The Journal of AHIMA magazine has received multiple awards for editorial and design excellence from two leading business and healthcare publications associations.
On April 1, the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) issued the Gold Award for Best Cover: Computer-Generated to the Journal for its March 2018 “Attack of the Audits” cover, designed by Journal Art Director Graham Simpson.
Health information management (HIM) professionals have recently faced an unrelenting onslaught of government and payer audits, leaving many in fear of the day an audit—and the subsequent copious amount of record requests—storms their department. Though audits may seem like a threatening, looming presence for the industry, the “Attack of the Audits” cover story and art aimed to show that proper preparation and proactive adherence to best practices can protect and prepare HIM professionals—and that despite the hype, audits don’t have to be as scary as they may seem. This cover played on the somewhat sensational fear of audits in the industry by evoking a 1950s B-horror movie poster—movies where the poster typically hyped big scares while the actual movie itself proved to be much less frightening. The cover art shows the menacing hand of the auditor reaching into frame and causing havoc with an attacking pile of health records. The tongue-in-cheek scene tells the reader that while audits are serious and can have dire consequences, they are typically not as bad as perceived and can be effectively handled by following the proper best practices described in the article.
ASHPE also presented the Silver Award for Best Human Interest Article to the Journal for the October 2018 article “Deliverance in the Data,” written by Journal Associate Editor Mary Butler. The piece profiles data analyst and patient advocate Megan O’Boyle, who never imagined she would one day become a health information data expert. She started out as a frustrated mother, upset that the healthcare community wasn’t devoting research to treat her daughter’s rare genetic syndrome, and baffled by the lack of data exchange taking place among providers and patients. When an opportunity arose through a support group to take on creating a patient health information registry that could lead to better care and treatment for her daughter, O’Boyle jumped at the chance—despite not having any formal health information database training. But O’Boyle, driven by the opportunity to make a difference, learned on the job and soon became the principal investigator of the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Data Network.
This piece is a touching profile of a devoted mother getting out of her element and fighting for her child. But it also serves as inspiration to HIM professionals in two ways: 1) that their work does make a difference and can translate into better lives for the ill and disabled, and 2) that the recent industry disruption toward data analytics isn’t something to be feared, but can be achieved by anyone if they are willing to put the work in.
On Thursday, the American Society of Business Publication Editors honored the Journal with the Upper Midwest Region Bronzeard for Best Q&A Article for the September 2018 article “How to Prepare for EHR Downtime,” written by Debra Primeau, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA, founder and president of the Primeau Consulting Group.
The rising threat of cyberattacks and devastating natural disasters have increased the need for healthcare facilities to implement solid contingency plans that cover what to do during unexpected downtime of their electronic health record (EHR) systems. A recent study showed that over half of US hospitals reported unplanned EHR downtimes, a quarter of which resulted in serious patient care delays. This Q&A article with three HIM experts provides a rare firsthand look at what can happen during unplanned EHR downtimes, with the interview subjects offering candid explanations of the incidents and detailing what others should learn from their experiences. The Q&A also features an easy-to-read list of contingency plan recommendations that were provided by the interview subjects.
Each year ASHPE recognizes editorial excellence and achievement in the field of healthcare publishing and ASBPE honors excellence in the business, trade, and specialty press.
Chris Dimick is editor-in-chief of editorial services at AHIMA.