Health Information Management

Tip: Determine roles and goals of CDI prior to hiring staff members

CDI Strategies, December 24, 2009

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There are many schools of thought regarding which department should be in charge of a CDI program—case management, HIM, or finance, says Scott Entinger, executive recruiter for NHS Solutions, Inc., in Portland, OR. The decision primarily depends on hospital-specific factors.
“Hospitals need permanent staff equipped with the necessary clinical and coding knowledge, as well as the skills to influence multiple cross-functional departments, to make the program run efficiently,” Entinger says.
CDI program leaders need to ensure that the responsibilities of their staff are integrated into the specialist’s position, not “added on” to existing nursing or coding duties.
Nevertheless, one solution may not be right for all. Regardless of which department houses the CDI program, an effective CDI staff cultivates a cohesive partnership with all health information stakeholders, Entinger says.
“The ability to create a team environment across all departments while still maintaining a self-sufficient CDI program is essential. It is the ultimate matrix management function,” he says.
Editor's Note: Learn more about staffing expectations for CDI professionals in the January 2010 edition of CDI Journal. For a list of current CDI positions visit the ACDIS Job Postings Web page.

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