March 24, 2015 | | Comments 0
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Conference Update: A look at last year; Speaker Q&A

Are you getting excited about the 2015 ACDIS Conference? Take a look back at this slideshow from last year’s conference:

To help you start planning your agenda for this year, we’re previewing a handful of speakers throughout the coming weeks to give you a feel for the sessions. This week, we spoke with Tamara A. Hicks, RN, BSN, MHA, CCS, CCDS, ACM, who, along with Melinda B. Matthews, RN, BSN, CCDS, will present “Welcome to Munchkin Land—the Land of Pediatric CDI.”

Q:  Why is pediatric CDI important right now? 

A: With ICD-10 looming, many CDI programs are expanding to all populations and all payers. Pediatric patients have their own CDI opportunities, and it takes specialized knowledge to be able to manage those cases.

Q: How is your topic important for everyone in the CDI role, regardless of professional background?

A: Pediatric patients aren’t just small adults. There are very specific conditions that CDI professionals must understand to be effective in pediatric CDI.

Q: As an RN, how does your perspective differ from other professionals performing the CDI role?

A: My communication with physicians is based on a clinical foundation. I’ve taken care of these patients, so I know what I’m reading in the medical record looks like and, many times, how the physician treats that type of patient. I’m able to anticipate what comes next for that patient. I initially got into CDI in 1999, shortly after completing my BSN, and I wanted to move away from bedside care and yet still use the education I had obtained. My goal join the case management profession, but when this opened up and I decided to give it a try. I was part of the initial team of CDI professionals in my organization. Today, I am managing case management, but CDI is my first love, and I continue to manage that team as well.

Q:  What do you think is the most important quality for a CDI professional to have?

A: Assertiveness. I tell people that CDI is no place for wallflowers. We must be able to challenge physicians in the way they think; we have to educate providers about documentation requirements; and we must be able to articulate coding guidelines to any audience

Q:  Why do you think attending the ACDIS conference is important?

A: Attending the ACDIS conference is an important way to network with others in the field. CDI is still a very new profession, so establishing best practice continues to be in its infancy. Those of us who have been in the field for a while must be a part of that. I’m most looking forward to learning more about what others are doing to expand their programs and how they are preparing for ICD-10.

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Katherine Rushlau About the Author: Katherine "Katy" Rushlau is the CDI Editor for ACDIS at HCPro.

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