This week, we talked with Zahra Ghahremani, CCS, Coding Specialist at Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: I start my day with a cup of coffee in bed brought to me by my husband every morning. We try to have a positive and uplifting conversation to make us feel good to start the day. After a goodbye kiss, I make my way to work where I sit down and begin logging in, checking emails, and making a list of new accounts to get a feel of the upcoming day’s workload. After entering all of the patient information, I begin my coding process by reviewing the Dis/sum. By looking at the DS first and going through charts after, I know what’s valid and what needs more research on Google or SharePoint. Every couple of hours, I take a 5 minute break to score 250 steps on my FitBit. After I’m done with work, I like to walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air, exercise, and organize my thoughts.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: I think the secret to maintaining any routine or building a habit is to remember to start out with baby steps. If I am trying to work something into my routine, I work my way up to it. For example, If I wanted to start doing home workouts after work, I would maybe only do 5 minutes the first day, and 10 minutes the second and build my way up to where I want to get to. As long as I did something that day, I am still making progress.
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: I have a couple of simple techniques to stay away from distractions during the workday. First, I like to get in the right mindset before I start working so I can focus properly. Second, I make sure to put my phone on Do Not Disturb so that my phone won’t get me off track.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: As far as productivity goals go, I try to stay on the time limits for each chart. If I get behind, I try to catch up on the next chart or even the next day. My main goal is accuracy and I try to maximize that alongside productivity. I definitely won’t leave any loose ends by the end of the day. I’ll finish whatever I can before logging off. I often track my productivity in the HIA website. Sometimes, it’s not very promising but since it’s cumulative, I always have an opportunity to improve.
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: All of the options sound very nice. Positive feedback would help mentally and the incentives would help financially.