Find Your Routine: Work Each Chart the Same Way

Jan 30, 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 Allison Curry, 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: My day begins at 5:30 am with laundry, mail, taking dogs for walk etc. as well as making a list of all other things that need to be done.

I grab a Coke and head for my office. It is great to work from home!

Coding begins at 7:30 a.m. and I work each chart exactly the same way. I start with Admit order, ER, H/P, Consults, progress notes, procedures, and end with Discharge Summary.

I know some people like to start with the DC summary, but not me! I want to start at the very beginning.

When I go through each chart consistently, it helps me maintain good quality and productivity.

I end my day by clearing my desk so I can start fresh each morning.  Clean desk, clear mind.

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

A: I grew up in a Military family so I love rules, regulations, structure and order. Coding is perfect for me! Coordination and routine are fundamental in my life. If there are obstacles, I always find a way to make it work. If I need help, I ask for it.

My current client has very interesting and challenging charts. I love to research new procedures and HIA provides wonderful education and coding support.

I couldn’t do what I do without Beth, Pat, Kim, and our Review team. Sharepoint is my favorite thing.

Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?

A: To minimize distractions, I make sure everyone is settled before I start work…animals and humans. For me, a “To Do” list is also key.

Once I close my office door, my answering machine goes on and I am in full coding mode. If you want to talk to me, you have to leave a message.

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

A: My goal is to do as much as I can without compromising quality.  I check my production stats daily to make sure I am on track.

I try to better my percentage each day and keep up with time spent on each chart.  Some days are more challenging than others.

With HIA’s report system it is easy to keep track of everything.

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

A: I am very self-motivated and I like to keep busy. While positive feedback and financial incentives are GREAT! It helps that I enjoy what I do and I work with great clients and coworkers.

I was always taught to do my best at everything and good things will come my way. HIA is one of those good things and that is why I have worked for them for 18 years.


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