Clinical documentation improvement (CDI) teams are made up of some of modern healthcare’s unsung heroes. The work of these specialists “helps to paint an accurate picture of the severity of a patient’s illness and the extent of the care required.” 

With the weight of COVID-19, the value of CDI specialists and the support they provide has never been more apparent. Let’s look at how you can enhance organization success with CDI specialists on your team.

Why focus on CDI 

CDI departments are responsible for ensuring and advocating complete and concise physician documentation. It’s evolving to do more than support healthcare organizations’ efforts to maximize reimbursements; leaders also want successful CDI departments to be assessed by their work to enhance documentation habits, provide more physician education, and improve quality standards.

CDI teams

The advantages of accurate documentation benefit departments across the revenue cycle and provide lasting impact beyond the patient encounter.

#1) They improve operational workflows

Healthcare workflows are complex enough on their own before considering how the ever-changing regulatory environment impacts them. Because of the complex workflows that physicians encounter, CDI professionals are there to provide support and ensure the treatment being provided is documented.

This is essential since physicians have reported significant burnout linked to documentation, inefficient workflows, and administrative tasks, among other things. CDI professionals provide knowledge transfer that ultimately reduces queries and administrative tasks. This simplifies the workflow so providers can shift their focus back to delivering excellent patient care.

#2) They enhance quality of patient care

CDI departments provide physicians with greater flexibility to perform their duties. But such gains also translate across other departments.

Through facilitating accurate and detailed documentation, physicians will have a better understanding of patients. CDI experts ensure all the incredible work doctors do is reflected in the long-term picture of patient care.

CDI and patient care

This supports improved patient care and satisfaction. Healthcare organizations can also gain more meaningful insight across essential metrics throughout the documentation and coding procedures.

#3) They reduce errors and protects quality 

CDI specialists encourage data integrity and accuracy in documentation during a patient’s stay. They foster an environment that supports quality assurance protocols by providing QA for physicians and providing coders with thorough reports. Protecting quality is crucial: errors such as missing notes, incorrect patient demographics, and coding mistakes slow down the reimbursement process and can cause ripple effects that can hurt the quality of patient care.

#4) They improve denial management

Denied claims have various causes. In some cases, procedures may have been coded improperly. Other times, care may have been performed outside a patient’s network. Even electronic claims are not immune to errors.

CDI departments reduce error rates and streamline denial and reporting processes. They also bolster denial prevention while improving efficiency, helping ensure continued hospital revenue cycle stability.

#5) They strengthen communication

There can be a barrier between non-clinical and clinical staff members. CDI team members serve as a vehicle of communication from the clinical teams to the revenue cycle. They help revenue cycle personnel interpret clinical performance by ensuring information is ready for capture.  This helps to support improved backend results.

Measuring CDI success

Ultimately, CDI specialists represent a vital shift in the healthcare industry that providers must continue to implement and value. Payers are demanding more accurate clinical and provider data to improve the reimbursement process as well as drive an overall gain in the quality of care.

What organizational goals will CDI solutions help you accomplish? Pave your way to stability and growth with our CDI solutions today

We believe our solutions can help create a smarter health system that benefits all of us. Kick-start your inpatient or outpatient CDI career with us today.


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