Health Information Management

Meet a Member: Australian woman brings CDI ’down under’

CDI Strategies, April 7, 2016

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At ACDIS, it’s no surprise when we hear about clinical documentation improvement efforts extending to hospitals and organizations throughout the United States. But when we heard about an Australian hospital launching a CDI program—one of the first international programs of its kind—we were beyond excited.
Nicole Draper, RN, BN, MHA, is the woman spearheading the efforts at her facility in Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia. As the manager of length of stay, documentation, and revenue optimization, she works to address and alleviate documentation challenges. Using ACDIS resources and networking with CDI specialists in the United States, she was able to launch a pilot program for the first-ever CDI program down under.
Draper, married for five years to her husband Drew, an attorney, has two boys, James, 3, and Charlie, 2. In their free time, her family enjoys an outdoor lifestyle and takes advantage of living close to beautiful beaches. She also enjoys cooking and hosting barbecues and dinner parties, going to the park with her kids, and traveling.
CDI Journal: What did you do before entering CDI? 
Draper: I completed my bachelor degree in nursing in 1994 and my master’s degree in health administration in 2004. I am currently pursuing a doctorate in health with a research focus on clinical documentation. Prior to getting into CDI, I was a nurse manager in the perioperative environment for 16 years.
CDI Journal: How long have you been in the CDI field? 
Draper: I have been in the CDI field for 18 months. Currently, I work at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney, which is the oldest private hospital in Australia. It is located in Darlinghurst, quite near the city and the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House.
My title, manager of length of stay, documentation, and revenue optimization, is a newly established role with one of the focuses being documentation. In my new role, I was seeking ways to address the challenges around documentation, particularly medical staff documentation. In our facility, we are paid in one of two main funding models: case payments based on Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs) or a per diem method. In a case payment environment, documented patient complexity results in a higher reimbursement from the health funds.
A large portion of our work is funded in this way. We knew because of our high patient complexity and a longer length of stay in some specialty areas compared to our peers that documentation was sometimes insufficient, and thus we were not being reimbursed appropriately.

Editor’s Note: Meet a member introduces an ACDIS member. Read the full article in the CDI Journal.  

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