Conference conversations: How to know when your CDI program needs a revamp

CDI Blog - Volume 12, Issue 24


Robin Jones, RN, BSN,
MHA/Ed, CCDS


Kimberly Higgins,
RN, BSN, CCDS

Editor’s note: Robin Jones, RN, BSN, MHA/Ed, CCDS, and Kimberly Higgins, RN, BSN, CCDS, will present “Work in Progress: Revitalizing a CDI Program,” on Day 1 of the ACDIS conference. Jones is a division director of CDI at Florida Hospital/Advent Health and Higgins is a division manager there. This year’s conference takes place May 20-23 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

ACDIS Blog: What’s one of the biggest signs that a CDI program needs revitalizing? What should CDI leaders be on the lookout for?
Jones: Leaders need to watch for decreased enthusiasm, decreased metrics, and ancillary departments not knowing about the CDI program. A well-maintained CDI program has captured the attention of the hospital administration and ancillary teams. Effective programs function at a high level with educating physicians and other departments within the hospital. Staff within successful programs attend multi-disciplinary rounds, and CDI associates show their excitement. If staff and the key stakeholders don’t understand the importance of the role, they won’t support efforts and won’t feel empowered by the job they perform every day.

ACDIS Blog: >What’s one way that CDI leaders can spark enthusiasm in their staff members?
Jones: Employee engagement is key. Leaders need to work with their HR department on a career ladder, incentive plan, or allow associates a better work-life balance in the ability to work remotely either a set number of days per year or through a hybrid program. These measures can fuel excitement and show front line associates [CDI specialists] that leadership wants to invest in them.

ACDIS Blog: What’s one thing attendees can expect to come away with from your session?
Jones: Establishing a governance committee to spark interest and fuel change.

Higgins: Never underestimate the power of listening!

ACDIS Blog: In what ways does your session challenge CDI professionals to think outside the box?
Jones: It takes a great deal of creativity to get individuals that were not engaged or excited to buy-into a program and see the value of their efforts. The session that we will present will show leaders some creative ideas to fuel engagement and success.

ACDIS Blog: What are you most excited for about this year’s conference?
Jones: Hearing ideas about ER/outpatient information, seeing familiar faces, and meeting new CDI professionals. The energy at the conference is always a great way to feel re-charged.

Higgins: This will be my first time at the conference. I am looking forward to being surrounded by CDI information and people that share the same passion for CDI that I have.

ACDIS Blog: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Jones: St. Lucia.
Higgins: Aruba.