Hope and Peril in the Era of COVID-19

Hope and Peril in the Era of COVID-19


As I was writing this message, the world was just beginning its long fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The scope and cost of this global crisis will be staggering and without precedence in modern times. However, in the face of fear and uncertainty, I have been profoundly inspired by the courageous response of healthcare professionals around the world, all of whom are working tirelessly and selflessly in the face of great danger to their own well-being to protect us all.

Through our collective efforts—from our government’s decisions to the average person’s commitment to social distancing—we will win this fight.

AHIMA is preparing health information management professionals to help their clinical and technology partners access the information they need to serve the health needs of their communities.

To that end, AHIMA developed a COVID-19 Resource Page, a comprehensive—and growing—compendium of tools, resources, and best practices to equip HIM departments to meet the challenges of the days and weeks ahead. As of press time, our most recent updates include:

  • A joint American Hospital Association-AHIMA FAQ on the use of the new coding for COVID-19
  • An article in the Journal of AHIMA that explores telehealth’s role in the coronavirus response
  • Best practices and news from AHIMA members on how they are preparing their colleagues for privacy challenges, operational continuity, and coding

These are trying times for all of us and we must all work together to stay informed, remember simple things such as handwashing are very important, make wise decisions, and take care of ourselves and our families.

Through our collective efforts—from our government’s decisions to the average person’s commitment to social distancing—we will win this fight.

Connecting and hearing from our members is important to me as well as the rest of the AHIMA Board. During the House of Delegates meeting in September I reinforced my commitment to communicate with the members. The board sends monthly communication to the CSAs and shares a recap of pertinent information. I would like to highlight two items that have recently been shared with the CSAs.

First, after previous discussion, the board of directors unanimously voted to allow the speaker-elect to join the board of directors for their meetings. The board recognized there is a steep learning curve and allowing the speaker-elect to be a part of the board as a non-voting guest during the year will help him or her be better prepared as a board director when ascending to the speaker position.

Second, the formation of the Governance Task Force was announced during the House of Delegates meeting last year. The task force charter states: “To ensure AHIMA is positioned with an optimal, nimble, and agile governance structure, the Governance Task Force is charged with reviewing and transforming the governance of AHIMA. This will include AHIMA’s Board of Directors, House of Delegates, Nominating Committee, CEE, CCHIIM, and CSAs, and each segment’s role in the overarching governance structure. The outcome is an integrated and aligned governance structure that demonstrates purpose in relation to AHIMA’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.” They will meet monthly for one year, with a mission to achieve the goals set out in the charter. If at the end of the year there is still work to be done, the Governance Task Force will present recommendations to the AHIMA Board of Directors and the House of Delegates on how to proceed.

As Simon Sinek said, “Together is better. If we each do our part to help advance a shared vision, we can build the world we imagine.”


Ginna Evans (ginna.evans@ahimaboard.org) is coding educator, internal medicine specialties division, Emory Clinic, Emory Healthcare.

To visit the Journal of AHIMA’s COVID-19 News and Resources page, click here.
Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *