ACDIS update: From “improvement” to “integrity,” ACDIS position paper published
Health record documentation matters just as much as it did in 2007 when ACDIS was founded. In fact, it matters more than ever with affects far beyond reimbursement.
“Improvement” is a positive word. It implies forward movement, getting better at a chosen activity or practice. Merriam-Webster defines improvement as: The act of improving something; the act or process of making something better; the quality of being better than before; or, an addition or change that makes something better or more valuable.
But the word “improvement” can also imply that something is incorrect or in need of fixing. Coupled with the (mistaken, but nonetheless persistent) notion that CDI is about revenue enhancement only, some have made the leap to associate “improvement” with “improved revenue.”
CDI work done with the sole mission of improving revenue leads to inappropriate practices, such as not querying to clarify evidence in order to preserve a higher-weighted condition. CDI professionals must work to clarify documentation even when that work does not result in revenue improvement, thereby ensuring overall record integrity, and consequently better patient care. Moreover, such responsibilities align with the ACDIS Code of Ethics.
“Integrity” as defined by Merriam-Webster is: Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values (incorruptibility); an unimpaired condition (soundness); or, the quality of state of being complete or undivided (completeness).
As a result, ACDIS and its Advisory Board resolved that a name change was due: keeping the ACDIS acronym intact but changing the “I” from “improvement” to “integrity.” Polling the ACDIS membership with a three-question survey, found overwhelming support for the change.
To read all the details about the survey and further reasons why this name change is warranted, read ACDIS’ newest position paper “Survey says…ACDIS now the Association of Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialists.”