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Careers in Aging Week - Meet Brittney!

April 19, 2021
Categories: Our Community

Brittney Smith
Health Information Management

I’ve been with Panorama since 2016. When I started college, my intention was to eventually become a nurse. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to start off in the field as a CNA to get a feel of what I could expect. During the training process of becoming a CNA you do clinicals; while doing this, I shadowed in Medical Records where I noticed how much I enjoyed the residents and the flow of it all. That is when I decided this was what I wanted to go forward with.

Health Information Management starts in admissions and trickles through every facet of a resident’s time in care facilities. Starting out, I believed nursing to be the main important aspect of healthcare and soon learned how big of a role departments like Social Services and Health Information play in the overall picture. It was a surprise how many working parts it takes to keep facilities like this one working as successfully as it does. All departments look at and need the data we input into the health information systems. We make sure information is accurate, secure and available for other healthcare professionals to access when they need it – we’re like the gatekeepers of all information. What’s really great about working in a long-term care facility like the C&R at Panorama is the many umbrellas you get to work in. It isn’t one specific job. You might be working on charts but also working on the backend of the systems. The variety keeps us very busy – there’s never a dull day.

Though we may not provide direct hands-on care to patients, we are able to interact with them in some instances and those interactions are one of my favorite things about my job. You can learn a lot from this population, they tell you their stories and there’s so much to gain from the conversations we’re able to have with them.

The most gratifying part of all is being able to give them support they wouldn’t otherwise have. As the medical field grows, the need for electronic records has increased greatly. This can be really tough for our older generation who may not be well versed with technology. If there’s a form to be filled out that they need; if their doctor needs something faxed; or if there’s billing information that needs to be updated, this is where we get to step in. Many residents don’t have anyone else to help them with these things – what we do is bridge the gap between patients, physicians and other payers to make the process as easy as possible. It’s comforting to know we’ll be able to ease some of their worries.

I encourage others interested in the aging services and healthcare fields who might not necessarily want to be a nurse or on the front end, but still want to help, to look into Health Information management. I am more than satisfied that this is the route I decided to take. There’s always a way to help. It will always be changing, and it’s a great opportunity to keep learning as you go.

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