Coders and clinical documentation specialists were also put through two weeks of clinical documentation training to grow their knowledge and improve the relationship between these two departments. "You have to build a team between the CD specialists and coders and the physicians so they don’t see their worlds as separate," says Oliva. "This is all really basic stuff, but it's effective."
The financial and clinical results speak for themselves: Since the implementation of the program in August 2011, Borgess Health has picked up over $6 million in reimbursements, and with a 25% improvement in severity-adjusted mortality, which has placed the organization in the top 10% performance category of the Premier, Inc., outcome database.
"In healthcare, it's a positive to identify patients on a more granular level," Oliva says. "We need accurate information if we are to manage populations in the future."