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CDI Week Success Story: Angie Comfort
During CDI Week, we are proud to share success stories from our leading team of clinical documentation integrity leaders.

Everyone’s CDI journey is unique…

I am a non-traditional CDI type in that I am not a nurse or clinician, but rather a health information professional. I began my journey in 1989 while working with medical records for an occupational class in high school. For years, I did not venture out of the health information field, as I had many great experiences during that time.

My CDI journey started in 2003 before CDI was called CDI.  I was working my first corporate health system job as a corporate coding director managing the coding and auditing functions for the corporation’s 80+ facilities. The HIM VP created what she called the Patient Health Information Improvement Program (PHIIP) which included “sticky note” queries to physicians that our inpatient coders would attach to the front of the inpatient paper records when documentation clarification was needed. Pre-historic CDI was born at this health system and my journey began.   

That journey never slowed down. I have had the honor and privilege of training CDI professionals around the world.  Yes, there are CDI professionals outside of the United States. I worked for AHIMA where I was able to share my knowledge and prepare education and presentations in the CDI space for seven years.  It was a great opportunity and experience where I grew professionally and met many great people along the way.  However, my heart was missing something, and I found that it was the operational side of healthcare.  I began working for a small health system in Brentwood, TN overseeing the HIM functions (CDI included) and soon found myself in the middle of a merger with a larger health system.  Next thing I knew, I had come full circle and was in a corporate role overseeing coding, auditing, and CDI again.  I had an engaged boss, great peers, and an amazing staff who helped do a lot of great things during my time there.  Unfortunately, a personal life tragedy put me in a spot that I needed to remove myself from the fast-paced environment of the corporate world.  e4health found me! 

In my short 10-month stent with e4health, I have been able to do some really great things for a NYC health system where I am a CDI transformational leader.  There were initiatives that the health system knew they needed assistance on implementing and with the help of the local team, those initiatives are in full swing.  While working on these initiatives, I was introduced to an exceptional workflow regarding PSI reviews that was the brainchild of one of the CDI managers.  Along with the CDI medical director, HIM coding managers, CDI specialists, and a rockstar project manager, this team began a quality focused program where all PSI patients were reviewed prebill for accurate documentation and coding.  This program that was started in 2019 has led the facility to gain a star in the CMS quality measure star ratings, which is not an easy task!  In collaboration with the CDI medical director, I have created a brand-new department that falls under revenue cycle to tackle any quality measure that may be affected by documentation and coding.  While the processes are currently being stood up, the actual department should be in full swing by late fourth quarter 2023.

So, whether you have a coding background, clinician background, or fell into CDI another route, all CDI professionals can make a huge difference in the documentation of their patients.

 At e4health, one of our main core values is to “Celebrate Our Wins Daily”, and not only are we committed to pushing the envelope within the CDI space, but our team is sure to celebrate wins while doing so.  That winning mentality is paramount when it comes to continuously generating winning CDI solutions. When we partner with you and your team, we ensure the appropriate individuals are made available to help you successfully elevate your CDI program.

– Angie Comfort

 

Click here for more information on e4health CDI solutions.

Angie Comfort

CDI Consultant