong internal position.
Key Internal Factors
Different Membership Levels
Extensive Database of Industry Information
Excellent Customer Service
Offer Discounts on Textbooks
Annual Conventions &Exhibits
Excessive Membership Fees
High Cost Continuing Education Training
AHIMA's IFE score of 3.7 means that the organization's internal position is solid and competitors are not likely to provide a huge threat. AHIMA is especially strong in managing an extensive database of relevant industry information. A high score in this factor means the organization is a "go-to" to research, education, and resources. The organization has many strengths to aid in the advancement of health information management including offering discounted texts and publications as well as annual conferences to promote the industry.
A suggested improvement would be to reduce the cost of the active membership fee as well as make continuing education more affordable. A reduction in cost will put the organization more in line with prices that are being offered by comparable organizations. If cost of training and membership has already reached its bare minimum, AHIMA's educational programs should seek eligibility for federal financial aid, scholarships, and grant opportunities offered by the federal government.
AHIMA's Current Strategy
AHIMA has always worked toward the advancement of the HIM industry. To aid in such advancement, AHIMA became a part of two joint ventures. AHIMA partnered with the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). CAHIIM is an organization that accredits Health Informatics (HI) and Health Information Management (HIM) educational programs (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education [CAHIIM], 2010). AHIMA partnered with CAHIIM for the sake of AHIMA members seeking accredited masters, baccalaureate, and associate degrees in the HIM industry. There are a large number of higher education HIM programs but only a select few have been approved by both AHIMA and CAHIIM. The AHIMA-CAHIIM partnership benefits health information management community members by making known the educational programs that are approved and may lead to an AHIM certification.
AHIMA also partnered with the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) to develop a program for community members that are interested in pursuing a cancer registry profession. AHIMA and NCRA developed a program that allows graduates to be formally trained by AHIMA in preparation for the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) certification offered by NCRA. A CTR curriculum has been developed and is virtually delivered by AHIMA. Candidates that successfully complete AHIMA's CTR training program and meet other specified criteria are eligible to sit for the CTR certification.
AHIMA's current partnerships and other related diversification methods are effective because the organization is able to offer members additional resources necessary for the HIM Industry. AHIMA's largest revenue generator is member services which allow members access to HIM information and research, job postings, state level membership access among other benefits. AHIMA's strategy to also market textbooks and other HIM media was a strong move because it enhanced AHIMA's overall services. Publications are necessary in preparation for professional credentialing as well as for maintenance of such credentialing. Members are offered highly competitive pricing for industry related material.
Although costly, AHIMA may consider the differentiations strategy. The HIM Industry is in great need of a standardized electronic health record. AHIMA would have to make a significant investment in research and development to produce such a valuable product. The electronic health record would require adaptability across the board to be considered competitive. This would mean any medical institution, regardless of location, would be able to synchronize their current medical record system with the new system. If successful, AHIMA would not only have a competitive advantage over competitors in the industry but also an advantage over the Information Technology Industry as well.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix will compare AHIMA's divisions to each other and determine the relative market share position and industry growth rate of each division. This analysis is key because it identifies AHIMA's cash flow and individual needs of each division. Each division is placed in one of four quadrants in the matrix. Quadrants I is for divisions with low relative market share but compete in a high growth industry. Quadrant II is for AHIMA's divisions with the greatest possibility of growth and profit. Quadrants II is for divisions with high relative market share but compete in a low growth industry. The final quadrant is reserved for divisions that have both low relative market share and compete in a slow or no growth industry. As AHIMA continues to advance and implement new strategies, divisions may shift from quadrant to quadrant.
AHIMA's BCG Matrix
IG Rate %
High Medium Low
High 1.0 .50 0.0
Services (27%) (17%)
AHIMA's BCG matrix indicates that AHIMA is operating with a significant amount of profit. AHIMA has excellent opportunity for growth if the organization decides to use leverage more. The HIM industry is expected to rapidly grow and AHIMA is in a strong financial position to capitalize on the industry's fast growth. As indicated in the BCG matrix, the majority of AHIMA's profit is generated by its membership. As the industry grows, AHIMA should increase the organization's recruitment efforts to continue to boost membership numbers. AHIMA currently holds 35.5 percent of the relative market share of HIM professionals associated with a professional organization. AHIMA's closet competitor, AAPC, holds more than 59 percent of the relative market share. AHIMA may need to adjust its marketing campaign to acquire new memberships from members of other organizations who may be seeking dual association as well as students and professionals seeking initial association.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)
AHIMA's SWOT matrix presents many opportunities and strategies to overcome the organization's listed weaknesses. The majority of AHIMA's opportunities are student related. AHIMA offers industry respected certifications that will make recent graduates more competitive when seeking employment. AHIMA's certification levels range from high school to master's level degree requirements which create a large target audience. AHIMA should consider a temporarily reduced priced membership campaign to coincide with the sluggish economy. A temporary reduction in price is an effective means of increasing membership and retaining current members. With very few threats, the organization's chances of continuous improvement are almost inevitable.
