September 2022 Member Spotlight
Chris Merle, MS, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, CRC, CIC
Where do you work and what is your job title?
I am an inpatient consultant with Administrative Consultant Service.
How long have you been a member of ArHIMA?
What certification types have you received or are seeking to receive?
RHIA, CDIP, and CCS from AHIMA; CCDS from ACDIS; and CRC and CIC from AAPC.
Which college/university did you attend?
I am a proud graduate of Arkansas Tech University!
What made you decide to pursue a career in HIM?
I was interested in healthcare but not necessarily direct patient care. HIM was a perfect fit, but it took me a while to figure it out for myself. I first completed an associate’s degree in Medical Assisting and worked in clinics for a few years, then recognizing that the administrative part was my favorite, enrolled to complete the bachelor’s degree in HIA.
What other jobs and/or titles have you held prior to the present one?
Assistant director of HIM (hospital), Assistant Professor of HIA (university). I’m not terribly fond of changing jobs.
What is a typical day like for you?
There is no typical day! On any given day, I may be analyzing data for a hospital to pinpoint their areas of need from a coding and documentation perspective, I may be reviewing records to identify gaps in the documentation for more precise coding, or I may be doing a workflow assessment for an HIM department.
What is your favorite food?
I don’t really have a favorite food – I like MOST food. It would be a lot easier to list the things that I don’t like – which is most seafood and slimy things like snails.
What’s something about you (a fun fact) not many people know?
I like to go exploring on my bicycle, and am willing to spend mad money on accessories.
What’s something you want to do that you’ve never done before?
Go to a concert at Red Rocks amphitheater.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
Eat the cake.
Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
I only cook if necessary, but my husband says I make the best chocolate gravy.
If you culd get on a plane tonight and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Where is one place in Arkansas you would suggest people visit?
Crystal Bridges Museum