Find Your Routine: Track Trends to Save Time

Jun 17, 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 reviewers, asking them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. 


This week, we talked with Kerry Atkins​, CDIP, CCS‑P, COC, CPC, CPCO, CPMA, CEMC, COBGC, RMB, Physician Services Consultant, about the steps she takes to find her routine.

Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.

A: Everybody always says, “You can work in your pajamas”. I think that is a big mistake. I get ready like I would for an outside job. I think being put together helps to start your day on the right foot.

If I am starting a new client, I like to review their Medicare carrier’s website, especially the FAQs, to make sure I am using their specific instructions. I also like to familiarize myself with their system. This saves time in the long run.


Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?

A: While the basics of chart review will always be the same, there are always different clients, different types of documentation and different specialties to keep it interesting.

I may start a day out planning to do a certain thing only to get an email that changes the course of the day. You have to be able to change gears quickly.

There are those times where you are not sure about the correct answer for a situation. Usually checking specialty forums and SharePoint will point you in the right direction. Spending a little time researching often saves time later when you come across that situation again.


Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?

A: I like to have I Heart Radio on in the background to block out everything. I can change to different genres depending on my mood.


Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?

A: I like to shoot for 25-25 records a day. I try to keep in mind that things may come up to prevent me from reaching the goals and that there will be opportunities to catch up. I review my productivity reports and try to improve every time.


Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?

A: While the others are nice, I am motivated by client satisfaction and putting out a good product. I was raised to do my very best even when no one is watching, and I try to live by that. I keep in mind that my work is a representation of HIA and I try to do my very best.


TIP: If I am working on a client and see trends, I save the findings and reference to a running Word document so I can just copy and paste in the future. This saves a lot of time.



Keep a running word document to save time.

Keep a running word document to save time.

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