Note from the Associate Editorial Director: Resources for new staff
by Linnea Archibald
Those who’ve been with ACDIS for a while know that I am a huge data nerd and a firm believer that monitoring your metrics gives you the tools you need to navigate future endeavors smoothly. So, when I noticed an uptick in searches for basic CDI topics (for example: what does a CDI professional do?), I knew it was time to do a little digging.
In 2020, we heard rumblings of hiring freezes, layoffs, salary reductions, and budget slashes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as we entered the new year, I began noticing a trend in the conversations with the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council members that illuminated the potential reason behind those basic CDI searches: CDI departments across the country were beginning to hire new staff and undertake formerly delayed expansion projects.
To give credence to these anecdotal conversations, more than 60% of 2021 CDI Week Industry Survey respondents said they have hired new staff members in the last 12 months, and an additional 12.58% said they were either actively recruiting or planning to do so in the coming 12 months. (Note: Stay tuned for a full report and analysis of the Industry Survey findings to be published September 12 to kick-off CDI Week 2021. CDI Strategies subscribers will be notified via email. Also, be on the lookout for the September/October edition of the CDI Journal, focused on education.)
With all this hiring activity, it’s no wonder we’ve seen an increase in the need for new CDI resources. If you’ve recently started hiring new staff or you’re a new CDI professional yourself (welcome!), I’ve compiled a few recommendations and resources to help get started on the right foot.
First, I want to encourage you to get to know your real-life CDI community through your ACDIS local chapter. There are more than 40 chapters and topic-based networking groups nationwide so odds are you can find one close to you. Even if you’re not within driving distance, many chapters are still holding their meetings virtually and would be happy to have you join in. Find your community on our website here or check out the upcoming meetings in this edition of CDI Strategies.
There are also numerous resources available on the ACDIS website that are focused on and useful for new staff education.
- “Patience required for onboarding and mentoring new CDI staff” by Sonja Racke, RN, BSBM, CPC, CRCR, on the ACDIS Blog
- “Starting out in CDI: Learn as much as you can” by ACDIS Editor Carolyn Riel in the September/October 2020 edition of the CDI Journal
- The June 22, 2021, episode of the ACDIS Podcast: Talking CDI, “Orienting CDI staff”
- “How to conduct a medical review,” ACDIS white paper
- “Six steps to help you join the CDI ranks” on the ACDIS Blog
- The joint ACDIS/AHIMA “Guidelines for achieving a compliant query practice—2019 update” brief (to help you understand that fundamental part of CDI work: the query)
ACDIS has also developed a number of products aimed at getting new staff up to speed that may suit your needs, including:
- The ACDIS CDI Apprenticeship Program: A certificate program comprised of foundational CDI education paired with a review of core compliance and ethical principles.
- The CDI Specialist’s Complete Training Guide: A guide created by ACDIS’ expert CDI Boot Camp instructors to serve as a bridge between your new staff member’s first day and their first effective steps reviewing records. (There’s also a version available for outpatient CDI programs.)
- CDI Boot Camp Online: A self-paced online course covering clinical, coding, and CDI responsibilities from soup to nuts. (This course is also available as an in-person class and a live virtual instructor-led course.)
- The ACDIS Pocket Guide: The #1 essential resource for CDI professionals, both new and seasoned. (An outpatient version is also available.)
While I hope this information provides you a valuable starting point for your personal CDI journey (or a starting point for training your new staff, as the case may be), I also suggest searching our website for blanket terms such as “training” or “orientation” to bring up even more results that may address your specific questions (for tips on using our site search, read this tutorial). If you’re an ACDIS member, you can also reach out to your peers using the ACDIS Forum with any questions you might encounter during your day-to-day work (for tips on posting, read this tutorial).
And, of course, you can always reach out directly to the ACDIS team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re excited to have you in the CDI ranks and look forward to seeing where your journey takes you!
Editor’s note: Archibald is the associate editorial director over publications and membership. Contact her at email@example.com.