Madison Area Chapter
                                  of the 
         American Academy of Professional  Coders



 50 Ways to Make Your Career TAKE OFF

By Marcella Bucknam  CPC, CCS-P, CPC-H, CCS
presentation from AAPC conference

 On the Job


  1. Be a Leader
    Volunteer to lead a project.
    Take a lead role in making changes and transitions as painless as possible. 
  2. Be an Expert
    Be knowledgeable in your field.
    Keep up with Accuracy
  3. Strive for Accuarcy
    Hone your skills.
    Improve your accuracy.
    Follow-through and verify results.
       Never be known for just being "Good Enough".
  4. Join an Online Community
    Keep up with changes.
    Develop network of resources.
    Learn about less familiar areas of HIM.
    Share your own knowledge, tips and expertise.
  5. Go Beyond your Job Description
    Take on new projects.
    Offer assistance to others.
    Volunteer for a project no one else wants.
  6. Spread the Word
    Educate others in the organization about your job.
    Demonstrate how coding professionals add value to any organization.
  7. Specialize
    Become an expert in one part of your job.
    Educate and influence others about your specialty.
  8. Keep an Eye on Washington
    Watch for new initiatives and regulations.
    Provide a summary of changes.
    Position arising for opportunities arising out of change.
  9. Get to Know Your Leaders
    Who's leading the changes in your organization?
    Cultivate relationships based on a mutual interest in these changes.
  10. Exemplify the Best Customer Service
    Know who your customers are: Patients, Physicians, Staff.
    Be polite, courteous, helpful and respectful.
  11. Remember Who Helped You
    Recognize those who contributed to your success.
    Give credit to staff where credit is due.
    A personal note or thank you are gracious gestures to co-workers or colleagues.
  12. Implement a New Idea
    Ideas about the workplace.
    Ideas about the work flow.

    Ideas about procedures.
    Ideas about productivity.
  13. Gain allies
    Collaborate with people in a position to help you.
    Important to know people in higher and lower positions.
       Chief of Medical Staff
       File Clerk
       IT manager
  14. Learn to Deal with Difficulty People
    Go to a class, workshop, seminar.
    Use maturity, intelligence and problem-solving skills.
    Built relationships that help smooth difficult situations.
    Practice... Practice... Practice...
  15. Be Punctual
    Have a reputation for being on time.
    Meet your deadlines.
  16. Apply Your Knowledge
    Where are the problems in your organization?
    What changes are taking place in your organization?
    Volunteer for committees and workgroups.
  17. Educate Others
    Provide copies of valuable articles to others.
    Pass along information about technology changes.
    Suggest Ways to move forward.

     Not Just 9-5

  18. Plan Your Next Step
    Where are you now?
    Where do you want to be?
    Have a plan for career development.
    Take classes and workshops that will bring your skills to the next level.
    Changes without a plan can be a huge misstep!!
  19. Get Your Goals on Paper
    Make 1, 3 and 5 year plans.
    Evaluate your goals yearly.
    Share your goals with others.
  20. Keep Your Resume Up to Date
    Fortune favors those who take advantage of opportunity.
    Try for jobs with would responsibility or which woud challenge you.
    Identify skills and qualifications employers are seeking.
  21. Practice for Job Interviews
    Have answers for frequently asked questions.
    Have a couple questions in mind you would like to ask.
  22. Start a Professional Portfolio
    Profile Yourself
       Strength and weaknesses
       Special interests and skills
     Document accomplishments and awards.
    Document Education: Degrees; Classes; Certifications; Workshops
  23. Meet a Recruiter
    Get to know recruiters.
    Share you resume.
    Share your goals.
  24. Know Your Career and the Market
    Check healthcare directories for organizations you did not know about.
    Talk to people in fields you are interested in.
    Have information on salaries.
  25. Expand Your Horizons
    Consider a non-traditional role: Advanced technology; Research.
    Talk to speakers and vendors.
  26. Don't Burn Your Bridges
    Leave positive positions graciously.
    Give positives as well as negatives in exit interview.
  27. Be Proud of Your Profession
    Celebrate State Coder's Day.
    Celebrate HIT week.
    Conduct yourself as a professional.
    Talk to people about your career.
  28. Surround Yourself with Success
    Interact with tip HIM professionals.
    Network with top healthcare executives.
  29. Choose a Mentor
    A mentor is:
        A person in your profession who has achieved a position you aspire to.
       A person who will help you focus on your goals.
  30. Be a Mentor
    Unexpected benefits:
       Enhances your reputation as an "Expert".
       Practice in teaching and coaching others.
       Keeps you fresh on things you m ay not use often.
  31. Read
    Journals: Coding edge; Journal of AHIMA; BC Advantage; Advance
    Publications: Coding Clinic; CPT Assistant; Comminique
    Topic Specific Information: Textbooks; Newsletters
  32. Make the Web a Habit
    Bookmark helpful sites.
    Visit regularly those with useful information reguraly.
    Create an email list.
  33. Create a network
    Colleagues and friends who will help and support you.
    Network with physicians, nurses, management and finance.
  34. Follow-Up
    Drop a note to someone you met at a meeting/conference.
    Send any promised information promptly.
    Return phone calls.
    Answer emails regularly.
  35. Practice Public Speaking
    Valuable skill!
    Practice every chance you get.


