Health Information Management

Certification Update: Meet our 3,000th CCDS holder

CDI Strategies, January 7, 2016

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ACDIS is proud to celebrate the 3,000th Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) credential holder, Rhonda Bisby, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDI specialist at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas.

Bisby launched her CDI career nearly five years ago at the University of Colorado Health System. She had started out as a nurse on the cardiac floor before moving to utilization review, where the department began incorporating clinical documentation reviews into their daily practices. From there, she was given the option to train to become a CDI specialist and help the facility launch a CDI program, a position she graciously accepted. “I was happy to be learning something new and different and being involved from the start of our program,” she says.

A few years after she became a CDI specialist, Bisby was scrolling through the ACDIS job board when a post caught her eye. It was for a CDI specialist position at Memorial Hermann Health System in Texas, where her family is from. Although she loved her job, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to move back home.

As she settled in to her new role, Bisby’s confidence as a CDI specialist grew and she decided to take the next step in advancing her career: pursing CCDS certification.

Bisby ordered her copy of the CCDS Exam Study Guide long before making the decision to become certified. In fact, she started preparing for the exam before she even made the move to Texas. For well over a year, Bisby read and re-read the study guide, took practice tests, and tested her knowledge. “The book doesn’t really cover exactly what’s on the exam, but it gives you a sense of what [types of] questions will be asked.”

It was her on-the-job experience that really prepared her to sit for the exam, says Bisby. “You have to feel strong in your job and you absolutely have to have been a CDI for more than two years,” she said. “You need to do the job, like the job, and want the knowledge that you gain by being a CDI specialist. The studying part is one thing, but the experience of it is very important.”

After taking the test at her local testing center, Bisby found out immediately that she had passed. “It was kind of a feeling of exhilaration mixed with a lot of relief,” she said. “I passed, I did a good job, and now I have this great accomplishment.”

The mission of the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist credentialing program is to identify and support a high level of experience, proficiency, and know-how among clinical documentation specialists. The program accomplishes this mission by drawing upon a board of experienced clinical documentation specialists hailing from diverse, multidisciplinary fields, including nursing, HIM/coding, quality, and case management. The board has established eligibility requirements to ensure that only experienced professionals with an ability to perform the functions of a clinical documentation specialist may possess this certification.

Shortly after Bisby passed, our CCDS Coordinator, Penny Richards, gave her a call to congratulate her, and to share some special news—she was the 3,000th person to pass the CCDS exam. “It was kind of like winning the lottery,” Bisby said. “I am proud and excited to not only have passed but to be 3,000thperson to hold the certification. I feel very privileged to have this knowledge and to be associated with ACDIS.” 

For information on the CCDS credential, visit the certification page on the ACDIS website, or check out the newly published 2016 CCDS Exam Candidate Handbook. 

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