AHIMA Expands Footprint Worldwide and on the Convention Floor

The AHIMA World Congress (AWC) will have a strong presence at the 89th Annual AHIMA Convention and Exhibit, featuring an enlarged international themed session track and its own dedicated lounge in the Exhibit Hall featuring international presentations. Whereas last year’s convention had only one day of international topics, this year will feature an entire international track with three days of presentations taking place both inside and outside the convention hall.

The new dedicated International Lounge will be an expanded booth next to the AHIMA Booth in the Exhibit Hall and aims to serve as a base and welcoming center for all international attendees (as well as those from the US interested in learning about international HIM). There will be a presentation area in the lounge where informal sessions will be presented on a number of different subjects, and there will also be tables where international exhibitors will showcase their work, such as the HIM association of Australia.

Countries represented at convention include the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Philippines, Thailand, Canada, Nigeria, Australia, Qatar, Germany, India, Macedonia, and Iran. Other convention events include a welcome reception for international attendees on Monday, October 9.

International Sessions

AHIMA’s Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CHDA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA, senior director of HIM practice excellence, has been helping to teach coding and clinical documentation improvement for the AWC in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Philippines, and in Dubai, and is organizing a lot of the international events at convention this year. She helped narrow down 40 abstracts submitted for this track, which is aimed at helping attendees learn more about how HIM is practiced around the world.

Endicott says American and international attendees will have much to learn from each other.

“One of the international track sessions is on technology and using technology for privacy and security—a lot of these countries are more advanced than we are” Endicott says, adding that the US is far from alone in dealing with cybersecurity and hacking issues.

“I would say revenue cycle is going to be a hot topic just because there’s so many countries that are adopting the US revenue cycle,” Endicott says. A lot of the abstracts submitted were on that. They’re doing value-based purchasing, pay for performance and a lot of the same thing we’re doing.”

For example, the UAE is switching from a single payer, government-based reimbursement system to a model more like what the US has now.

Linda Jewell, RHIT, CHC, the AHIMA World Congress UAE chapter chair, will be giving one of the presentations taking place in the International Lounge on the convention floor. She has seen firsthand the transition the UAE is undergoing with its reimbursement system. She started working in Abu Dhabi seven years ago when the UAE was just starting to adopt DRGs and evaluation and management coding. She works in a government hospital that’s managed by the Cleveland Clinic.

According to Jewell, in the UAE, AHIMA is seen “as the gold standard—and their reputation is without equal.”

Endicott is particularly interested to hear a presentation about AHIMA’s work on international standards that will be given by AHIMA’s Diana Warner, MS, RHIA, CHPS, FAHIMA, director, standards and Anna Orlova, PhD, senior director of standards.

“That’s been interesting to see from my perspective, too. As you go around the world, and wherever I’ve been, even if English isn’t their language, every record is in English. It’s been interesting to see that that’s the standard. And they use the same software, they use Cerner and Medetech and a lot of going over country lines. They have the same issues we have with our technology,” Endicott says.

For HIM professionals interested in data analytics, a not-to-be-missed presentation is being given by Camille Poulin, PT, B.S.cP.T., CPHIMS-CA, PMP, director of consulting for CGI, in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Her session, “Data for Patient Safety,” will look at how organizations can use structured and unstructured data in their patient safety programs. As a clinical informatics specialist for her company, Poulin has been working with a technical team to develop a technical solution to automate the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Global Trigger Tool.

“This has led me to identify the business and clinical drivers that impact clinicians and healthcare organizations when they consider how to implement health information management and data strategies for their patient safety programs,” Poulin says. “I would like attendees to consider what is possible in their organization for enhancing the use of their data. We have so much data at our disposal but we are still struggling to organize, store, and retrieve it for secondary use. The data at our disposal holds many powerful stories that can be turned into actionable insights that benefit patients and clinicians.”

Mary Butler is the associate editor at The Journal of AHIMA.


  1. AHIMA 89th Annual Convention & Exhibit – 九州医事研究会ニュース - […] AHIMA Expands Footprint Worldwide and on the Convention Floor | Journal of AHIMA https://journal.ahima.org/2017/09/28/ahima-expands-footprint-worldwide-and-on-the-convention-floor/ […]

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