We got inside your heads. Not in any creepy subconscious sort of way; more like, "Hey, you read our magazine, we see you at conferences-let's get to know each other."
Three rounds of surveys later, we have a better idea of "What Makes HIM Professionals Tick."
I was pleased that 60 percent of you recycle, jealous that more than half of you took summer vacations and impressed that almost 75 percent of you exercise at least once a week. (I also noticed only 28 percent of you chose paper in our roundabout game of rock-paper-scissors ... could EHR talk be to blame?) But what I found most surprising was that only 36 percent of you attend professional association meetings regularly, and 21 percent of you aren't even members.
Now, it's not my place to be all "rah-rah" for associations, but from what I've seen, they're pretty helpful. Conferences consistently raise new issues and have given me fodder for stories I often bring to you. Each association has its bureaucratic issues and oddities, but the majority of HIM professionals I've spoken with have gotten something out of membership, whether it was a foot in the door or a lifelong friend.
But hold up--fees can be pricey. And judging by the 33 percent of you who said you couldn't afford to attend a conference, finances can be a major deterrent (Pst, students: fees are often reduced for matriculated professionals, so go when the gettin's good). For some, membership might not be an option.
What many of you did invest in, however, were credentials. Our 2009 Salary Survey found more than 80 percent of respondents had at least one credential or were working on getting one. We won't get into whether the investment paid off, but it's interesting to note that while many professionals get certified by associations, a smaller amount take the step to become members.
It's an interesting distinction noted in this week's Certifications and Credentials feature on our Student Center page. Whether members or not, HIM professionals toting AHIMA credentials are expected to honor the association's Code of Ethics. Yep, you may not be going to their annual meeting, but you still have to play by their rules.
I'd like to hear from readers on this. If you're a member of an association, what came of the investment? If you're membership-free, why forgo the opportunity? Students and new grads, are you planning to get certified, and will you join the association offering that credential?