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Conference Corner: ACDIS office closed for the 10th annual conference

office closure

ACDIS office closed May 8-12

The annual ACDIS conference will be the blowout CDI event of the year, as always, but with a special flair for the 10th anniversary festivities. Because of the size and reach of the conference, all the ACDIS staff needs to devote their full attention on the conference. This means the ACDIS office will be closed starting on May 8 and reopening on May 12.

While the ACDIS team will be busy in Las Vegas making the conference as memorable and helpful as possible for the attendees, customer service remains open for questions. Please contact Customer Service at customerservice@hcpro.com or call 800-650-6787 for any of the following concerns:

  • Requests for a receipt
  • Assistance with your username and/or password
  • Questions about ACDIS website access
  • Inquiries about your ACDIS membership expiration date

Should you have other questions, the ACDIS team will do their best to answer promptly upon returning to the office on May 12.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Vegas!

 

Conference Corner: ACDIS app comes back

app

The App is back!

Much like The Cat in the Hat, the ACDIS app comes back. While the title of this post may sound like a new-fangled Dr. Seuss book, we are, in all serious, very excited about welcoming the ACDIS Conference App back for the 10th annual ACDIS conference.

Attendees should have received an email with your login information and download instructions. Check your spam filters and hospital firewalls. Please note that if you downloaded last year’s App, you need to update the App to access the 2017 version. This post is meant to overview some of the App features, for those of you who are new to the App, as well as an introduction to some new tools.

A couple years ago, ACDIS went green If you want paper materials, you need to print them out on your own, prior to leaving the office for the conference. To print the materials, use the download link included in your welcome letter.

All PowerPoint presentations, speaker bio, daily agendas, and other important information is also located in the ACDIS App.

The conference App will be your lifeline for all things ACDIS 2017. There are dedicated icons (located along the bottom of your screen) for the following items:

  • Home newsfeed: Feel free to post pictures, tag other attendees, or include your location. Use the App to check into sessions and to share any take-home tips from a given speaker in a particular session.
  • Notifications: Anytime someone follow you, messages you, tags you, or you win a raffle, you’ll get a notification. We’ll also send you reminders with general conference information. Be sure to “allow notifications” from the ACDIS App so you don’t miss out.
  • Agenda: This tab houses a complete agenda for the event. You can personalize it, adding sessions you wish to attend, making it easy to keep track of your schedule. By clicking on the session, you will be brought to a page with a brief description of the topic and speaker. Here you can access the slides before, during, and after the conference right from your phone. (Note: Materials will open within the App for iPhone users. For Android users, the materials will download to your phone and can be accessed through your phone’s downloads folder.)
  • App sponsor, The Claro Group: Here you can find a special message from our App sponsor. We’re very grateful for their sponsorship!
menu

The App menu

There’s also a number of features in the menu section of the App. To access these features, go to the “more” icon along the bottom of the screen and scroll through the various categories, including:

  • Discussion groups: New this year, the discussion groups function much like the popular ACDIS Forum. You simply click on the topic section you’d like to join and click the “Join Channel” button on the bottom of the screen. These are dedicated areas to share information with other attendees and get some input from new friends you meet at the conference.
  • Exhibitors: This tab features an alphabetic list of all our exhibitors and information about each one. To find one in the exhibit hall, simply click on the name and then click the booth number. This will open the interactive exhibit hall map and help you navigate to the booth.
  • Raffle winners: Unlike previous years, we’ll announce the vendor raffle winners through the App. If your name is drawn, you will get a notification during a session break in the App about what you won and where to pick it up. The winners will also be listed in the “raffle winners” section.
  • Conference details: This section includes all the logistical information about the conference you need to know. For instance, this section includes continuing education credit information, location, parking, suggested attire, and WiFi instructions.
  • Maps: This section has a map of the conference center as a whole with track and room numbers, all of which are color coded.
  • Sponsors: Similar to the exhibitor section, this section features a list of all our sponsors and information about those companies.
  • Messages: Much like Facebook, this section will be for any private messages you may receive through the App. This can be especially helpful for connecting with old friends.
  • Photo feed: This is where all the photos uploaded to the App will live.
  • Attendees: This tab lets you network with and “follow” one another, much like Twitter (don’t worry, we do not provide any contact information—only your name, credentials, and facility). This allows you to network with all your CDI friends, old and new.

