New Starts and Transformation Wins

By Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, chief executive officer

September is a time of new starts. At AHIMA, it’s our busiest time of year as we prepare for our annual conference and a host of other fall and winter activities. It’s also a time to look back on the year: two-thirds done, one-third to go!

As you know, this year AHIMA has embarked on a process of transformation, which has meant an intense period of work. We’ve done the daily work of the association while addressing the things that we need to do better and envisioning and building the path forward to the future.

While we’re not done yet, I can say there have been some definite wins:

  • We’ve unveiled our new mission and vision statements and have embarked on a series of conversations internally and with members about our long-term strategic plan, which will guide AHIMA through renewal and into growth over the next four years. We are having conversations with volunteer groups and leaders to ask them to join us in making the strategy happen. Watch for ways you can get involved to help transform AHIMA.
  • We’ve convened thought leaders to help us determine our future direction in key areas of growth such as clinical documentation improvement and data analytics. These groups have been engaging in debates and discussions this year and have sought feedback from the larger membership as they prepare to make recommendations to the Board of Directors. We are grateful to these participants and to everyone who commented. Watch for information on a thought leader group related to consumer engagement this fall.
  • We’ve celebrated numerous industry alliances and collaborations that allow us to interact with the healthcare industry in new ways, such as Artifact Health, the American Health Care Association, Area9, and SmartBrief. We continue to build additional collaborations that will further position AHIMA and our members front and center for transforming health and healthcare.

This month’s Journal explores a variety of policy and practice issues. In our cover story, Mary Butler takes a look at whether the “legal health record” even exists in this digital world—or if this very concept is outdated. Iliana Peters, JD, LLM, CISSP, and Pasha Sternberg, JD, explain why the recent suit filed by 12 State Attorneys General against a company for HIPAA violations is noteworthy in “Historic State AG HIPAA Filing: An Important Case to Understand.” Ken Reiher, MBA, reports on how a panel of privacy experts have worked to mitigate risks associated with hidden protected health information (PHI) in “PHI Hide and Seek.” And Ryan Sandefer, PhD, and David Marc, PhD, CHDA, put the recent discussions about the role of data analytics in HIM practice into perspective and argue that HIM professionals have a critical role to play in leveraging analytics to create better healthcare in “Data Analytics: The Straight-Lined Labyrinth that Entrapped the HIM Profession.”

This month we welcome the industry to Chicago, IL, at a revamped and refreshed annual conference: AHIMA19: Health Data and Information Conference. This issue features an overview of some of the exciting things we have in store. You can follow our conference coverage online at and via social media (hashtag #AHIMA19). I hope to see you here in Chicago!

Article citation:
AHIMA. "New Starts and Transformation Wins" Journal of AHIMA 90, no.8 (August 2019): 11-11.