Health Information Management

Tip: Consider a dedicated review of death charts

CDI Strategies, April 1, 2009

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At Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, it used to take up to three months to review medical records of expired patients in order to track and capture accurate data and documentation.
 
This delay resulted in a loss of resources for the facility and lag time in the capture of accurate mortality and severity data, says Tamara Hicks, RN, BSN, CCS, manager of care coordination at Wake Forest Baptist, in her upcoming presentation at the ACDIS annual conference in Las Vegas slated for Thursday, May 14, at 3 p.m.
 
Wake Forest Baptist began 100% review of all payers in 2005, and have since begun reviewing charts of all patients who expire. In the “prebill” phase, all “death charts” are reviewed by the CDI who examined the case concurrently. Wake Forest Baptist also implemented an audit form to capture any additional coding changes or address the need for additional documentation. By the end of the project, the facility reduced its review window from 72 days after death to 10 days or less.
 
For more information about the ACDIS annual conference, visit www.cdiassociation.com



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