To get started, simply download the App by visiting the Google Play store or the Apple App store and searching ACDIS Conference. (If you downloaded the App last year, make sure to update it within the Google Play or Apple App store to access new features). We will provide a special App-related help desk near the registration area during the conference should you need technical assistance.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, there are a few things you should do:

  • Upload a photo of yourself, if you wish
  • Double check your profile information—your name, title, and facility or company—and edit if needed
  • Link your account to existing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, allowing you to post status updates to multiple accounts at once

Next, play around with the App to familiarize yourself with the agenda and the calendar, make sure you know how to access the slides, and try updating a status or picture (or both).

Remember—this App is intended for professional networking purposes. Please keep all posts and pictures appropriate!

We appreciate your cooperation, and we hope you are as excited as we are. Of course, you may have a few questions or concerns. If you need help we’ll have a special kiosk near the registration desk you can visit onsite, or you can message our App coordinator, Jessica Carbone. You can also call our customer service folks at 800-650-6787 or customerservice@hcpro.com.

 

Conference Corner: #TBT ACDIS conference through the years

Can you believe we’re just a couple days away from the 10th annual ACDIS conference? As we prepare for this monumental anniversary celebration, the ACDIS team is getting a bit nostalgic. Take a look at these pictures from the last nine years of ACDIS conference. We can’t wait to see you in Las Vegas!

10th Annual ACDIS conference by Slidely Photo Gallery

Conference Corner: Packing and reminders

The 10th annual ACDIS conference in Las Vegas starts in less than a week. As the departure date for more than 1,500 attendees quickly approaches, we wanted to leave you a couple reminders to help you prepare for the trip.

First, make sure you subscribe to the ACDIS Blog for the next few days. We’ll post a series of helpful hints and tips to help you get the most out of the conference.

Second, as a reminder, the ACDIS office will be closed for the conference starting Monday, May 8, and will reopen Tuesday, May 16. We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

What to wear…

Wear comfortable but professional clothing, comfortable shoes you can walk in, and bring extra layers (such as sweaters or jackets). We have no control of the temperature in the convention center and it may fluctuate from room to room.

  • Day 1 of the annual conference is always “show your CDI pride day.” We encourage you to wear purple and orange. In the past, attendees have sported purple ties and orange shirts, fancy hats, and scarves. We’ll be giving out spirit ribbons and special prizes for those who go above and beyond.

    day 1

    Show your ACDIS spirit on Day 1!

  • Day 2 is always “state pride day.” We encourage you to wear an item of clothing emblematic of your state. Visit the local chapter page for your state to stay up-to-date on what the chapter leaders have planned for this year’s festivities.

    day 2

    Show your state pride on Day 2!

What to bring. . .

Bring your business cards! Networking is one of the most important aspects of the conference. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards so you can share your contact information with colleagues, and enter drawings in the exhibit hall.

Bring some pens and paper to swap. ACDIS’ CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards participates in a “stationary swap” and had a great time bringing this game to ACDIS conference attendees over the last couple years. To join in, pick up a fun pen or two and a small stationary item (like a flower-shaped sticky note pad or flamingo shaped pen) wrapped in a paper bag and drop it off at the ACDIS registration desk on Day 1 starting at noon through Day 2 at noon. You’ll receive a blue ticket which you can exchange for a different package from the bin on Day 2. To make your donation to the exchange extra special, consider including a motivational note or CDI tip in your package.

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Don’t forget your pens!

Early arrivals…

For those arriving on Tuesday, May 9, we strongly encourage you to pre-register from 2-6 p.m. Pre-registration will be held at the registration desk in the Grand Ballroom Foyer, on level 1 of the conference center. By pre-registering you will avoid waiting in line Wednesday morning! We also look forward to seeing you at this year’s pre-event cocktail reception on Tuesday, May 9, 5-7:30 p.m., in the Exhibit Hall (the Marquee Ballroom).

