Health Information Management

A Note from an Attendee: Why I attend the ACDIS Conference

CDI Strategies, May 12, 2016

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by Robin Deakins, RN, CCDS

It all started with my desire to attend the 2015 ACDIS conference to increase my knowledge of my profession and to see what others were doing. I took my request to my director to see if there were any funds available to help me cover the cost. She took it to the next level for approval and, in the process, it was decided that the hospital should send a group to go and learn as part of a “Lean Project.” (Read more about "Lean," a quality management methodology, in the CDI Journal article, “Using "Lean" tools to reboot your CDI program.”)
So, a varied group of five staff members attended the conference in San Antonio, including a CDI specialist, a physician advisor, a CDI director, a financial director, and a coding supervisor. Having a diverse group was beneficial— it helped to have different viewpoints.
The entire group felt the conference was informative and interesting. We wanted to get to as many presentations as possible, so we met each morning to discuss who wanted to go to which session before dividing and conquering. That way we not only brought back a variety of viewpoint but also a lot more information to our hospital.
Shortly after returning to our facility, the group that attended the conference spearheaded an initiative to improve documentation in our medical records, using the ideas and information we discovered at the conference.
Then, in July, we launched a Rapid Process Improvement Week with a team of CDI specialists, coding professionals, physicians, quality managers, an HIM imaging coordinator, and others. We brainstormed, tested, and implemented ideas we found to be appropriate. During this time, we also implemented our electronic health record, so we had to change our priorities. Now that the EHR go-live is four months in, we are looking at revitalizing our plan.
We have had many successes, and also found things that didn’t really work. We will be looking to this year’s conference to gather additional ideas on how we can further improve our documentation practices.
I would highly recommend attending the ACDIS conference. It is money well spent and the information you can gather is invaluable!

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