This is the second of a three-blog series titled Caring for a New Coder.

To recap: Sally Smith is a new coder who was hired by an academic medical center to code emergency department records. Though she had some coding experience in school, she had never performed production coding. TrustHCS was hired to conduct daily audits of Sally’s work.

The first post addressed Step 1: Measure with Audits. The next step is to monitor and manage.


Step 2: Monitor with Patience

Every program faces a unique set of challenges, and this one was no different. We first encountered four hurdles:

  • The coding team lacked access to make long-distance phone calls, which initially impacted our daily training and mentoring.
  • The team shared a work queue, a common challenge that made it difficult to identify specific accounts for review.
  • TrustHCS consultants required additional system access to track Sally’s work.
  • Workarounds were needed to regenerate the daily work queue report throughout the day to track when Sally completed her assignments and added the accounts to the queue. This enabled the TrustHCS team to identify cases for auditing.


Positive Relationship with TrustHCS Auditors

Sally has a positive relationship with the TrustHCS auditors and is not hesitant to ask questions. Her coding production continues to improve, as the number of findings uncovered by auditors steadily declines.

Though Sally’s accuracy sometimes dips, this typically occurs when she is exposed to new situations and different types of cases. When that happens, Sally perseveres and continues to learn from her mistakes.

Since day one of training, the audit team has tracked Sally’s accuracy rates on a daily basis. At the beginning of the process, her overall accuracy rates were in the mid to high 70s. Over time her rates gradually trended to the 80s and ultimately to the 90s.

Join us next month when we discuss the next step in the program: Step 3: Mentor with Passion.


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