CDIA Annual Conference – See you there!

Collage of Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Hello from the CDIA conference in Charlotte! I only got in late last evening, but have already seen some friendly faces in the lobby (hey Tony!) and I look forward to catching up with everyone.

Yesterday I attended AHIMA’s Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) Summit in Baltimore. It was a terrific day – jam packed with speakers ranging from HIT companies to health care providers to HIM experts.

One thing was clear.  Amid the talk about CAC technology selection, implementation, training, return on investment, and metrics, the common denominator was this – computer assisted coding can’t work if the documentation it processes isn’t accurate, comprehensive, and complete.  Another interesting thing – the speakers who produce the technology, some of the earliest providers of CAC, made frequent references to electronic versions of dictated documents as sources of the high-value documentation required to drive this very-important technology.

So the timing is perfect to attend the Clinical Documentation Industry Association’s (CDIA) 2011 annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina (hey, there are green leaves down here!).  Topics for discussion will cover everything from meaningful use, to marketing, to transcription’s role in health care reform. It will be a wonderful conference!  CDIA (formerly MTIA) always does a great job staging their annual conference – so if you are in the area, be sure to attend!

However, as we cover the buzzword topics of the day, I hope CDIA makes time for the nuts and bolts of what transcription vendors need to know in order to stay viable into this future where so much depends on the documentation that we help to produce.  I hope it helps its members, especially those trying to run small-to-midsize companies during a difficult economy and a time of great upheaval resulting from EHR implementations and the provider’s need to cut costs, to be aware of the foundational tools which will help them.  Yes, it is terribly important for the medical transcription industry to be informed of health care reform and the changes in the technological and political climates that will affect them. I agree that they must become complete clinical documentation companies and not just “medical transcription” providers.  I applaud the CDIA name change which reflects our evolution from “typing services” to clinical documentation experts. I honestly believe we are clinical documentation at its most valuable. But it is even more important that we revisit the basics of quality, cost-effective management, resource allocation, training and education – the kinds of things that we talk about on this blog all the time – if we are to stay whole during this turbulent – but very exciting – time.  There is great opportunity for us, but we will have to play it smart every step of the way to become, and stay, successful.

As the health care and HIM worlds buzz with talk of advanced technologies such as CAC, health care reform and meaningful use, ICD-10 conversions, and other big changes coming our way, more than ever we see that high-quality narrative documentation is high-value documentation. “Value” is the operative word here as we realize that the narrative documentation that we play a big part in producing is integral to the success of all of these efforts.

So come to the CDIA conference – and come visit me in the M*Modal booth!

See you there,


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