During this past year a group of educators and dedicated volunteers, led by Kathy Nicholls, CMT, AHDI-F, spent countless hours reviewing and updating the AHDI Model Curriculum to reflect our changing roles, and we are proud to have recently launched the 5th edition. These volunteers also developed a companion implementation guide—the eSource for Healthcare Documentation Instructors: A Vital Resource for Users of the AHDI Model Curriculum—to help our schools move forward in their effort to adopt the new program.
One of the highlights of the year for me personally was moving to the new career title “healthcare documentation specialist” to serve as an umbrella for the many activities we perform in our chosen profession: traditional transcription, speech editor, QA, EHR trainer, EHR analyst, and the list goes on. Many of the new roles are being created without a title, without a road map or perhaps even a job description. Our world is quickly changing.
The Board approved the development of an externship program to offer new graduates opportunities for obtaining practical experience. MTSOs and hospitals want to offer externship programs, but the overarching questions are how to make such a program cost effective for their organization and provide a meaningful experience for the extern. A white paper is being developed and we’ll have more information to come.
The Board is working to improve overall communication in more frequent member engagement, given the new governance structure. National Hometown Advocacy Week was introduced as a new concept for 2012. The Board also approved our newly revised Strategic Initiatives. One of our most important initiatives this year is a position paper reflecting the added value healthcare documentation specialists can bring to EHR adoption and that pay models must be changed to reflect the new roles, which may not be amenable to production pay. The position paper was launched at ACE and personally discussed by our volunteer leaders with managers/supervisors, business owners, and practitioners.
Our ACE theme this year of “Spark Your Growth” was the culmination with many hours of planning by both AHDI staff and member volunteers. Our theme was one of looking to the future, with sessions focusing on newly created roles in the electronic health record, coding for MTs, computerized-assisted coding, clinical documentation improvement and ICD 10, self-assessment, resume writing, and many others. We had many excellent clinical speakers who were affiliated with Indiana University College of Medicine and the Indianapolis area hospitals. Regina Holliday as our opening keynote delivered a powerful message that spoke to many of us personally and gave meaning to what we do in our daily tasks surrounding healthcare documentation.
At ACE, there was an aura of cautious optimism about our future, and I would remind us all that AHDI is here to serve our members and our profession to move us through this change.
AHDI President, 2011-2012