Conference conversations: Crumb talks CDI ice ages and how to avoid them

CDI Blog - Volume 11, Issue 50

(left to right) Jennifer Crumb,
Jennifer Woodworth, and
Ashlyn Hard

Editor’s note: Jennifer Crumb, RN, BSN, CCDS, will be presenting “Navigating the Ice Age in CDI: When You Are Holding on to the Iceberg,” on Day 1 of the ACDIS conference along with Jennifer Woodworth, RN, BSN, and Ashlyn Hard, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDIS. Crumb is the supervisor of CDI, Woodworth is the director of CDI, and Hard is the lead of CDI at Providence St. Joseph’s Health System, Swedish Health System, in Seattle Washington. This year’s conference takes place May 21-24 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the danger of having a "frozen" CDI program?

A: A frozen program will never reach its full potential. It may seem to be functioning on the surface, but rather than moving forward, you are treading water or “frozen” in place. There are likely a combination of growing pains, staffing issues, and interpersonal conflicts that are preventing you from taking those next steps.

It’s a crucial stage, because you’re at risk of losing your best people, and it will define where you go next. How you manage it will determine whether you end up with a dynamic program, with a staff that is passionate about CDI and looking to expand their scope and do new things, or a team that is content with the status quo.

Q: What's one thing attendees can expect to come away with from your session?

A: Attendees can expect to come away with some concrete strategies and real life examples that should be relatable to their programs that will help them whatever stage they are in.

Q: How do you go about identifying which stage your CDI program is frozen in?

A: We have identified three stages:

  1. Fluid: When you are fluid, you are very mobile and flexible, but you lack structure, so if you run into challenges, you can easily get stuck.
  2. Frozen: In the frozen stage, you are stuck, whether it is from internal or external issues, you can’t get any forward momentum.
  3. Slushy: In the slushy stage, you have a combination of structure and fluidity, which is the perfect formula to be able to move ahead while maintaining and growing your team.

Q: In what ways does your session challenge CDI professionals to think outside the box?

A: Our session should challenge CDI leaders to step back and look at the “big picture” of where their program is going. Being “frozen” is so challenging; from a management perspective, simply dealing with the day-to-day issues takes all your energy. Our hope is that attendees can be inspired to not let the daily challenges cause them to lose the vision of where they want to go.

Q: What one thing are you excited for at this year's conference?

A: I am very excited to network with other CDI professionals. Each year I’m amazed at how many other CDI professionals there are out there,

Q: Fun question: What's your favorite dessert of all time?

A: Blackberry pie and vanilla ice cream.


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