Last fall, AHIMA announced that it was embarking on an “organizational transformation” to set the association up for a successful future. Last week’s Journal of AHIMA slideshow explained where AHIMA is in the process of its organizational transformation and what that looks like. This week we’re talking about concrete changes that have been going on and areas of focus during the transformation.

Watch next week for the final transformation slideshow on what to expect next from AHIMA’s transformation and a preview of some changes on the way.


For 2019, AHIMA’s board of directors formulated a strategic plan—mapping out the general direction, specifically the pivots discussed in the first slideshow, with overall metrics of success. Then AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, and AHIMA staff developed operational plans to carry out for the year, which AHIMA employees tied to their goals for the year. Those goals include:

  • Improving customer experience
  • Increasing profitability
  • Improving operational excellence
  • Driving innovation
  • Improving employee experience

AHIMA will be providing further updates throughout the year via e-Alerts,, Engage communities, component state association meetings, state leaders, and the House of Delegates.

AHIMA is initially focusing on seven areas for change as part of its transformation. Those are:

  • Coding
  • Clinical documentation improvement (CDI)
  • AHIMA Health Data and Information Conference (formerly known as the Convention and Exhibit)
  • Customer experience
  • Financial accountability
  • Communication
  • Innovation

To help guide the way in each of these categories, AHIMA staff are using what is known as “change stories.” A change story is a way to understand the story of the past, state a case for change, and springboard to the story of the future. In this case, AHIMA is using change stories to identify areas where the association is doing well, where it can do better, and what the future might look like.

Change stories are the starting point for execution plans in the areas of greatest transformation. Take, for example, AHIMA’s change story around coding. The coding change story is looking at where AHIMA wants to be tomorrow as well as today. AHIMA is starting with a vision of the future in which the association is the leading voice for both inpatient and outpatient coding. AHIMA will drive the discussions in the marketplace while also considering artificial intelligence, computer-assisted coding, and other technological evolutions. AHIMA leaders are plotting strategies and activities to map the way forward.

Coding is not the only area of interest for AHIMA. Next week we will discuss the association’s continued exploration of privacy/security and data analytics.

To help accomplish so much change, AHIMA has made several leadership changes by converting existing positions into roles that will help support AHIMA in its transformation. This new team is supported by AHIMA’s subject matter experts in the HIM Practice Excellence staff.

In addition to CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, the new leadership team includes:

  • Darren Joslin, Chief Information and Service Officer
  • Cheryl Martin, RHIA, MA, Chief Knowledge Officer
  • Amy Mosser, Chief Transformation Officer
  • Leslie Stokes, Chief Product Marketing and Sales Officer
  • Keith Terry, Interim Executive Director, AHIMA Foundation
  • Otis Usher, Chief Financial Officer

More information on these leaders and their areas of responsibility will be shared in the near future.


Mary Butler is associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.