Annual AHDI convention offers hot topics in the desert

NEMT Special Guest Blogger
The Lazy River at ACE in Phoenix
Betsy Ertel, AHDI-F
CEO of SpeedType

One of my favorite things about working in the health information field is getting the opportunity to travel and network. In August, that meant a trip across the country to Phoenix, AZ for the 2011 AHDI Annual Convention and Expo (ACE).

ACE is a chance for MTs, vendors and managers to mix and mingle and more importantly, to share our experiences and knowledge.

This year, ACE offered four different educational tracks focusing on clinical medicine, industry trends and technology, workforce development and laptop workshops.

I was one of the presenters for the laptop workshop track, teaching attendees how to use SpeedType, “The Extreme Word Expander.”

Other laptop workshops taught participants how to set up social networking accounts, blogs and PowerPoint presentations.

In the clinical medicine track, experts discussed the finer points of medicine and terminology in topics like “Overview of Parkinson’s Disease, The Panoply of Addiction,” and “Top 10 Syndromes in the Neonate.”

NEMT President Linda Allard was one of the featured presenters on the workforce development track. Her presentation, “The Ins and Outs of Applying for a Work-from-Home Job,” offered tips for putting together a professional resume and job application. It was very informative and Lisa, one of the AZ attendees, stayed all day until Allard’s 7:30 presentation stating, “I’m so glad I stayed tonight. This was worth the wait!”

In the industry trends and technology category, workshops discussed topics like “Mini Mergers” and “Ethical Considerations in Health Information Transcription.”

For many, the hardest part of the weekend was choosing which classes to take; since the four tracks ran simultaneously, participants had to make some tough decisions.

Of course it wasn’t just an academic experience. The convention also featured a number of networking events and social activities, including an awards banquet that Lea Sims wrote to mimic an Oscar ceremony.

In between, many of us got a chance to float on the lazy river residing on the property of the JW Marriott Desert Ridge host hotel.

All in all, this may be remembered as AHDI’s most successful convention ever – at least until next year! See you all in 2012 in Indianapolis!

Betsy Ertel, AHDI-F, is a member of the AHDI Educators Alliance and is the CEO of SpeedType. SpeedType is a word-expander that increases productivity and efficiency for those who repetitively keyboard in the Windows environment. SpeedType also offers old macro list conversions for the medical transcription and legal industries along with its online self-training course in partnership with OAK Horizons.

Betsy can be reached at 800-577-6665 or For a free demo version of SpeedType, visit

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About Tara Courtland

Tara Courtland is the communications director at NEMT.
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