Health Information Management

Tool: Alternative staff schedules offer CDI opportunities

CDI Strategies, August 19, 2010

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When the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) hired Melanie Halpern, RN-BC, MBA, CCDS, CCRA, to implement a clinical documentation and coding integrity (CDCI) program, administration allotted three full-time positions to staff the 550-bed academic medical center. Halpern conducted interviews and thought she had found the perfect candidate. There was a catch. The individual lived three hours away, too far to make the typical nine-to-five, five-days per-week schedule feasible.

So Halpern asked the advice of Atlanta-based FTI Healthcare Consulting, which UMDNJ hired to establish its CDI practice.
“At the time, we didn’t have any clients that used an alternative scheduling program,” says Marion Kruse, RN, MBA, director at FTI. So Kruse and Halpern started exploring various options.
“The question became, ‘Can we break free from the Monday-through-Friday regime and maybe get six days of coverage or find another benefit to help the overall program?’ ” Halpern says.
The two developed three options to illustrate how the CDI program might function. These options are as follows:
  • Three full time equivalent (FTE) staff working four 10-hour days
  • Three 12-hour shifts
  • A typical five-day, 7.5-hour-per-day schedule
Editor’s note: ACDIS members can download a spreadsheet illustrating how these different options might work from the Forms & Tools Library and read the complete article in the July edition of the CDI Journal.

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