Conference Corner: Conference Committee members share their experiences, highlights

We’re only eight days away from the 10th annual ACDIS Conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Even as the core ACDIS team busily prepares, attendees may not realize the amount of behind-the-scenes volunteer work that helps bring the conference’s educational offerings together. A committee of 12 ACDIS members volunteers their time and energy beginning in August each year and meet regularly to set priorities for the event, evaluate speaker applications, and ensure content submissions meet rigorous quality expectations. Over the months leading up to the conference, they work to ensure the event is as memorable and valuable as possible.

ACDIS would like to extend a special thank you to your 12 conference committee members for the 2017 conference:

  • Susanne Warford, MBA-HCM, RN, CCDS
  • Faisal Hussain, MD
  • Deidre Barnett, RN, MHCL, CCDS
  • Valarie Bica, RN, CPN
  • Karen DiMeglio, RN, MS, CPC, CCDS
  • Jessica Fetterley, RHIT, CCDS
  • Jeanne O’Connor, RN, MS, CCDS
  • Theresa Ryan, RN, MBA, CCDS
  • Lynn Sisler, RN, MS, CCDS, ACM
  • Brandy White, RN, CCS, CDIP, CCDS
  • Kara Masucci, RN, MSN, CCDS
  • Shelia Bullock, RN

Over the past few weeks, ACDIS Editor Linnea Archibald had the privilege of chatting with a few of the committee members about their experiences and what they’re looking forward to. Here are some of their responses:

Q: What were some of the highlights of serving on the ACDIS conference committee?

“I was really amazed at the breath of the speaker submissions. I’ve been attending the conference for years and seeing all the great submission offerings behind the final choices was definitely a highlight. We also had a great cross-section of different people on the conference committee, which really supports a well-rounded conference selection and some great dialogue during our meetings,” Lynn Sisler, RN, MBA, CCDS, says.

“Looking at how much work goes into planning the whole thing was a highlight and probably the biggest learning experience for me. You don’t realize it until you’ve been in that role. probably the. The collaboration with all the members, though, was the most rewarding part of it. I loved getting everyone’s experience and takes on the sessions,” Faisal Hussain, MD, says.

“It was a great opportunity and I was honored to be selected to serve. And, it was very educational, not only from reading all the different submissions, but also from talking with and being in discussions with the other committee members,” Jeanne O’Connor, RN, MSN, CCDS, says.

Q: What was your process when evaluating a speaker or sessions?

“I would start by looking at them in terms of my own personal thoughts as to what would be good and then try to couple it with a particular track. I tried to remain very cognoscente of the fact that, even if it didn’t appeal to me, there may be someone interested. We wanted to create a well-rounded conference. Sometimes, that meant ACDIS Director Brian Murphy would reach out to submitters for more details about their proposal. I think the team did a really good job with making sure no stone was left unturned,” Sisler says.

“The first thing I wanted to know was which category the presentation belonged in: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. I think each track needs at least one beginner and one intermediate level session. I also asked how new the findings in a session were, trying to avoid sessions that had been done before. We want attendees to learn something new, so you have to make the conference for everyone,” says Hussain.

“I did it in the evenings after work, starting with going through the applications for that week. Then, I wrote down a sentence of two about each session to jog my memory during the meetings and went back through my top picks,” O’Connor says.

Q: Are there any tracks or sessions that you’re particularly interested in?

“I’m always excited about the new and innovative sessions and also the leadership tracks. Those are usually the most applicable to my current role, but all the regulatory sessions are also helpful,” Sisler says.

“I’m personally very interested in the quality and regulatory track. I’m big on how CDI can help reducing denials. I’m also always interested in finding out about new coding challenges. Personally, I don’t have much experience with outpatient CDI, so that’s exciting too,” Hussain says.

