Health Information Management

Tip: Use IPPS data to benchmark your CDI program

CDI Strategies, November 21, 2012

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By Don Butler, RN, BSN

During a recent CDI Talk conversation, I alluded to data available in the CMS IPPS Final Rule that CDI specialists can use to benchmark their progress and compare their efforts against national norms. It may take a little digging, development, and analysis, but such effort is worth it.
One drawback, however, is its lack of comparability to hospitals similar to one’s own. Another drawback is that the data represent averages—and who wants to onlybe average? When you use this data to compare your individual organization’s performance against the national norms, keep in mind that an effective CDI program should likely be above those national benchmark averages.
I say this for two reasons: First, many hospitals don’t have any CDI efforts in place, and others have meager or ineffective programs, so one can suspect the national reporting average to be lower than what an effective CDI program might observe as “average” at its facility.  Secondly, best-in-class is never average. I believe we all want to be effective if not “the best” in our CDI practices.
Despite these two drawbacks, the data is free and available to everyone, so why not take advantage of it?
Editor’s Note:Butler is manager of CDI at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. Read more of Butler’s discussion and view selections of his data comparisons on the ACDIS Blog.

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