BY SUSAN GATEHOUSE, CEO, AXEA SOLUTIONS
HIMA held this years’ CDI Summit in the Windy City (aka Chicago, which is a bit more humid than windy this time of year), on July 14-15, 2019. The theme of the conference was Advancing the Documentation Journey, and as promised, it provided many insights on the topic through practical workshops, informative presentations, and several keynote addresses from well-respected industry experts. Here are some highlights from the event -
Reevaluating Documentation Improvement Programs
The “documentation journey,” is one that most healthcare organizations have carefully navigated for years, maneuvering through many evolutions. Historically, documentation improvement was centered on the thoroughness of documentation, having a direct impact on reimbursement. Through a series of metamorphosis’s healthcare has reached the consumer-driven age, which requires healthcare organizations as well as providers to monitor and measure their documentation at an unparalleled rate in comparison to previous years. Healthcare professionals are now required to reevaluate their documentation improvement programs, strategies, and efforts. CDI is paramount for patient care – Expand on the value of CDI staff to work with quality improvement, physician education, and across all departments, from coders to accounting to claims processing.
CDI programs should reevaluate their procedure regularly to pursue quality continuously. To improve in any area of life, we all need a point of reference, a baseline. Dissemination of quality measures or ratings are an excellent way to provide high-level education as to why documentation matters not only to an organization and its providers, but it’s becoming commonplace with the consumer. CDI is an area that requires constant refocus and adjustments. Queries may increase in one area while decreasing in another. Create a policy and procedure; it is critical to know what a CDI specialist is reviewing and understand why the review is being performed.
Identify CDI’s impact on quality measures to assess effective solutions
Another key message communicated throughout this week’s summit, one that is often underestimated and overlooked, is the importance of collaboration. Do healthcare organizations and providers freely communicate to the appropriate individuals or teams quality scores and ratings? Do CDI, coding, quality improvement, and physicians’ advisors meet regularly to share areas of needed improvement, or areas demonstrating growth? These are critical questions that must be addressed.
Implement operational metrics that can be measured and monitored, and collaborate with transparency throughout all areas – When you identify performance on this level, you can prevent CDI programs from becoming stunted and ineffective.
Most significant takeaway from CDI Summit 2019 - implementing a few basic processes to create a transparent measurable system, and committing to education and training is key – great topics and invaluable information provided by AHIMA!