“I was most interested in the clinical part. I think it’s important for CDI specialists to stay abreast of the newest in clinical research and how it relates to us. I’m also really interested in the quality and regulatory track because that’s the one I need the most education on myself, plus, they’re the most apt to change. Really, I’m excited for everything, though,” says O’Connor.

Q: What, in general, about this year’s conference are you excited about?

“I’m always excited to get all those experts in one place! I’m really excited about the networking opportunities and learning from other attendees, too,” says Sisler.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting all the conference committee members in person and catching up with the speakers I met last year. Ultimately, I’m looking forward to learning from everyone,” Hussain says.

“I love seeing everyone [I’ve met during previous conferences]. The poster sessions are also great. And, I think it’s wonderful that they’re listed on the ACDIS website after the conference so I can go back and see them all over again. This will be my third conference and I’ve found that, for me, it’s best to get there early so I don’t miss anything,” says O’Connor.

Note from Associate Editorial Director: Quotes of note

Melissa Varnavas

Melissa Varnavas

by Melissa Varnavas

As a young journalist on deadline, I stared down a blank white computer screen as the clock ticked toward midnight, pondering an exposition regarding my home town’s complicated municipal budget. In the end, I settled on introducing the article with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort…”

As the article devolved into a collection of quotes from city councilors, my editor at the time simply titled the piece “Beverly Budget Debate: Quotes of Note.”

While not exactly one of my more shining journalistic moments, it is true that certain quotes, like that of Roosevelt’s, reverberate through time, echoing with the truth of the sentiment they express. It’s probably the reason so many ACDIS members include famous quotes in their email signatures.

I love the one from hockey player Wayne Gretzky that ACDIS member Tracy Boldt, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDIP, system manager for CDI at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota, uses in her signature: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” The 2016 CDI professional of the year award winner Karen Newhouser played off Gretzky’s quote in her acceptance speech, encouraging those in attendance to use the resources available to them to stay informed about changes in healthcare reimbursement and their effect on CDI efforts.

Another of my favorites related to the CDI profession has long been Mark Twain’s: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Don’t call it congestive heart failure if it’s actually acute-on-chronic diastolic heart failure.

Musing on this, I asked the ACDIS team to put on their thinking caps and come up with a few themselves. Both ACDIS Director Brian Murphy and ACDIS CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards stuck with a writerly theme and the importance of thoughtfully chosen words to convey a message.

Murphy chose John Cheever’s: “A page of good prose remains invincible.”

Richards chose Emile de Girardin’s: “The power of words is immense. A well-chosen word had often sufficed to stop a flying army, to change defeat into victory and to save an empire.”

“Not to mention invited in the auditor or caused claims to be denied,” she added.

ACDIS Editor Linnea Archibald pointed to a quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong,” as evidence of the importance of educating physicians on proper clinical documentation habits. Those physicians who take the time to heed CDI professionals’ advice, she says, ultimately end up saving time by getting the documentation correct to begin with.

ACDIS Associate Director of Membership and Product Development Rebecca Hendren chose a quote from Jane Austin, tweaking the details a tad. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a physician in possession of poor documentation must be in want of a CDI specialist.” We’ll leave it to you to look up the original wording.

ACDIS Educational Director Laurie Prescott couldn’t settle on just one. Her favorites include:

  • “Good words are worth much, and cost little,” by George Herbert
  • “I like good strong words that mean something,” by Louisa May Alcott, in Little Women (like acute, chronic, and acute on chronic, Prescott added)
  • “It’s always a bit of a struggle to get the words right, whether we’re a Hemingway or a few fathoms below his level,” by Rene J. Cappon (which is why you have CDI specialists to assist you, Prescott joked)

We’re sure you have your own favorites, too. Feel free to share them with us or better yet, why not play this game with your CDI team and post your quotes near physician’s documentation stations and around your CDI department as a fun way to provide a little additional insight into the importance of CDI.

After all, as Aristotle said, “The aim of CDI is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

Editor’s note: Varnavas is the Associate Editorial Director of ACDIS. Contact her at mvarnavas@acdis.org.

Guest Post: Your CDI team’s role in pneumonia value-based outcomes, part 2

Shannon Newell

Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS

by Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS

Pneumonia as a principal diagnosis

Consider the following case studies.

