Health Information Management

News: Polls illustrate CDI programs seek RN staff

CDI Strategies, November 24, 2010

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A recent ACDIS poll asked “which type of professional comprises the majority of your CDI program chart reviewers?” The greatest number of respondents (66%) indicated they primarily employed registered nurses (RNs) for chart review, followed by 16% who indicated their program used a mix of RNs and HIM/coding professionals, and 12% said they employ primarily HIM/coding professionals.

This week’s poll asked those CDI professionals to further clarify which nursing credentials programs require at a minimum for its staff. The results illustrate that 61% require registered nurses, 21% seek professionals with bachelors’ of science in nursing, 4% seek licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses at a minimum, 3% seek CDI with a masters’ of science degree in nursing, and 1% require CDI to be certified critical care nurses. Ten percent indicated their programs have other minimum credentialing requirements.

The data reflects findings from a 30-question survey and resulting benchmarking report in which 482 clinical documentation improvement (CDI) professionals provided data about the number of staff their programs employ, the number of queries their programs generate, and the number of chart reviews their staff perform. In this survey, 20% of respondents indicated they employed one staff member with HIM/coding experience, followed by 12% which indicated they employ between 2-4 staff members with HIM/coding experience. Those who indicated they employ at least one staff with nursing/case management background was 24%, while 42% indicated they employ 2-4 staff members with nursing/case management backgrounds.
The most recent poll indicates CDI programs are increasingly seeking RNs with additional collegiate or credentialed experience. It is important to note, however, that many experts firmly support the incorporation of HIM/coding staff in CDI programs.
“This is a team effort and everyone needs to work as a group,” said Marion Kruse, MBA, RN, director of FTI Healthcare’s corporate finance practice in Atlanta, in the July benchmarking report. And staff members, regardless of title, credentials, or experience, “have to see themselves that way, as a team.”

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