June 16, 2017 | | Comments 0
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Summer Reading: New CDI staff exercises to perfect the review process

LauriePrescott_May 2017

Laurie L. Prescott, RN, MSN, CCDS, CDIP

by Laurie L. Prescott, RN, MSN, CCDS, CDIP

Shadowing staff

Often, the first step in becoming comfortable with the CDI record review process comes from simply shadowing existing CDI staff members. If you are the first and only CDI specialist in your facility, reach out to ACDIS via its CDI Forum or local chapter events. Consider calling nearby facilities, asking for their CDI department manager. Many CDI specialists willingly open their doors to those just starting out. If your CDI manager is willing (or has connections of his or her own), perhaps you will be able to shadow a neighboring facility to get a better idea of how different CDI programs function as well.

Many CDI program managers ask candidates to do this during the interview process so both parties better understand the basic competencies and expectations of the job. Other program managers gradually introduce new CDI specialists to the process by shadowing experienced specialists at least once per week for a set number of hours or records per day. Other programs may require new staff members to jump into the reviews as soon as possible.

To positively influence your learning, consider first sitting alongside your CDI manager or mentor as he or she reviews a variety of common diagnoses. Where larger teams exist, consider rotating such shadowing experiences and taking note of how different individuals’ experiences and strengths affects how they conduct their reviews. Also, arrange time to shadow an experienced inpatient coder as well. You will find each person has his or her own method, and no method is necessarily better than the next.

Tandem reviews

After shadowing teammates, try tandem record reviews where your mentor, manager, or other CDI staff member reviews the record first and then turns the record over to you to let you try your hand at it. Then compare notes. Also consider flipping this activity with the new CDI specialist reviewing the record first and then turning it over to your CDI manager or mentor to see where you were successful or where opportunities for additional information might exist.

Spend some time documenting and developing your own review processes; you will need to develop a method or sequence of record review and stick with it. For example, jumping from one section to another in search of a particular tidbit or clue may cause you to lose focus. In such situations, the larger clinical context may be lost on that elusive detail, costing you valuable productivity time—you may not see the forest through the trees, so to speak.

Take time to discuss items you may have missed and where this information was found. If queries need to be written, draft them together. This process may seem laborious, but with a few afternoons concentrated on such work, you will begin to feel more comfortable finding your way through the complexity of the medical record to the valuable nuggets of information you need.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was taken from The Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist’s Complete Training Guide by Laurie L. Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP.

 

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Filed Under: ACDISAdvisory BoardBook ExcerptCDI ProfessionClinical Documentation ImprovementGrowing your program

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Laurie Prescott About the Author: Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, is a CDI education specialist for HCPro., Inc., in Danvers, Mass. A former clinical documentation specialist at Morehead Memorial Hospital, she spent the majority of her nursing career in acute care, primarily medical surgical with experience in ICU, PACU, endoscopy, and one day surgery, as well as medical units. Prescott worked as a unit manager of MED/SURG and ICU units, as an adjunct professor for an ADN program, and then moved to onsite education and clinical support of nursing staff. Contact her at lprescott@hcpro.com.

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