Updated on: March 17, 2016

David S. Muntz Named First Advisor to AHIMA

Original story posted on: July 28, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently announced the appointment of David S. Muntz, CHCIO, FCHIME, LCHIIME, FHIMSS, as its first advisor to the board of directors. Muntz began this volunteer, non-voting position at the July 10 board meeting. Muntz, the senior vice president and CIO of GetwellNetwork, served as the first principal deputy national coordinator and chief of staff at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, from 2012 through 2013. ICD10monitor sat down with Muntz for this interview.



What brings you to AHIMA?   

I have a great deal of admiration and respect for the vitality of health information management (HIM) professionals and their incredible dedication to AHIMA’s Mission and Values.   

I began my career working as a biostatistician at a small cancer and leukemia research institute in Dallas.  The CEO I worked for assigned me to what we called then the Medical Records Department to help develop a way to automate the paper processes and help accomplish his goal of creating an electronic health record. 

It was there that I gained an enormous respect for the Medical Record Director and her employees and the work they did.  Few, if any other areas, had and still have such a deep understanding of all data generating processes within the healthcare continuum. 

I loved the work and the people with whom I worked.  Though I moved to two other very large delivery systems, I've stayed deeply involved with HIM professionals.  They still share the same broad view, and are dedicated to ensuring that data is managed privately and securely in the most efficient way possible.

They are an invaluable resource across the care continuum.  In our digital world, their work with the health information technology (HIT) professionals is crucial for the benefit of providers, patients, and their families.  I have sought opportunities over the years to work with HIM professionals and AHIMA, both as a peer and speaker.


What is the role of an advisor to AHIMA? 

My goal is to provide advice and counsel to the Board on a wide range of topics.  I had the good fortune to work more than four decades in healthcare information technology as a CIO, as the CEO at the cancer and leukemia research institute, as a CHIME board member with responsibility for advocacy, as the Principal Deputy National Coordinator at ONC, and as the CIO at a vendor who provides software focused on engaging patients and their families in care transformation. I look forward to working with the Board as they move their initiatives forward.


On what issues will you be advising AHIMA? 

The Board develops and acts on strategies designed to serve the interests of more than 71,000 members and the health information management industry as a whole. They also strive to provide benefit and value to the providers, patients and their families.  Given that broad spectrum of opportunities, there are numerous areas where they will educate, advocate, and provoke thought. 

They already have a strong Board with good representation.  I hope that my experience in complementary areas will provide a unique and useful perspective.  I would also like to introduce and connect AHIMA to other professionals who can offer other insights and ideas.


What are some of the critical issues facing healthcare in general and AHIMA in particular? 

Some of the hot topics are health information management optimization in an increasingly digitized world, information governance, data analytics, security and privacy, ICD-10 implementation, the changing models of care, and how to balance efforts in both the private and public sector.


Will you be advising AHIMA on any EHR adoption initiatives? 

Yes.  I've had the good fortune as a CIO to oversee the implementation and support of all the major and hundreds of minor vendors.  AHIMA is, however, focused on the much broader topic of HIT and how it impacts HIM, not just EHR adoption.  The “medical record” regardless of form comes from so many different sources.


Do you see any parallels in your work at the ONC with your advisory role at AHIMA

Certainly, Both ONC and AHIMA are interested in the view of HIT professionals and how their actions were affecting the industry.  At ONC I shared my experience and introduced other HIT professionals to ONC to ensure the broadest possible representation of ideas.  I hope to do the same for AHIMA.


Will you be advising AHIMA in advocacy effort for I-10 adoption? 

Yes.  AHIMA has been working and continues to work diligently on this necessary transition.  I will do what I can to add my energy to their already remarkable efforts. 

Just for the record, I was opposed to the original delay; really dismayed and disappointed with the second.  I have heard and understand the concerns expressed while in the private and public sector, but am still convinced that the benefits of ICD-10 adoption to providers, patients, and their families are so significant that it's difficult for me to understand how those benefits can be delayed. 


Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.