Conference conversations: Poster presenter shares tips for medical resident education

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 22

Editor’s note: Paola Dees, MD, is presenting a poster titled “Take 5 to improve satisfaction of resident CDI education” at the 2019 ACDIS conference. Dees is a pediatric hospitalist and medical director of utilization management, at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Make sure to stop by her poster and say hello during the dedicated poster viewing session today during the morning break.

ACDIS: What made you want to submit a poster this year? How did you decide on a topic?
Dees: This is our second year presenting a poster at ACDIS. Our team has been working hard to create innovative ways to integrate CDI education into our pediatric residency curricula. We wanted to highlight our exciting results in this collaborative space so we can learn and grow alongside our counterparts across the country.

ACDIS: What caused you to start evaluating the resident CDI education process? What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
Dees: The CDI program at our institution is fairly new, and we’ve only had a physician advisor for just over two years. Our CDI specialists identified high-impact diagnoses that were driving a lot of queries. After a successful education series with our hospitalist attendings the year prior (that projected a $900,000 impact in that one year), we approached our residency program leadership about creating a mini-curriculum to be rolled out over five months, in a very condensed, yet interactive way. We were fortunate to receive their support and were given recurring monthly lecture slots in their didactic schedules.

The biggest barrier we faced was failing to capture all residents consistently, because many would be off-site for various rotations, or working nights. Therefore, not all residents completed all five lectures. 

ACDIS: What has been the initial result of your CDI education series with the residents? Was it different from what you expected?
Dees: Overall, the response was great. A majority of the residents felt they benefitted from receiving formal education on high-quality documentation and that it was going to be beneficial in their careers after graduation. 

ACDIS: What’s one thing you’d recommend to someone looking to evaluate resident CDI education at their own organization? What first step should they take?
Dees: There are a few things I recommend:

  • Keep the lectures short and interactive. 
  • The trainees need to understand the why, beyond just the financial implications. They are more interested in how documentation affects quality metrics and research, not just the hospital’s bottom line. 
  • Take time to go over the basics; don’t assume they’ve received any training prior to yours. 
  • Use data to drive your content. Pick topics you are querying for often, or key drivers for your population.  
  • Partner with a physician (if you don’t have a physician advisor or designated CDI champion) to develop guidelines for clinical indicators and when certain diagnoses should be captured. Trainees respond best to physicians providing the education, so ensure they are present, if not giving your lectures. 

ACDIS: What’s one thing you’re excited for at the ACDIS 2019 conference?
Dees: To learn more about how we can grow our program to the benefit of our patients and our hospital. We very much appreciate that ACDIS includes sessions related to pediatrics because our world is unique in so many ways.

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