Conference conversations: Tips for effective communication with physicians, coders, and others

CDI Blog - Volume 12, Issue 36


Judy Cassetty, BSN, RN, CCDS

Editor’s note: Judy Cassetty, BSN, RN, CCDS, will present “Speak Up! Effective Communication with Your Providers,” on Day 3 of the ACDIS conference with Brian Cui, RHIA, CDIP. Cassetty is the clinical documentation and quality improvement manager/educator for CDI at Providence St. Joseph Health in Irvine, California. Cui is the creator, host, and producer of the Not Elsewhere Classified podcast from Medical Coding Geek. This year’s conference takes place May 20-23 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

ACDIS Blog: Can you share one tip for creating an engaging educational session?
Cassetty: Relating to the audience and their day-to-day experiences is a must. The hard work any CDI professional does certainly involves engaging physicians, so providing conference attendees with real life situations and tips for physician engagement can help relieve their stress related to face-to-face or phone conversations they need to have with physicians for query and education purposes.

ACDIS Blog: How can CDI specialists know when it’s a good time to speak up/discuss CDI with physicians, coding professionals, etc.?
Cassetty: The “intuition” of the CDI specialist on when to speak up/talk CDI to physicians or coding professionals is often engrained in their background as coders and nurses who have worked for years in a hospital/facility setting dealing with the many personalities of those involved in medical record documentation. Some places that CDI specialists may find opportunities for speaking to physicians include:

  • Participating in discharge rounds
  • Doing meet/greet in the doctors’ lounges
  • Catching the physician in the medical records/dictating rooms
  • Setting up a specific time to meet the physician

ACDIS Blog: What’s one thing attendees can expect to come away with from your session?
Cassetty: It is not always just what you say, but how you say it. That it is all in your approach/attitude. Attendees will also learn how to use verbal and non-verbal communication and hear real-life scenarios to give examples of how to achieve the best approach.

ACDIS Blog: In what ways does your session challenge CDI professionals to think outside the box?
Cassetty: To have the CDI specialist look at what habits they may have that are not effective communication tactics to the physicians and take away new tips that will increase physician responses in a positive way.

ACDIS Blog: What are you most excited for about this year’s conference?
Cassetty: The platform of the nation-wide networking with other CDI professionals.

ACDIS Blog: What’s your favorite hobby?
Cassetty: Music—singing and listening along with watching and listening to my son play with professional jazz musicians.