Meet a Member: CDI is more than a job; it’s her passion

CDI Blog - Volume 12, Issue 82

LaVorne Reavis,

LaVorne Reavis, DPM, CCDS, is a CDI specialist at Duke University Health System/PRMO, in North Carolina.

ACDIS Blog: How long have you been in the CDI field and how did you get into this line of work?
Reavis: I was a podiatric surgeon, provider, attending, and instructor for 18 years. Then, I was the manager of patient information service, concierge services, at my current organization. I entered CDI in July 2014 because I had a passion for the medical field, but I was entering into the pre-retirement season of my life.

ACDIS Blog: What has been your biggest challenge? 
Reavis: No challenges; just opportunities to learn new things, adapt, and master a craft that offers growth in medical education. Because CDI specialists serve as liaisons between the medical providers and coding professionals we need to stay up to date with changes in this new era of healthcare regulations

ACDIS Blog: What has been your biggest reward?
Reavis: Communication and teamwork with other CDI, medical providers, and coding professionals to ensure that clinical documentation accurately reflects the excellent quality of care that is provided by our facility through education and effective communication tools.

ACDIS Blog: How has the field changed since you began working in CDI?
Reavis: The conversion of ICD-9 to ICD-10 provided more accuracy and specificity, which better reflects the quality of care that is given.

ACDIS Blog: Can you mention a few of the “gold nuggets” of information you’ve received from colleagues on The Forum or through ACDIS?
Reavis: I’ve learned that you have to have a passion for your craft. I’ve also learned that as I dissect medical chart review I need to see it through a CDI “lens,” using my medical knowledge to understand the clinical scenario. Armed with that information, I can then provide questions and education to physicians to ensure accuracy and consistency of the medical record.

ACDIS Blog: If you have attended, how many ACDIS conferences have you been to? What are your favorite memories?
Reavis: I attended the ACDIS conference in Atlanta in 2015. I enjoyed meeting other CDI professionals and discussing differences in programs even though we  all have the same goals of documentation improvement and developing/maintaining strong relationships with medical providers and coding professionals.

ACDIS Blog: What piece of advice would you offer to a new CDI specialist?
Reavis: It is not just a job. You have to have a passion and genuinely enjoy what you do. Persevere as you change your outlook and adapt to the role of CDI. You are learning a new language that combines medical background with coding and regulatory knowledge in an ever-changing healthcare arena.

Reavis enjoying
one of her favorite

ACDIS Blog: If you could have any other job, what would it be? 
Reavis: At this time, I genuinely enjoy CDI. Once I’m in retirement in the years to come, I’d love to do some gardening, light organic farming, and interior decorating.

ACDIS Blog: What was your first job?
Reavis: Cutting grass for a few neighbors, and assisting in farm work with my neighbors and my grandmother who all had farms.

ACDIS Blog: Can you tell us about a few of your favorite things?

  • Vacation spots: Beaches, islands
  • Hobbies: Nature trail walks and biking
  • Non-alcoholic beverage: Ginger ale
  • Foods: Grilling meats, chicken, and vegetables (especially roasted Brussel sprouts)
  • Activities: Exercising and going to gym

ACDIS Blog: Can you tell us about your family and how you like to spend your time away from CDI?
Reavis: I really enjoy family cookouts, attending jazz concerts, and visiting wineries and museums.