CDI New Year’s resolution: The keys to success

January 9th, 2019 / By Cheryl Manchenton, RN

Happy New Year everyone! I am terrible at New Year’s resolutions, but I did make one this year that I hope to stick to: I want to increase my intake of water to 64 oz daily; a small goal I can achieve. I actually set the hardest goal last year in June to drop 10 pounds and get fit. By setting the goal in June I removed the pressure and stress of failing in the new year when everyone is hyper-focused. But I did more than make a resolution, I took steps to ensure I would commit. I joined a gym and hired a trainer.  As my journey began, I noticed I needed more time with my trainer, so I doubled our sessions. The funny thing about me is I don’t like to spend money. More accurately, I like to spend money on fun things and exercise has never been in that category for me. My point is, since I signed a contract and have to pay, I make sure to stick to the commitment and take full advantage. I cannot say the struggle has been easy. When I am out of town, I reschedule my sessions. Traveling as much as I do with limited gym equipment has made things challenging and working too many hours makes it hard to find any energy for working out. Despite all of the struggles, here are some keys to my success:

  • Bought some simple equipment that fit in a suitcase (exercise bands, yoga mat, etc.)
  • Committed to exercise even if only for a few minutes, instead of committing to 1 hour 5 days per week
  • Started hiking more – bonus is seeing parts of the country I have never seen
  • Got a fit bit which helps with the next key to success
  • Started a food diary – those snickerdoodle cookies have killer calories
  • Allowed cheat meals
  • Called on family for support – my husband thinks about our food and even added a salad last night for me; my daughter comes and works out with me and encourages me
  • Cut myself some slack instead of beating myself up when I failed

So where is the parallel to our CDI work? Simple. Make a goal to expand your program, but work towards achieving that goal in small ways. For example, commit to querying one new HCC or focusing on one PSI. And here are some keys to success:

  • Invest in the appropriate “equipment” such as CAC/CDI software that flags quality concerns and identifies HCCs and readmissions.
  • Start small. Commit to one new query per day or per week.
  • “Exercise”: Learn more about quality initiatives or HCCs. Don’t just read a blog, lol, do your own research on the CMS websites.
  • Track your progress. Create custom query impacts that reflect the non-financial or SOI/ROM queries. Find out your organizational performance and trend over time.
  • Don’t expect perfection. Try a process and then adjust over time as needed.
  • Ensure organizational and provider support. Demonstrate the advantages and ask for buy-in, even if it means additional full-time equivalents (FTEs).

Good luck in 2019!

Cheryl Manchenton is a senior inpatient consultant and project manager for 3M Health Information Systems.