This is the final post in a three-blog series that follows Sally Smith’s journey from a new coder with no production experience to one who progressed every day with assistance from the TrustHCS audit team. If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here: Step 1: Measure with Audits and Step 2: Monitor with Patience.

Step 3: Mentor with Passion

During this program, the audit team identified opportunities to mentor Sally regarding the delicate balance between productivity and accuracy. As Sally’s productivity increased, her accuracy rates decreased. Close mentoring and communication remained the key to success for TrustHCS auditors through three practices to support her performance:

  • Mentored Sally to balance increased productivity with high accuracy rates
  • Made suggestions and found tools to sustain focus following the holiday season
  • Demonstrated the impact of strong focus on long-term coding performance


Partnership Means Success

One of the biggest takeaways from this project was the profound need to develop a true partnership. This process works! Programs are most successful when there is collaboration and a knowledgeable team by your side. Equally important is mutual commitment to the time and responsibility required to build a successful auditing and mentorship program.

Our partnership with the medical center opened the door for complete transparency regarding initial hurdles, ongoing problem areas and effective resolutions that worked for both parties. TrustHCS auditors remained closely involved and even supplemented the education Sally had received to ensure she was also learning facility-specific requirements for proper coding.

Finally, a second set of eyes and ears paid off for the medical center when the TrustHCS team uncovered a system and process problem. Duplicate codes were entered once by billing and once by the coders. The facility team quickly put a solution in place to fix the double entries.


Program Results

The financial and time investments in the project were significant. However, the results were extremely positive for Sally and the organization:

  • Sally is meeting the facility’s quality and productivity standards.
  • The facility avoided a designated FTE for additional .
  • Sally experienced one-on-one mentoring on the facility’s records and processes, which improved her learning curve and resulted in efficiencies for the medical center.
  • Sally grew as a coder and strengthened her coding skills.

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