Iodine Participates at the Annual Clinical Documentation Integrity Leadership Exchange

By Fran Jurcak, Vice President of Clinical Innovation

The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists held the 2nd Annual CDI Leadership Exchange September 17th-19th in Chicago at the Oakbrook Hilton. Iodine Software co-sponsored the event and led two roundtable sessions discussing the use of technology in the CDI industry.  The event hosted over 30 industry leaders in the clinical documentation field and focused on use of technology, staff management and physician engagement.

The Leadership Exchange was an opportunity for executive leaders of CDI programs nationwide to share their thoughts regarding the current state of the CDI industry and forecast future growth. The event was organized as informal roundtables, with Iodine spearheading a discussion on the use of technologies that support CDI workflow. 

As the leader in CDI innovation, Iodine believes it is important to learn from CDI leaders about the issues they are facing and discuss how technology can be utilized to create solutions that improve program process and ultimately program outcomes.

Iodine provided a high-level description of artificial intelligence and machine learning and explained how this technology is different from natural language processing models. Machine learning models create efficiencies that allow CDI staff to focus their reviews on the right records at the right time.  This is accomplished through identification of medical records with clinical evidence of conditions that are being monitored and treated without the associated specificity in the providers documentation.

Feedback from participants reinforced that Iodine’s AI/ML technology is a necessary tool for efficient daily workflow of CDI Specialists.  Being able to focus CDI attention to records with the greatest documentation opportunity removes the frustration that CDI teams face regarding wasted time on records without documentation opportunity. 

Additionally, increasing scope has placed greater demand on depth of record review for quality metrics accentuating the need to leverage technology for assistance in identifying key records for review.   Attendees were able to walk away from the session with a greater understanding AI technology and plan for methods to better leverage the technology for their programs.

 

To learn more about Iodine,  please visit Iodinesoftware.com

 


 


From Coder to Clinical; How Darla Martin is Reshaping Client Success at Iodine

Darla Martin, RHIA, CCS, CCDS, recently joined Iodine Software as the newly appointed Clinical Program Manager. Darla comes to the Iodine clinical team after spending 20 years in the healthcare consulting industry. Her career has included coding and clinical documentation program implementation within the broader healthcare space.

Darla began her career as a coder within several acute care facilities, focusing on patient care through medical record code assignment. “I was always interested in anatomy, the pathophysiology of disease, and being involved on the clinical side of patient care,” explains Darla, “but having the coding angle allowed me to learn the more clinical aspect of my field through review of a record.”

After spending 13 years in coding and quality, Darla transitioned her expertise towards the Clinical Documentation Improvement healthcare consulting force. During her tenure at Huron Consulting, Darla brought a coding experience and introduced a successful platform for a coding department to operate, alongside a clinical documentation team.

Darla spent her consulting career creating and implementing clinical documentation programs for various hospitals and introduced a coding education and training that reshaped the performance of CDI programs.

“I was able to bring a coding perspective into the CDI space, and to educate nurses on a new approach to record review.  Looking at documentation opportunities not only from a clinical perspective, but also from a coder’s viewpoint; reviewing what documentation was there, but also understanding what was lacking for appropriate code assignment.  Coding guidelines and coding clinics play a huge part in the CDI specialist role, so quality reviews are an important part of the process” reflects Darla. “To witness nurses blossom in a new role, learn to educate their physicians about CDI, and just become passionate about the role was absolutely rewarding.”

The transition from a coder to working in the clinical space implementing and supporting hospital CDI programs allowed Darla to take part in the entire clinical documentation process, a new environment which focused on the process of documentation as it related to the quality of patient care.

As Clinical Program Manager for Iodine Software, Darla will work with the clinical services team to implement Iodine’s technology.  This role will allow her to bring her coding expertise to team trainings, and serve as a thought leader on how coders and clinical documentation specialists can work together to bring detailed reporting to documentation.

In an era where technology is used in healthcare more as a necessity rather than a preference, Iodine is revolutionizing the industry approach to clinical documentation.

“What brought me to Iodine was the desire to make CDI teams aware of quality versus quantity. Iodine is about quality in record documentation and focusing attention on the right cases at the right time, which is a fairly new concept and needs to be brought to the forefront in the CDI space.  A change in review focus from the CDI specialist is needed to accomplish this goal.”  

Historically, CDS performance has been measured by volume of cases reviewed. Iodine has flipped this train of thought to look at the depth of each patient record, the likelihood of query rate, and prioritize the right cases for each CDS to focus on proper documentation.  

For Iodine to introduce a coding presence for clients helps to connect the dots in understanding why principal diagnoses matter for a CDS to code, and to remain focused on the documentation accuracy.  Darla’s expertise helps a specialist understand the simplicity of coding when it comes to their role, and the importance of using clinical judgement, expertise and critical thinking to increase query count.

Darla is already working hard to bridge the gap between coders and CDI teams. Her extensive experience and perspective is helping build successful relationships and encourage educated communication between hospital departments. “I cannot wait to watch teams flourish, increase their query counts, and learn through the software.  The ability to watch specialists grow and continue to enhance their programs is what makes each experience new and refreshing.”

To learn about Iodine the and client services team, visit Iodinesoftware.com

 

Change Management: Implementing a Team Technology Program

In the changing landscape of healthcare, leadership teams face multiple challenges with ambiguity on how to implement the critical changes needed to drive their organization forward.  

After working with numerous healthcare organizations, Iodine Software has found many documentation programs struggle to achieve concrete results from proposed processes, programs and objectives.

Dear Santa: Please help me find a way to stop wasting time on charts that I don’t need to review!

Sitting side by side with a Clinical Documentation Specialist last week reviewing some records, I realized how much I hate reviewing a record and finding no reason to query.  For me, the joy in CDI is finding the unspecified, the unwritten or even the undiagnosed. To me, this is how I’m able to utilize my knowledge and clinical expertise to support improving the quality of patient care.  How often have you spent fifteen to twenty minutes searching through a record only to determine that there is not a query opportunity?