Case study 3: A patient with history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presents to the ER with complaints of a low-grade fever of 99.8, and shortness of breath for two days with intermittent minimal wheezing. Chest x-ray is positive for a left upper lobe infiltrate. The patient’s white blood cell count is 10,000, lactic acid is 0.8, pulse is 88, and respiratory rate is 22 breaths per minute with a pulse oxygen level of 96% on 2 liters. The patient is admitted with COPD exacerbation and community-acquired pneumonia. The patient is started on IV antibiotics for treatment of the community-acquired pneumonia and receives bronchodilators every four hours without IV Solu-Medrol for treatment of the COPD. The patient’s condition improves, and in four days the patient is discharged on oral antibiotics. Documented diagnoses: Community-acquired pneumonia and COPD exacerbation. Pneumonia, unspecified organism is coded as the principal diagnosis. Both pneumonia and COPD exacerbation are clinically supported as principal diagnosis options. ICD-10 classification instructions require that patients with COPD with acute lower respiratory infections have COPD sequenced as the principal diagnosis. The correct selection of COPD as the principal diagnosis with pneumonia as a reported secondary, POA diagnosis would exclude the discharge from the readmission and mortality outcome cohorts.

Sepsis as a principal diagnosis: The inclusion of pneumonia as a secondary, POA diagnosis does not include a discharge in the outcome cohorts. This rule of thumb is typically true: Only cases with a principal diagnosis of pneumonia will “count.” There is one exception, however, and that is the reporting of pneumonia as a secondary, POA diagnosis when sepsis is reported as the principal diagnosis.

If sepsis is reported as the principal diagnosis and pneumonia is reported as a secondary, POA diagnosis, the discharge will be included in both the readmission and mortality outcome cohorts. In such cases, if—in addition to the secondary diagnosis of pneumonia—severe sepsis is present and reported as a secondary, POA diagnosis, the discharge is excluded from the cohort.

The evidence-based definitions adopted for use will impact how sepsis/severe sepsis codes are reported and, in turn, will impact performance for the pneumonia mortality and readmission outcomes.

Case study using the Sepsis-2 definition

  • Scenario:
    • A patient is admitted with pneumonia not elsewhere specified, with multiple clinical indicators of a systemic infection (temperature 102; respiratory rate 28 breaths per minute; white blood cell count 18,000 uL; pulse 120 beats per minute; lactic acid level 2.4 mmol/L).

The patient’s blood pressure, mental status, platelet count, bilirubin, and renal function are all within normal limits, and there is no evidence of delayed capillary refill.

  • Principal diagnosis:
    • Sepsis—if documented—would be reported as the principal diagnosis. (If not documented, a query would be recommended given the multiple clinical indicators of a systemic infection.)
    • Pneumonia would be reported as a secondary, POA diagnosis.
  • Pneumonia mortality/readmission cohorts:
    • The patient would be included in the cohorts.
    • An opportunity to exclude the discharge from the cohorts exists if Sepsis-2 criteria are used and severe sepsis is documented. (If not documented, a query would be recommended using the following clinical support: lactic acid level greater than the upper limits of laboratory normal (1 mmol/L).)

Case study using Sepsis-3 definition

  • Scenario:
    • Same as case study with the Sepsis-2 definition above.
  • Principal diagnosis:
    • If the Sepsis-3 definition is used, the clinical indicators in this patient do not meet sepsis definition requirements. This is because the elevated lactic acid level is not part of the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score defining sepsis.
    • The principal diagnosis would be pneumonia. Sepsis and severe sepsis would not be reported.
  • Pneumonia mortality/readmission cohorts:
    • The patient would be included in the cohorts.

Discharge status of “against medical advice”

Whenever “against medical advice” is reported as the discharge status, that discharge is excluded from both the mortality and readmission cohorts. CDI teams typically focus on accuracy of discharge status due to its impact on accurate MS-DRG assignment and payments.

