ACDIS is developing the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist-Outpatient (CCDS-O) to provide a trusted baseline of competency for CDI in the outpatient setting, which includes physician practices, hospital clinics, and the emergency department, among other settings. The certification is expected to launch in late 2018.
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Background for developing an outpatient credential
Since 2009, ACDIS has hosted the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) certification program, which has grown to 4,000 CCDS-certified CDI professionals nationwide. The content domains of the CCDS exam pertain to acute-care inpatients.
The CCDS-O is being developed to accommodate the rapid expansion of outpatient CDI, driven by the growth of Accountable Care Organizations, Medicare Advantage, and care increasingly delivered in outpatient settings.
“The CDI profession has evolved tremendously over the last 6-8 years to encompass hospital quality measures and now the outpatient setting,” said ACDIS Director Brian Murphy. “With the corresponding need to capture an accurate record of patient care in the outpatient setting, the CCDS-O will serve as a foundation for the development of baseline practice standards, and a recognizable symbol of excellence for CDI professionals.”
Formation of the CCDS-O credential committee
ACDIS assembled a 12-member CCDS-O certification committee to develop the certification prerequisites, content outline, and exam. These include CDI professionals with significant experience working in successful outpatient CDI departments around the country, including Wake Forest Baptist Health, Novant Health, Ochsner Health System, Essentia Health, and the Mayo Clinic, as well as educators, consultants, and subject matter experts who have provided outpatient CDI education and implemented programs nationwide.
Committee members include Tracy Boldt, Judy Dokken, Tamara Hicks, Fran Jurcak, James Manz, Shannon McCall, Karen Newhouser, Diana Ortiz, Laurie Prescott, Jessica Vaughn, Yvonne Whitley, and Michelle Wieczorek. To read their bios, please click here.
CCDS-O mission and core competencies
The goal of the CCDS-O program is to develop a mark of excellence for CDI professionals operating in outpatient settings, as well as provide employers with a baseline of competency for existing staff or potential hires. The certification program is also expected to spur the development of core competencies for outpatient CDI professionals and encourage the development and standardization of national best practices for outpatient CDI departments.
The CCDS-O committee is presently working on the content outline for the certification exam. The core competencies are being developed through a series of interviews with representatives of high-performing outpatient CDI programs in hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the country.
ACDIS will release the content outline when it is completed. The CCDS-O exam is expected to debut in nationwide testing centers in November 2018.