Health Information Management

News: Beatty, La Rosa, Love earn 2010 CDI achievement awards

CDI Strategies, June 10, 2010

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Many CDI professionals diligently perform the day-to-day tasks of documentation improvement. And there are those who carry out this duty and so much more. The 2010 CDI Professional of the Year award and the two awards for Recognition of CDI Professional Achievement honor these individuals.

During the June 3 Networking and Awards Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago at the third annual ACDIS conference, ACDIS director Brian Murphy presented the CDI Professional of the Year award to Sandra Beatty, RN, BSN, C-CDI, from Columbus Regional Hospital, IN. The two Recognition of CDI Professional Achievement awards went to Adelaide La Rosa, RN, BSN, of St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, in Roslyn, NY, and Jennifer Love, RN, BA, CCDS, from Novant Health, in North Carolina.
Beatty was the first clinical documentation specialist hired at Columbus Regional Hospital in August 2002. Since the inception of the program (through April 2009), risk of mortality rates at the facility improved 55.4%, and severity of illness rates improved 17%, with such improvements helping the hospital achieve recognition as a Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital in 2009 and win a 2010 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. Beatty’s CDI program also helped her hospital garner the 2006 Scorecard Excellence Award in the Quality and Safety Pillar. In 2008, Beatty’s monthly physician newsletter earned the Excellence in Education Award.
“Sandy’s ability to see the big picture and her ability to quickly form successful relationships with physicians has led to the success of our program,” said Tom Sonderman, MD, vice-president and chief medical officer at Columbus Regional Hospital in Beatty’s nomination package. “Her clinical knowledge and her ability to understand and meet the needs of the physician are an important part of the success. Sandy is a role model for this position.”
La Rosa started the CDI program at St. Francis Hospital without the aid of a consulting firm. Since its inception in 2006, the CDI program’s staff has increased from two to 15 positions with another four positions approved for 2010.
Under her leadership the documentation of CHF has improved from 4% of specificity to 85%.
La Rosa is a member of the ACDIS CDI Work Group and the leader of the Long Island ACDIS local chapter and presented a poster session with her co-workers during the conference as well.
“Adelaide anticipates the needs of her fellow colleagues and the medical staff,” said Jack Soterakis, MD, FACP, FACG, Vice President Medical Affairs, Medical Director at St. Francis Hospital in La Rosa’s nomination form. “She is constantly developing innovative methods to increase provider engagement. [She] is the epitome of a leader who is the role model for one deserving of the [award].”
Love helped start the CDI program at Novant Health in North Carolina in 2008 and now manages four hospitals—Medical Park Hospital, Brunswick Community Hospital, Forsyth Medical Center, and Thomasville Medical Center. Tthe largest of the facilities has more than 900 beds and the farthest is located four and a half hours away.
In the fall of 2009, Novant released an internal video about CDIwhich Love helped create. The video is used by Novant to help communicate the vision of her organization’s CDI program. Love went the extra mile, however, and shared her video with ACDIS and posted it on the ACDIS Blog. As Leah Taylor, RN, CCDS, stated in her nomination of Love, “The video is short in length but its strong message hits home.”
As vice president of the North Carolina ACDIS Chapter, Love helps facilitate networking opportunities for NC CDI specialists and helps promote the growth of the profession. Love encourages her staff and chapter members to participate in professional education opportunities and considers CDI “a new and exciting field.” According to Taylor, Love often tells her staff “guys, we’re making history.”
Although Love intended to send five of her CDI staff to the conference, last minute budgetary constraints made that impossible. Taylor and her coworker Cindy Miller were able to attend however and accepted Love's award on her behalf.
“Jennifer has to be the most patient person I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Susan H. Belanger, RHIT, CCS, coding manager at Forsyth Medical Center. “She stepped into the role of manager for a brand-new CDI program just over a year ago and has put her heart and soul into making it a successful program.”

Editor's note: To submit a nomination for the 2011 award fill out the form and submit it, along with any supporting documentation to ACDIS Director Brian Murphy at with the subject line "2011 CDI Recognition Nomination."

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