Monday, November 1, 2021

OHIMA Annual Meeting Planning – Part 2

by Carol Barnes, MS, RHIA

Last year I shared a blog post about annual meeting planning being a piece of cake. If you read that article, you learned that annual meeting planning is actually a never-ending task. OHIMA staff and volunteers spend years (yes, YEARS) planning each annual meeting – an event that typically only lasts 3 calendar days. My previous article focused on planning the dates, selecting keynote speakers, and developing a theme. So, what other major tasks are involved?

In a “typical” year, the board’s next major task is to select the speakers for the break-out sessions or educational tracks. The Call for Speakers and Presentations close in August so that the meeting committee can review submissions and determine what topics would be most beneficial to our audience – YOU! For a time now, the breakout sessions have been split into tracks such as Privacy & Security, ROI, inpatient coding, CDI, ICD-10, Management, etc. This can be helpful to attendees who want to focus on certain areas of the profession, but we have heard feedback in recent years that it also means attendees don’t always get a good variety of sessions in a single day. It’s our hope that attendees could attend all 3 days and receive the 30+ CEUs available but we understand that’s not always possible for financial or planning reasons. Because of this, the committee is looking at a bit of restructuring for the 2022 annual meeting. Instead of educational tracks for the afternoon sessions, be on the lookout for a variety of topics each day that hopefully will give you a well-rounded educational experience no matter which date(s) you’re able to attend.

In a “non-typical” year, such as we’ve been in lately, the board also must determine the format of the meeting and what type of audio-visual equipment or software is required to make the conference a successful event. When the board chose to go 100% virtual for 2021, we investigated online platforms and ended up selecting Whova to support our meeting. Nearly all the presentations were loaded into Whova prior to the annual meeting so they were ready for attendees to watch on Monday, February 22nd. Additionally, we utilized Zoom and Gatherly for online networking events. In reviewing conference feedback, it seems Whova was a great choice and most attendees found the platform easy to navigate and interact. As we look forward to the upcoming 2022 conference, be on the lookout for information regarding the format. Go ahead and mark your calendars for March 21, 22, and 23 because you’re not going to want to miss another excellent educational and networking opportunity!

Although my term as the Director of Professional HIM Development has officially ended, I’m serving as a committee member for the Annual Meeting and Trade Show. After serving 3 years as the director, my love for the annual meeting (and its crazy planning process) has grown and I love helping to create the amazing professional event we all look forward to each spring.

Save the Date for OHIMA 2022 Annual Meeting & Trade Show – with both in-person and virtual options! – on March 21-23, 2022 at the Hilton Easton!

About the Author 

Carol Barnes, MS, RHIA is currently a Project Leader for the OHIMA FY21-22 Board serving on the Professional HIM & Coding Development strategy.  Carol is an adjunct faculty with The University of Cincinnati HIM program.