  36. Push Your Limits
    Do not have to be an expert to take on something new.
    Challenge yourself!
    Step out of your comfort zone.
    Just Do It!!
  37. Fill in Knowledge Gaps
    Things you need to know to go to the next level: Technology; Skills.
    Take advantage of educational reimbursement:
       Employer sponsored or tuition reumbursement.
       Professional Organization.
       Insurer sponsored education.
  38. Go Back to School
    Going back to school pays "Financially"
        Studies indicate that educated people equal more availability. 
        Some opportunities are not avaialbe without the degree.
    For your employer as new skills are applied at work.
    Education is hard work
       Knowledge and skills are yours forever!
  39. Educate Yourself
    Attend workshops.
    Learn on-line.
    Take specialized courses.
    Get a degree.
  40. Challenge Yourself at Conferences
    Attend workshops about areas where your knowledge is limited.
    The more you know outside your field, the more prepared you are for opportunity.
  41. Become Techno-Savvy
    New software: Stay aware of the latest changes.
    Old software that you haven't used - Improve your skills.
    Internet and e-mail skills.
  42. Teach
    The best way to become proficient at any subject is to teach it.
       Questions will test your knowledge.
       Learn subject wll enough to answer questions.
       Challenges your assumptions.
    Create teaching opportunities.
       Affiliate at local colleges.
       Informal workshops.
       Chapter study groups.


  43. Start at Home
    Volunteer to help with a committee at your local chapter.
    Do not just attend, participate!
       Run the office.
  44. Share Your Knowledge
    Volunteer to speak for a local chapter meeting.
    Write an article for newsletter.
    Share your knowledge with a national audience.
  45. Help Organize Meetings and Conferences
    Meet new people.
    Increase your visibility.
    Give people a perspective on your reliability, attitude and willingness to help.
  46. Look for Related Opportunities
    Several healthcare business organizations could use HIM perspective.
    State government may have healthcare committees or task force.
  47. Get Involved Outside the Profession
    There are many opportunities to volunteer:
     Health related organizations and Charitable Organizations.

    Thinking... Makes it So

  48. Think Right
    Imagine yourself already working at the level you want to achieve.
       Start Today!
    Identify areas where change is eminent.
       Do NOT dread change!
       Find the excitement behind new processess and technologies.
  49. Know Yourself
    Know which aspects of your job inspires you.
    Volunteer for projects related learn your interests.
    Take a class to learm more about them.
    Find a job that allows you to do more of what Opportunities like.
  50. Have those "Can Do" Attitude
    Opportunites come to thtose who others think they can handle.
    New challenges are often given to the same people who have succeeded in the past.
    Negativism limits your opportunities!
  51. Lifelong Learning
    Learning anything keeps your mind agile.
  52. Exude Energy and Confidence
    Be energetic!
       about your is a benefit to everyone.
       Care aboutyour organization

    Putting it Together

Choose the hint(s) that will help you the most.
Start with things that are new, but that do not feel like too much to handle.

Try at activities one from each area.

Try several different activites within each area.


Life is what happens,
when you're making "Other" plans!

Posted Jan 11, 2009




Take Off.jpg








Take on those projects no one else will.





























without a plan can be a
huge misstep!






























more opportunities!




















Postiive thinking.jpg





Just Do It!





Putting it Together.jpg







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