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An Invigorating Exchange of Ideas at ACDIS 2019

By Jennifer Cavagnac, CCDS, and Walter Houlihan, FAHIMA

The 12th annual Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) Conference took place May 20–23, 2019, in Orlando, Florida, and as always, this gathering of clinical documentation professionals were not disappointed. The well-organized event featured hundreds of sessions, most led by clinical documentation improvement (CDI) professionals.

Each year, Baystate Health sends a team to this event, mixing rookies and veterans and even making sure physician champions are represented. The team takes a divide-and-conquer approach to make sure attendees can cover all the key sessions, and then facilitates information sharing afterward.

For the 2019 event, Baystate’s primary goal was to learn more about innovations in communicating with providers, and in particular in documentation clarification. (Baystate recently signed on as a customer of Artifact Health’s mobile physician query software.) The Baystate team was also interested in learning more about how other hospitals are handling the documentation challenges of multidisciplinary rounds. And of course, as at every ACDIS Conference, the team was eager to see and discuss with peers the latest International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) proposed rule changes.

A top session pick of the Baystate team was “Untangling the Sepsis Web: How to Survive Sepsis in 2019” because it’s such a vexing issue for hospitals. But the team agreed there were many sessions that offered practical advice that Baystate staff are already putting into action back at the office.

Other topics people were talking about at ACDIS included the following:

This year, for the first time, ACDIS has created templates to help members provide feedback on the new IPSS proposed rules—attendees applauded this effort and generally felt this was a great step forward in facilitating discussion about the rules, especially for smaller hospitals that may in the past have wanted to comment but were unsure about the process.

Baystate has been sending staff to the annual ACDIS conference for many years, and we have consistently found it to be a great use of time for our staff, who gain exposure to new technical innovations, ideas, and best practices. This way, we can bring back to Baystate Health valuable information to the rest of the 20-plus CDI team members along with leadership processes and technology that could enhance our current operations.

— Jennifer Cavagnac, CCDS, is assistant director of clinical documentation at Baystate Health.

— Walter Houlihan, FAHIMA, is senior director of HIM and clinical documentation at Baystate Health.