This week, we talked with Donna Cowan, RHIT, CCS, Coding Specialist at Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: In the morning, I make sure I leave time to sit, relax, drink some coffee and read or watch TV so I can go into my work day positively. I check my emails to see what needs my attention and take care of that. Next, I check all my outstanding charts to see what can be finalized. Once those are completed, I start coding Client records. I enter all the information needed in the HIA log and then start entering my codes. I like to start with reviewing the CDI notes, Discharge Summary, OP reports, Admit/Discharge Orders, ED report, HP, Progress notes, Consults and finally Nurses notes. My Client uses the CAC system which I do use and find helps a lot. I make sure to check the medications a patient is taking to confirm my secondary diagnoses are valid which I find on the ED, HP and DS. I then take care of any CDI discrepancies I may have via notifications and or write queries that need to be done. If I have Coding questions or need some guidance, I go to Share Point to try and get my answers and submit questions.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: I find myself following a set pattern of getting up, getting dressed, and doing the same things that I would normally do if I went to an outside job. I’m not sure how productive I would be if I rolled out of bed and started working in my pajamas, lol…
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: I like to limit my time viewing/answering emails to once in the morning and then again thirty minutes before my day ends. This way you can focus on the charts in front of you.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: There are always going to be good and bad coding days depending on the types of cases you are working on. I try to pick up the pace and shorten my time spent on some of the easier cases, for example, newborn charts. I do view the productivity reports available. I just try to do my best every day!
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: I think a combination of all of the above are motivating factors. I try to go into every day thinking how lucky I am to be able to work from home and live anywhere I choose!