Editor’s note: This article was previously published in the Revenue Cycle Advisor. To read the first part of this article, click here. Newell was previously the director of CDI quality initiatives for Enjoin, but is now retired. Should you have any questions regarding this article, please email ACDIS Editor Linnea Archibald at larchibald@acdis.org. Opinions expressed are that of the author and do not represent HCPro or ACDIS.

 

Conference Corner: Shipping out to Vegas!

If you’ve ever felt that your luggage always ends up too heavy, taking a trip down to the loading dock to see the pallets shipping out to the 10th annual ACDIS conference in Las Vegas would certainly make you feel better about your bag.

pallet fun

Linnea Archibald (left) and Penny Richards (right) joining in on the packing fun.

Though we already extended our thanks to the internal staff who make the ACDIS conference possible, the team putting this conference together deserve another round of applause. On Tuesday, the office management team finished packing up the pallets to ship to the conference. CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards and ACDIS Editor Linnea Archibald ventured down to the loading dock to see the process in action and were thoroughly impressed.

On the dock were five pallets ready to go onto the truck – each wrapped in cellophane and jam packed with ACDIS supplies. Here are a few of the items making the trek to Vegas:

  • More than 2,000 tote bags with goodies included
  • More than 2,000 event agendas, exhibit hall floor plans, program guides, and exhibitor directories
  • Close to 50 signs and posters
  • Office and setup supplies such as batteries, clips, box cutters, calculators, envelopes, extension cords, first aid kits, pens, scissors, and more
  • More than 600 pieces of pre-con materials
  • Book store merchandise
  • The ACDIS Achievement Awards

There’s no way the ACDIS conference would be as spectacular without the many staff members working behind the scenes. When you arrive at the conference, look around and imagine packing all that in your roll-around suitcase!

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The pallets packed and ready to go!

Guest Post: Your CDI team’s role in pneumonia value-based outcomes, part 1

Shannon Newell

Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS

by Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCS

The selection of a principal diagnosis, secondary diagnosis, present on admission (POA) status, and discharge status on each claim determines whether a pneumonia discharge will be included in Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program and Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program measures. And effective CDI reviews can capture this documentation.

Pneumonia as a principal diagnosis

CMS includes any discharges with the principal diagnosis of pneumonia (including aspiration pneumonia) in the mortality and readmission outcome measures. Some of these discharges are excluded for various reasons, for example, discharges with a reported discharge status of “against medical advice” are excluded from both measures. The final group of included discharges is referred to as the “cohort.”

Consider the following case studies.

Case study 1: A patient is admitted with pneumonia and acute respiratory failure requiring BiPAP with admission to the ICU along with IV antibiotics for treatment of the underlying pneumonia. Two principal diagnosis options exist–acute respiratory failure or pneumonia. Coding guidelines permit the selection of either option as the principal diagnosis. Today’s CDI teams typically select the option that results in the highest MS-DRG relative weight. Based on current MS-DRG relative weights, the pneumonia would result in the MS-DRG with the highest relative weight, and if it is selected, the discharge would be included in the readmission and mortality outcome cohorts.

Case study 2: A 65-year-old white male with known AIDS is admitted with pneumonia related to his underlying AIDS. Only the pneumonia is addressed during the hospital stay. Based on ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, AIDS/HIV infection (B20) would be reported as the principal diagnosis, and the HIV-related condition, pneumonia, would be reported as an additional diagnosis. The reporting of AIDS (B20) as principal diagnosis would remove the patient from the pneumonia readmission/mortality cohorts.

Summary

Performance on the CMS 30-day pneumonia readmission and mortality measures adjusts payments received for the Medicare and commercial patient population. By promoting and adopting evidence-based definitions; associated documentation requirements; accurate selection, sequencing, and assignment of POA status; and accurate reporting of discharge status, the CDI team plays a vital role in data integrity for claims-based quality measures.

Editor’s note: This article was previously published in the Revenue Cycle Advisor. Come back to the ACDIS Blog next week for the second part of the article. Newell was previously the director of CDI quality initiatives for Enjoin, but is now retired. Should you have any questions regarding this article, please email ACDIS Editor Linnea Archibald at larchibald@acdis.org. Opinions expressed are that of the author and do not represent HCPro or ACDIS.

