As the healthcare industry evolves, professional
education should evolve with it. That is why AHIMA
has revamped the AHIMA Convention and Exhibit,
and given it a new name—AHIMA19: Health Data
and Information Conference.
The conference will feature a number of new
offerings this year to help healthcare leaders
become more engaged in a dynamic industry.
Here’s a peek at what attendees can expect.
Transforming the Conference
AHIMA19 has been specifically designed to give
health information management (HIM) leaders—
and all healthcare professionals with a stake
in health data—the education and networking
they need to be more strategic and innovative.
By broadening the audience for the conference,
AHIMA aims to promote greater collaboration
and problem-solving across a diverse healthcare
“This year, AHIMA is in the process of transforming
to achieve our mission of empowering people to
impact health,” says AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs
Harris, PhD, CAE. “Likewise, we felt it was the
perfect time to transform our annual conference.
We look forward to highlighting the crucial issues
and discussions taking place in the health data and
information space and advancing the issues that
affect healthcare organizations and patients.”
In fact, organizers designed the conference to
appeal to a wide audience interested in health data
and information—from HIM leaders to clinicians
to IT, finance, and legal professionals. New
educational pathways help guide attendees to the
specific sessions that are the most relevant and
connected to their specific goals. These pathways
cover a broad array of topics, including clinical
documentation improvement (CDI), the continuum
of care, and innovation. All 60-plus sessions
have been designed to help attendees at every
experience level understand how they can thrive in
the changing world of healthcare.
Creating a Forum for New Ideas
Another new addition to AHIMA19 that underscores
the conference’s focus on innovation and change is
the pitch competition, hosted in collaboration with
MATTER, a health technology incubator based in
Chicago, IL. According to the challenge statement,
the competition is seeking “innovative solutions that
improve the connections between people, systems,
and ideas to transform health and healthcare.”
Possible pitches might address interoperability,
patient matching, or social determinants of health,
although all ideas are welcome from HIM students
and professionals as well as those outside of HIM.
Five entrants (selected by public voting and
ranked based on judging criteria by AHIMA and
MATTER) will be invited to pitch their creative
idea in front of an expert panel of judges and a
live audience of conference attendees on Monday,
September 16, giving them invaluable exposure
and feedback they can use to refine their concept.
Winners also earn cash prizes to fund their ideas.
First place wins $5,000, second place receives
$2,500, and third place gets $1,500.
Joe Rizk, MATTER’s vice president of strategic
partnerships, says the decision to collaborate on
AHIMA’s inaugural pitch competition was easy
because both organizations share the same drive to
innovate to improve health outcomes. “We wanted
to stimulate thinking within AHIMA’s audience as
well as nurture startups and give them a stage to
present their solutions,” Rizk says. “The startups
benefit from getting feedback from individuals
working in the field, but we also get to show people
what is happening outside the walls of corporate
Specifically, audience members at the pitch
competition will gain insights on what is happening
in the quick-moving and “scrappy” world of
startups, Rizk says. “Sometimes, exposing a broader
audience to that helps stimulate internal ideas on
how they can think differently about solutions for
imperatives in their own organizations,” he says.