Health Information Management

Local Chapter Update: Local Chapter Update: Get involved, we are!

CDI Strategies, February 25, 2016

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The voice over the intercom called out for Melissa Ketelsen. She’s the customer service supervisor for ACDIS’ parent company BLR, housed in Brentwood, Tennessee. At the front desk, a tall, distinguished gentleman introduced himself as Dr. James Kennedy, president of CDIMD, ICD-10 Physician Champions.

Kennedy, a co-leader of the Tennessee ACDIS Chapter, stopped by to say hello. As it turned out, their chapter event was being held next door to our corporate headquarters. Ketelsen introduced Kennedy to Dan Oswald, BLR’s chief executive officer, and later she and Diane Hatchett, our customer service manager, returned the visit and presented chapter leaders with a couple of additional raffle items.

That’s just one example of the interconnectedness between ACDIS National and our Local Chapters.

Earlier this month, the good folks at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, volunteered their IT department’s assistance and, before I knew it, I was “Big Brother” on the television screens of the conference hall as a panel of presenters gathered on stage below me and a PowerPoint presentation aired between us. The panelists each discussed how their remote CDI capabilities and I shared National’s extensive archives of CDI Journal articles, surveys, and benchmarking reports. Since the event took place on National Wear Red Day—February 5—the sold-out audience of more than 50 attendees all donned their crimson colored clothing to raise awareness of heart disease’s effect on women. Meanwhile the NC ACDIS Chapter’s leadership team shared information about meeting planning and growth opportunities.

Just last Friday, nearly 40 CDI professionals from central Pennsylvania gathered at Lancaster General Suburban Outpatient Pavilion to hear Dr. Michael Ripchinski, MD, CMIO/Chief Physician Quality Officer at Lancaster discuss documentation integrity in relationship to population health, Lori Schaefer, Compliance Manager and Katie Routlege, Sr. Compliance Analyst from Lancaster talk about emerging trends and the current compliance landscape in a post ICD-10 implementation world, and  Gina Stewart from e4 Solutions discuss CDI roles in patient safety indicators and mortality reviews. For my part, we talked about the collection of ACDIS’ best practice guidances authored by its Advisory Board and how CDI programs can leverage that information to develop policies and procedures at their own facilities.

Yesterday, I joined Sheri Blanchard BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, CDI director at HCA’s Far West Division and the CA ACDIS Chapter via GoToWebinar to talk about how Blanchard’s facility is developing career ladders for its CDI professionals. Truly innovative leaders in the field realize that while becoming a CDI specialist can be a career move in its own right, those who have two to five years in the position need new opportunities to advance intellectually and grow professionally.

Local Chapter growth across the country has been phenomenal. Participation in this February’s Florida ACDIS Chapter neared 100 participants. South Carolina’s Chapter meeting sold out as well.

Those of you who regularly attend your state events, consider volunteering to help leaders either as hosts, speakers, or helpers. Virginia, Illinois, Texas, and other states are currently in need of dedicated assistance. Those who have not yet availed yourselves of all that local chapters have to offer we encourage you to get out there and participate. You’ll be glad you did.

Upcoming meetings include:

  • The NYC5B (New York City Five Boroughs) ACDIS Chapter meets Thursday, February 25, 5-7:30 p.m., at the Hospital for Special Surgery. For information, visit their blog or email
  • The Puerto Rico ACDIS Chapter meets Thursday, February 25, for a discussion of the importance of CDI in the healthcare revenue cycle. For information, contact Carmen Y. Ibarrondo at
  • The South Carolina ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, February 26, at Trident Medical Center, in Charleston. For information, email PJ Floyd at  Registration is currently closed for this event.
  • The Kansas City Missouri ACDIS Chapter meets Tuesday, March 8, at Olathe Medical Center. For information, contact
  • The Arizona ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, March 9, at the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix. For information, email Victoria Bruno at
  • The Hawaii ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, March 9, noon to 2 p.m., at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. For information, email April Ramos at
  • The Connecticut ACDIS Chapter meets Thursday, March 10, 1:30-3 p.m., at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. For information, contact MaryAnn Shanley at or Janet Richardson at
  • The Virginia ACDIS Chapter meets Saturday, March 12, in Richmond. For information, email Autumn Reiter at
  • The Massachusetts ACDIS Chapter meets Tuesday, March 29, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Mitchell Levy, MD, chief of critical care medicine and member of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign executive committee will present. Register by March 15. For information, email Aimee Van Balen at
  • The Heart of Texas ACDIS Chapter (Waco) meets Tuesday, April 5, 4:30 p.m., to discuss CDI efforts in patient safety indicators and hierarchical condition categories. For information, contact Sharon Cole at
  • ACDIS Greater St. Louis Missouri Chapter meets Wednesday, April 13, 6:30-8 p.m. at Missouri Baptist. For information, contact Michael McKelvey at
  • The Indiana ACDIS Chapter meets Saturday, April 30, at the Memorial Hospital in Gary. For information, email Lee Walton at
  • The Oregon Northwest Chapter of ACDIS meets Friday, May 6, at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. For information, contact Karen Gray at

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