 

Conference Corner: Thanks to our internal staff!

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Staff answer questions and work at the ACDIS booth

The days are winding down to the long awaited 10th annual ACDIS conference. Next week, more than 30 members of our HCPro and BLR teammates will make their way to the airport to support the ACDIS community during the largest conference we have ever conducted—with more than 1,500 paid attendees, 50 exhibitors, upwards of 300 exhibitor attendees, and more than 90 speakers and presenters.

In addition to the core ACDIS team, dozens of people lend their time, energy, and innumerable talents. When put all together, they produce the thriving conference we will experience in Las Vegas. We hope you’ll join us in thanking our staff members who make the conference possible.

While it would be nearly impossible to name every single person who contributed in some way, we’re going to give it our best shot:

Shannon Storella and the entire events team: Shannon is our fearless leader throughout the conference, from the planning stages to the live event. She keeps us all in line and helps the event run as smoothly as possible.

Kathy Wilson does an amazing job holding the entire event together working between the various departments as well as with the hotel staff and conference center management to ensure everything stays inline. The conference wouldn’t be as successful (or fun) without her!

Our conference presenters have gotten to know Wendy Walsh (or W2, as she sometimes signs her emails) very well over the past six to eight months. She is our conference producer, helping guide the speakers from the planning stages of their presentations through to execution at the actual conference. She keeps track of speakers’ presentations, makes sure their travel arrangements are set, ensures their presentations meet ANCC continuing education requirements, and a host of other tasks required to keep the sessions full of quality information. She helps prepare our room moderators to produce the best session experience possible.

Maggie Gagnon does a fantastic job both behind the scenes leading up to the conference and throughout the conference to generally ensure that the entire event runs smoothly.

Jess Carbone is the brain behind our ACDIS conference App, adds messaging, uploads materials, and trains the rest of the ACDIS staff on how to use the App. We love seeing the attendees interact through the app and post updates from the sessions.

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Staff working at the registration desks

Mary Ann Genovese, Kerry Neenan, Jennifer Hollis, and the rest of our exhibit hall support staff do a great job working with exhibitors and organizing floor plans, and assisting and directing attendees during the conference.

Andrea Kraynak, Stephen Andrews, Nicole Votta, Rebecca Hendren, Linnea Archibald, Sharme Brodie, Allen Frady, Shannon McCall, and Wendy Walsh: These lovely people will be our room moderators for our five session tracks, making sure the sessions ran as smoothly as possible. They’ll let you know where the bathrooms are, ask you to silence your cell phones, and remind you to use the microphones to ask your questions at the close of the session. They will keep the rest of the conference group updated via the App on interesting quotes and tidbits from each presentation as well.

Sheila McGrath, Erin Smith, Sarah Devlin, Melissa Varnavas, Penny Richards, and everyone in the ACDIS booth will be available to explain the various books, pocket guides, newsletters, and other products available to help CDI programs train their staff and grow. In between sessions, the booth will be open to attendees who wish to make a purchase or ask a question, and they will be ready and eager to help.

Mary Ann Genovese, Kerry Neenan, Jennifer Hollis, and the rest of our exhibit hall support staff do a great job working with exhibitors and organizing floor plans, and assisting and directing attendees during the conference.

Melissa Ketelsen (in customer service in our Tennessee office), Shannon McCall, Dave Garvey (both onsite) and our registration folks make the registration process run so smoothly, and for answering attendee’s questions, fixing or replacing badges, and providing support throughout the conference.

Casey Thomas, Mike Mirabello, Matt Sharpe, Mollika Sun and AnnMarie Lemoine do a fantastic job organizing ALL of the pieces here in the office that gets shipped to the conference! Their efforts ensure that we have everything we need to run a successful event onsite.

The list goes on, and surely we’ve still left off a few names! It takes a huge group of people to make the conference as spectacular as it always is. The conference wouldn’t be what it is without the effort of each and every person on this team.