Our time in Boston may be over, but the fun continues #ahcj13

Andrew M. Seaman

About Andrew M. Seaman

Andrew M. Seaman is a medical journalist with Reuters Health. He started at Reuters as a Kaiser Family Foundation fellow in the D.C. bureau covering health policy and is a 2011 graduate of Columbia University's Journalism School, where he focused on investigative reporting as a Stabile Fellow.

Saturday's luncheon featured presentation of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. (Photo: Len Bruzzese)

Photo by Len Bruzzese Saturday’s luncheon featured presentation of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

Like he did with the snakes of Ireland, St. Patrick and his army of sobriety-challenged Bostonians are sending many of the Health Journalism 2013 attendees home. Fortunately those attendees are now armed with the knowledge to tackle any health story that may come their way.

And while it was impossible to go to every session, the Association of Health Care Journalists has been posting coverage of the conference to its Covering Health blog – including photos, videos and session recaps. They’ll continue to update the blog with more posts from Boston in the days ahead.

For example, if you were at another session or on a field trip, you need to read the post on Fred Trotter’s presentation of DocGraphs, which is an easy-to-use website that can show which doctors are referring patients to other doctors. His session was one of my early favorites.

Or, if you didn’t get to the conference until Friday, check out the recap of Drs. Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband’s presentation on Thursday. The husband-and-wife team gave conference attendees an inside look at how people make medical decisions, and why doctors may disagree with each other.

Don’t forget to also share the news of AHCJ’s new app hospitalinspections.org, which was unveiled at a news briefing on Saturday.

“The database consists of complaint-driven inspection reports of acute-care hospitals and critical-access hospitals in rural areas by the federal agency since January 2011. Users can search for facilities in their local community, state, or region, or assess trends and patterns using keyword searches such as ‘wrong site surgery’ or ‘immediate jeopardy,’” according to a recap by The Associated Press’s Alan Scher Zagier.

And, of course, it’s always important to read about the amazing stories that won the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Journalism. Knowing about the great work health journalists are doing across this country is the perfect way to recharge your professional batteries and realize our work makes a difference.

AHCJ and the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism need to be applauded for putting together another great conference. More than 700 journalists packed the rooms of the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center over the past few days. Many of them are on Twitter, and are on my ever-growing list that several people are following.

Until next year, when health reporters take to trains, plane and automobiles once again, be comforted by the fact that the learning and fun of Health Journalism 2013 continues online.