CDI is no longer a stranger in most hospital and healthcare set ups today. And it is increasingly taken for granted that anyone associated with or concerned with healthcare data and operations will be comfortable applying CDI technology and using it to improve clinical outcomes, and streamline revenue processes. However when you incorporate a CDI program into your healthcare environment, or revamp your existing one, you must never side track a very important stakeholder in the entire sequence – your Physician.
Ask any Physician what they think about CDI and most of the times you would be faced with an unclear answer. Honestly speaking, not many Physicians deal directly with CDI, and since they don’t, they have no idea how it can impact them, even if indirectly so. It isn’t that Physicians don’t understand the need for documentation. They do. They see the need for proper patient documentation, and they see the correlation between that and the subsequent billing. However in most instances, they fail to see the importance of fine tuning that documentation and getting in depth of the disease and diagnosis. Healthcare providers need to keep the Physicians in the loop while implementing an in house CDI program to help them gauge this difference.
When they see the benefits of a good CDI program, and realize that appropriate clinical documentation will enhance the outcome, improve billing, also improve prognosis and increase recognition of comorbid conditions, thereby affecting patient care in a good way, Physicians will share their bit towards comprehensive, in depth and complete sharing of patient information.
Educating the doctors on the importance of coding in a hospital set up and its effect on patient care, is the mantra behind a great Physician involvement towards your CDI program. It is equally essential that your Physicians get a hands on experience with the audit process and experience how denials are handled and their consequent impact on the hospital revenue. Currently most Physicians would be completely or partially undisturbed about the revenue impact of the denials on the hospitals. Good documentation, when done in concurrence with the diagnosis, definitely stands to improve the outcome of an RAC audit.
Another view to look at it is that the way Physicians use and document EHRs can affect the way your hospital CDI system works. The electronic records (used by the Physicians and coders both) create a window of opportunity for the Physicians to communicate with the rest of the staff, including coders. To maintain this, make sure your CDI system makes it easy for Physicians to provide a diagnosis using the correct codes. A system that uses dual coding is your best bet. Another good way to ensure and sustain the success of your CDI program is to manage a steady stream of communication with your Physician and the coders. This in turn results in an immediate feedback and patching of any incomplete or inconsistent data. You can also use Physician querying as a means of communication for your CDI program.
Does this convince you about the role of your Physician and their connection to the success of your CDI program? If yes, then do meet up with us. We have a fantastic CDI program – ezCDI, which gives you automated, continuously updated work lists, and improved efficiency of CDI coverage with status change notifications, innovative CDI workflows, NLP query opportunity technology with dynamic electronic query format to support Physician engagement, comprehensive analytics and much more!