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It is Time to Turbocharge your CDI Program!

by Lynn Kuehn, MS, RHIA, CCS-P, FAHIMA

After training with several integrated CDI/Coding teams, I’ve learned two important things:

  • Solid coding and clinical skills are required by all members of the team
  • Everyone needs more knowledge about how surgical procedures are performed (well, except for the occasional OR Nurse-turned Coder or CDI Specialist!)


The fastest way to turbocharge the CDI program is to develop a team training program that increases everyone’s skills. Start with the surgical procedures because they are the most difficult and training the group together builds team knowledge and teamwork. Use training that includes not only how to code the procedure names, but why you code what you do. Descriptions of the surgical procedures and why they are performed helps link the diseases with the root operations and strengthen the team’s overall knowledge.

Procedures do make a difference in MS-DRG assignment, so why not start there. Use the resources within your facility, if you can. Determine which procedures are difficult to code by asking the team. Then, determine which of those procedures are performed the most often and find a way to increase their knowledge. Ask the surgeon, the surgeon’s PA or surgical tech to attend an in-service and help with questions. If that’s not possible, consider online training from Libman. I’ve tried to include explanatory, animated video whenever possible to help everyone learn.

Turbocharge your team!

Complete ICD-10-PCS Training: From Beginner to Advanced
The Complete ICD-10-PCS Training package by nationally recognized coding expert Lynn Kuehn takes you from beginner to advanced in minimal time. Bonus! Purchase the Complete ICD-10-PCS Training and receive Libman Education’s ICD-10 Root Operations Flash Cards at no extra charge. Learn more here.

About the Author

Lynn Kuehn is president of Kuehn Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in coding for all settings and physician practice management issues. Lynn is a nationally recognized trainer on ICD-10-PCS and other HIM-related topics. Lynn served on the AHIMA Board of Directors and authored several of AHIMA’s most popular books including Procedural Coding and Reimbursement for Physician Services, CCS-P Exam Preparation, and ICD-10-PCS: An Applied Approach.

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