Health Information Management

Tip: Use January as benchmarking time

CDI Strategies, January 21, 2010

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Most organizations evaluate performance by looking at calendar year data, so set aside some time in January to run some reports and analyze your program. If you’re not the data manager for your program, make an appointment to sit down with your data person/report developer/manager to review your past year’s CDI reports. Through this effort you’ll develop insight into what is being measured, how it’s reported, and who receives this information.
First, take a look at the organizational structure of your program. Ask:
  • Is everyone on the administrative team aware your program’s performance? 
  • Is administration involved and invested in your success? 
  • What can you do to better inform your administrative team?
Take a look at the focus of your program and determine if you are meeting your goals. If your administrators don’t usually attend your regular team meetings, ask if you can set up scheduled monthly or quarterly invitations through their administrative assistants. These interactions give administrators the opportunity to know your team better, and I’ve found it’s usually easier to deal with people who know you. It’s unlikely you can change your administrative team, so focus on what you can change.
Editor’s note: ACDIS is proud to welcome Lynne Spryszak, RN, CCDS, CPC-A, as CDI Education Director at HCPro Inc., in Marblehead, MA.

Spryszak’s nursing background includes clinical positions in med/surg, oncology and hospice nursing.  She has several years’ experience in clinical documentation improvement.  She started out as a novice CDS for Alexian Brothers Medical Center (ABMC) in Elk Grove Village, IL. She became the CDI manager for the same 400-bed facility, overseeing a staff of four RNs. Her experience led to a position as a consultant with a large firm where she participated in the implementation of new CDI program, CDI program assessments and the development of training materials, tools and resources for CDI professionals.

Spryszak’s other nursing experience includes six years working as a certified case manager for a private company with responsibility for coordinating care for oncology and transplant patients, negotiating services, and providing support to patients and their families.

Spryszak is a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board and a member of the CCDS credentialing committee. She is a co-author of ACDIS’ Physician Queries Handbook: Guide to Compliant and Effective Communication published in August 2009.  She is a contributor to CDI Journal, CDI Blog and a frequent lurker on CDI Talk.

Spryszak penned the above excerpt for the ACDIS January Article of the Month. Read the complete article online at

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