Home  |   Subscribe  |   Resources  |   Reprints  |   Writers' Guidelines

AHDI Conference News

AHDI 2018: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Shaping the Future

By Leigh Anne Frame, CHDS, AHDI-F

I can't imagine a better way to end my term as president than to recap the 2018 Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) Conference and 40th Anniversary Celebration, held August 16–18 in Orlando, Florida. Honoring the past. Celebrating the present. Shaping the future. We certainly did that! In two unforgettable days, we came together to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, celebrate our successes, share our knowledge, and tell 40 years' worth of stories. Forty years! That’s a lot of mumbling, stammering, dangling participles, nonsensical sentences, unintelligible phrases, involuntary body noises, unforgettable friendships, and everlasting memories.

The National Leadership Board had their only face-to-face board meeting of the year on Thursday before the Welcome Reception. We recapped the year and talked about what lies in front of us, namely the multifaceted governance restructure of AHDI. We also honored the board members leaving us: Kirk Calabrese, CMT, MA, and Lynette Shipp, RHIT, CHDS, AHDI-F, and welcomed incoming board members Cyndi Sandusky, CHDS, AHDI-F; Daysha Weller, RHDS, AHDI-F; and Brenda Wynn, RHIT, CMT, AHDI-F. Elections were held for new National Leadership Board officers. Congratulations to President-elect Patt King, Secretary Sandusky, and Treasurer Karen Fox-Acosta, CHDS, AHDI-F. Joyce Smith, AHDI-F, takes over as president on September 1, and I become immediate past president.

The Welcome Reception, sponsored by M*Modal, was decked out in red for AHDI’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, complete with roaming magicians. In fact, there was such a sea of red that I became momentarily confused and thought I was back home in Lincoln, Nebraska, at a Husker football game.

From opening to closing, conference attendees reaped the benefits of the hard work done by the Conference Program Committee, chaired by Brenda Hurley, CMT, AHDI-F. What really stood out to me was the wide variety of topics meant to satisfy our educational needs and help us grow personally and professionally to thrive in a changing health care documentation environment and embrace the challenges of technology. Hats off to the Conference Program Committee for a job well done!

I had the privilege of hosting the 2018 AHDI Integrity Awards, along with Diane Warth, CHDS, RHIT, CPC, AHDI-F, chair of the Awards Committee, and Smith. As I read about each nominee and their individual contributions, I was inspired by their mentorship and leadership abilities. You could not find more deserving winners of this year's awards.

Smith unveiled AHDI’s first-ever virtual conference logo and theme for 2019, "Tradition Meets Innovation." And what better way to demonstrate the possibilities and opportunities a virtual conference can bring than to close out the 2018 conference with a speaker live from London! Nasos Papadopoulos, founder of MetaLearn, emphasized the importance of lifelong learning to stay relevant professionally in the 21st century.

Smith certainly has her presidential year cut out for her. She is tasked with stewarding the AHDI annual conference into the virtual domain. Smith is a go-getter and I am confident she will get the job. So mark your calendars for next year’s first virtual conference to be held in August 2019.

Before I close out my last president's message, I'd like to step back to the opening session by Foster Goss, DO, MMSc, FACEP. When he was talking about the quality and accuracy of dictated medical documents, his words brought to light how much work is yet to be done to preserve the integrity of the patient record. As the health care documentation industry continues to move beyond its traditional boundaries, one attribute that remains steadfast is health care documentation specialists' reputation for high quality. This distinction was honed in the past where we developed our roots, is still significant today, and will remain a critical element of health care documentation integrity in the days and years to come.

As I've said many times over the past year, change is happening, and we cannot stop it or deny it, but we can strive to navigate through it our way. We are far from ready to fade quietly into the night. We must be bold in what we stand for! Be an advocate for document integrity! Be #AHDIstrong!

— Leigh Anne Frame, CHDS, AHDI-F, is the 2017–2018 president of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.