Meet a Member: There’s endless learning in CDI

CDI Blog - Volume 11, Issue 211

Landon with her fellow
AZ chapter co-leaders.

Lee Anne Landon, BNS, CCDS, is the network manager of CDI at HonorHealth in Phoenix, Arizona, and the co-chair of the Arizona ACDIS local chapter.

ACDIS Blog: How long have you been in the CDI field?
Landon: I’ve been in CDI for more than 11 years. 

ACDIS Blog: What did you do before entering CDI?
Landon: I have worked in various clinical settings and in case management/disease management in both the hospital and insurance settings.

ACDIS Blog: Why did you get into this line of work?
Landon: I had worked for the New York State Peer Review Organization in the past and we did DRG validation as part our reviews. When the CDI position became available, it seemed like a perfect fit.

ACDIS Blog: What has been your biggest challenge?
Landon: Transitioning from a staff position to a management position. During the time I transitioned into my management position, we had received approval to expand our staff by five new positions. I had to hire and establish standard training for seven new positions in a six-month timeframe. This required developing an orientation manual, weekly orientation plan, and checklist. My poor senior CDI staff members were in constant orientation/training mode for months. We all survived and have a stronger onboarding process in place now because of those efforts.

ACDIS Blog: What has been your biggest reward?
Landon: Working with my team to keep the program moving forward and growing into many of the new expanded roles for CDI. We are all always learning and growing professionally, and I find that very rewarding. My team has been amazing in its ability to embrace all the challenges that growth brings.

ACDIS Blog: How has the field changed since you began working in CDI?
Landon: Oh my goodness, so much has changed! When I first started we only reviewed Medicare cases for DRG changes. One MCC or CC and you were done. Now we review all payers, MS- and APR-DRGs, quality reviews, denial management, mortality reviews, and hierarchical condition categories on an inpatient basis.

We have gone from begging to be allowed to come to a meeting to provide CDI education, to being incorporated as an ongoing part of many regular medical/surgical section meetings and physician huddles, having our education be part of co-management agreements, and regularly participating in special committees such as sepsis and utilization management.

ACDIS Blog: Can you mention a few of the "gold nuggets" of information you've received from colleagues on the Forum or through ACDIS?
Landon: One of the biggest “gold nuggets” I received was during an ACDIS Leadership Exchange, which is a sponsored, invitational event. Another leader was kind enough to share with me that she had developed work groups to tackle some of the new expanded areas of CDI. From that, we were able to develop five work groups to include quality/PSI, mortality, denial management, query revision and development, and preceptor/orientation. We have representatives from each campus participate in these groups. This has allowed members of the subgroup to develop expertise in their area and share their knowledge with their local facility.

ACDIS Blog: If you have attended, how many ACDIS conferences have you been to? What are your favorite memories?
Landon: I have attended four conferences so far. My favorite part is being with so many other professionals in my field and sharing our experience. I also love attending sessions and getting that “one thing,” as ACDIS Director Brian Murphy put it during the 2018 event, I can bring back to my team and incorporate into our program.

ACDIS Blog: What piece of advice would you offer to a new CDI specialist?
Landon: Hang in there. CDI has a very steep learning curve and you need to be kind to yourself when you are new. Keep in mind that everyone on the team is having to continually learn new guidelines, rules, etc. We all get more knowledgeable, but we are all also learning something new on an ongoing basis. It is really helpful to join ACDIS and use all the resources it has available. It is also valuable to join your local chapter where you can network with other new staff, share experiences along with tips and tricks.

ACDIS Blog: If you could have any other job, what would it be?
Landon: At this point, I don’t think I would want to do anything else.

ACDIS Blog: What was your first job?
Landon: I worked in a clothing store. I had to put the clothes out on the racks and, to this day, I have to have the clothes in my closet in color order.

Landon with her husband

ACDIS Blog: Can you tell us about a few of your favorite things?
Landon: I love reading. I rarely leave my house until late afternoon on a Sunday because I am so engrossed in the Sunday newspapers. I have four siblings who live all over the country. I really enjoy when we get the opportunity to be together. Most of all, I love traveling anywhere with my husband.

  • Vacation spots: I love relaxing by the water, but I also enjoy exploring cities
  • Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, swimming, pickleball, and dancing
  • Non-alcoholic beverage: Coffee and just plain water
  • Foods: I love pizza and trying all different types of ethnic foods
  • Activity: I love spending time with my family and friends

ACDIS Blog: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Landon: I think the most important goal for any CDI professional is having a commitment to lifelong learning and always being open to new challenges.