Note from the ACDIS Editor: Resources for everyone’s favorite topic

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 46

by Linnea Archibald

Pretty much every month, when I look through the ACDIS website analytics, the top search term remains the same. Month after month. Year after year. Sepsis takes the cake for the most search terms and therefore the number one topic for our members.

Though it’s been several years since the release of the infamous and hotly debated sepsis-3 definition, this troublesome diagnosis remains front and center on CDI professionals’ radars. And for good reason. When asked about their top denied diagnoses on the 2019 CDI Week Industry Survey, nearly 70% gave sepsis the number one spot. It’s also CDI professionals’ top queried diagnosis when it comes to clinical validation, according to the survey.

While this diagnosis may be giving CDI professionals some symptoms of altered mental status, ACDIS has a number of resources available to help you sort through the clouds of confusion.

Many organizations, when faced with overwhelming sepsis denials based on differing criteria sets, decide to create their own clinical definitions and roll them out organizationwide. If you choose to take this route, check out the article on the topic in the September/October 2019 edition of the CDI Journal. And while you’re at it, check out this article from the May/June 2019 edition to ensure the documentation provides the coding team with everything they need to capture those sepsis diagnoses accurately.

Two of the 2019 ACDIS Conference speakers—Rhoda Chism, BSN, RN, and Laura White, MHA—also have some tips for CDI professionals trying to untangle the sepsis web, which they presented during an ACDIS webinar back in July. The ACDIS Regulatory Committee has also published guidance on this topic earlier this year with recommendations for professionals weathering the definition storm.

For those wanting to standardize their sepsis query process, the ACDIS Forms & Tools Library Committee recently reviewed several sample sepsis query forms which are now available in the Resources section of the ACDIS website. And of course, ACDIS members can always take their sepsis quandaries to their peers on the ACDIS Forum anytime.

I hope these resources help clear some of the sepsis confusion for you (and didn’t leave you feeling delirious). If you have any resources to share with the community or if you would like to share your CDI story, please feel free to reach out any time. I’d love to hear from you.

Editor’s note: Archibald is the editor for ACDIS. Contact her at

Found in Categories: 
ACDIS Guidance, Clinical & Coding