AHIMA's SWOT Matrix
State level associations in addition to national level
No immediate certification test scores (RHIA exam)
Various membership levels
Certification exam pass rates low
Limited number of certification exams offered
Annual conventions / exhibitions
Low membership numbers (in comparison)
Job placement assistance
Certification exam pass rates high
Non-college bound high school graduates
Recruit non-degree high school graduates for technical career options (S6, S7, S9, O1)
Adjust membership fees to accommodate recently unemployed / underemployed (W1, O2)
Recruit college graduates for degree required credentialing (S6, S7, S8, S9, O2)
Increase number of certifications offered (W4, O3)
Expanding HIM industry
Move RHIS exam to similar testing platform of all other exams to allow immediate test results (W2, O7)
Retain members who have lost and/or seeking employment
Automate all test scores
Other Professional Associations
Continue to advertise &promote services (S1-S9, T1)
Price membership fees to be more competitive (W1, W5, T1, T2)
The Strategic Position and Action Evaluation (SPACE) Matrix
The Strategic Position and Action Evaluation (SPACE) Matrix identifies possible aggressive, conservative, defensive, or competitive strategies that AHIMA may pursue. The matrix is made up of four quadrants with axes that represent internal dimensions and external dimensions. The internal dimensions are financial strength (FS) and (CA) competitive advantages and the external dimensions are environmental stability (ES) and (IS) industry strength (David,2009).
AHIMA's SPACE MATRIX
Conservative +6 Aggressive
â€¢ Improve customer service +5 â€¢ Increase number of certifications offered
â€¢Increase intra-industry marketing +4 â€¢ Found an HIM University/College
CA 0 IS
-6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6
Defensive -2 Conservative
â€¢ Liquidate the least profitable segment -3 â€¢ Reduce membership fees
â€¢ Sell aged receivables -4 â€¢Improve upon current HIM technology
AHIMA's SPACE MATRIX
Financial Strength Ratings
Low inventory 3.0
Revenue increased by 13.09% 2.0
Current ratio increased to 4.11 1.0
Certifications highly recognized in industry 2.0
Industry is expanding rapidly 2.0
AHIMA certified more than 35% of industry credentialed professionals 1.0
Technology advancements puts personal health info at risk of bring breached -4.0
Increased need for health related services due to baby boomers aging -2.0
Federal government push for electronic health records in 5 years or less -1.0
AHIMA provides services to all states and Canada -1.0
Organization has a large membership base -2.0
Many job opportunities require AHIMA certifications -2.0
ES Average is -7÷3= -2.35 IS Average is 10.0÷3= 3.33
CA Average is -5÷3= -1.66 FS Average is 6.0÷3= 2
Directional Vector Coordinates: x-axis: -1.66+3.33= +1.67
y-axis: -2.35+2= -.35
According to the SPACE Matrix, AHIMA should pursue competitive strategies.
Structure, Core Values and Culture
AHIMA has formed a divisional structure organized by products and services to help control central operations. As indicated in AHIMA's BCG Matrix, the organization is broken down into four main divisions. The benefit of this type of structure is the ease of adding additional divisions and the effectiveness of implementing strategies needed. This structure sets the foundation for AHIMA's culture. The culture embodies a sense of stability and productivity. There is a low turnover employee rate which indicates an excellent level of job satisfaction. AHIMA's culture represents a stable and inviting environment. There is a low turnover employee rate which indicates an excellent level of job satisfaction. The organization values are clearly focused on setting a high standard to foster a healthy environment.
AHIMA already has a superb culture signifying excellence set into place making it a challenge to improve upon it. Employees are offered generous benefits and perks including:
Flexible spending accounts
Fitness center memberships
Incentive compensation pay
Special recognition programs
Public transportation vouchers
Reduced summer hours work schedule
Theme parks discount
To continue to make AHIMA's vision a reality I would implement the core values integrity, teamwork, professionalism, and planning for the future to build upon the organization's culture already in place. Employees exemplifying the organizations current core values are rewarded with recognition and incentives. This is an excellent way to motivate employees and I would continue to praise employees with desirable behavior as a reinforcement of core values.