Gaylord Opryland, Nashville, TN – Music City USA was the scene for the 31st annual AHDI Annual Convention and Expo. And what an event it was. We kicked the event off with a Wednesday night welcome reception and everyone showed up in their jeans and boots to learn a few line dances from 3 very talented instructors. Later (once we had a few steps figured out), we were entertained by Les Richardson and County Line. What an awesome event and everyone was there!Thursday morning we heard from our opening keynote, Donna Hartley who shared her incredible story with the message being that you can be more than a survivor, you can really thrive even in tough situations. She shared 9 tips you can do to get the most out of your career and your life.
At 10:00 AM the exhibit hall opened and our exhibitors were there with new offerings and great solutions for our members. Next followed the afternoon educational sessions with 3 tracks, medical, industry and MT practice. There were so many wonderful sessions to attend that it was really difficult to choose. What I did was buy the CD so I wouldn’t miss a thing.
Thursday afternoon was the continuation of the QA Summit (first launched in Louisville, KY at the MTIA meeting) and the summit leaders spent time in lively discussion on blanks and how best to address that segment of what is often a dissatisfaction indicator. Our next steps are clear and we will continue on towards a white paper on quality for our industry standard.
Friday morning early Nick van Terheyden, MD spoke on the Health Story Project (www.healthstory.com). This is the solution that uses CDA language to deliver narrative text in a format that is searchable data in the EHR. This is one of the single most important developments for our sector and every one in our profession should know about and begin to talk about how this will get implemented at every MTSO and every hospital across the nation. This is what builds the bridge from dictation and allows physicians to continue to be efficient (dictate, their preferred method of documentation by over 80%) and still allow the information to be formatted for EHR systems.
Next, we had the opportunity to hear from Bruce Mast, our Thursday morning keynote on the evolution of our role. That was a powerful, eye-opening session that proposed many possibilities based on the knowledge of our professionals – not the method of how we do it.
Then on Saturday morning, we were incredibly fortunate to have Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD speak to us about what’s happening in healthcare and the opportunities that will abound with healthcare reform. His background and experience with both the VA and currently as the Chief Medical Officer for HCA puts him in a key position to share his insight with our members. He has also been named one of the top 10 physicians in America.
Then with an afternoon filled with outstanding educational sessions, it was time to wrap it all up with our first ever, Integrity Awards Red Carpet event and after party. The paparazzi was there snapping photos of our members who were dressed to the nines and everyone looked fabulous! The awards were presented then everyone moved over to the Gaylord’s Fuse nightclub for music, food and beverages. There was more dancing and fun for all there and as the main part of the conference concluded, we all agreed that this was one of the best events ever. The Gaylord facility was filled with greenery, waterfalls and blooms from all over the world. And speaking of the “world” their waterway complete with boat rides shares water from 17 countries worldwide.
For those who just didn’t get enough of the conference, Sunday morning the Managers and Supervisors special interest group conducted their annual event (8:00 – 11:30 AM) with great attendance and content-rich topics about how they are working and evolving in this new generation of EHR systems with SRT technologies and it was an excellent event with panel discussions and idea sharing.
When it was time to leave, I anticipated a feeling a sadness that it was over, but surprisingly, most of what I was thinking was how great the event was and how much more there is to look forward to. Our sector is evolving and as we prepare for this future, gaining knowledge and being involved in these changes at this level is something I treasure. For those who could not attend, I encourage you to get as much information as you can. If you aren’t a member, consider joining your professional association because there’s never been a more important time to be connected. The next few years are going to be amazing and we all need to be involved in securing our place as the knowledge worker for the future. Our roles will evolve, and the more visibility we have, the more opportunities we’ll have to stake our claim and say, “Yes I can do that – I have the expertise.”