Find Your Routine: Set a Pattern, Follow it

Feb 28, 2019

When it comes to coding and documentation, finding your own rhythm can lead to positive results. For our series, Find Your Routine, we interviewed our most productive coders and asked them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. 


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!

Leave a Comment


    Related blogs from Industry News

    Assigning Assistant Surgeon Modifiers

    When reviewing operative reports involving pa...

    Reporting “Exchange” of Ureteral Stent in ICD-10-P...

    When a patient presents with hydronephrosis f...

    Debridement Coding in ICD-10-PCS

    Debridement is the medical removal of dead, d...

    ICD-10-PCS Root Operation Selection For Treatment ...

    Coding for treatment of cerebral aneurysms ma...