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HIM & Heard

CDI for Physicians Ready to Quit

Published December 19, 2012 8:02 AM by Stephanie Cecchini

Fast Facts:

The average medical school graduate is in $161,000 debt.

The now unchallenged Obama-care model creates a 63,000 physician shortage by 2015.

Forty-six percent of physicians would NOT choose medicine again as a career.

As we move into these unprecedented times in health care, our physicians need our support more than ever. It's hard to "buy in" when you are miserable - and without a physician's buy-in, education is a very difficult objective to meet. It requires much more than subject matter expertise ... it requires truly effective communication.

How can we communicate effectively with physicians who are overwhelmed and disenchanted? A physician will be more likely to listen and respond when you are able to communicate by both your actions and words an understanding of their needs, wants, and mindset. Typically life-long learners, physicians are highly intelligent, with a deep appreciation for logic and reason. They are naturally intuitive, some even feeling spiritually drawn to practice the art of medicine and healing. Generally hungry for and appreciative of tips and techniques in learning new skills, physicians crave correctness. Accurately documenting for coding and billing purposes can prove a frustrating dichotomy; it is both a challenge to achieve correctness, while also an intrusion that takes away from patient time.

As documentation coaches, there are steps we can take to help lighten the load on physicians
  • Address the physician's concerns openly, directly and with respect.
  • Accept that many physicians will view your documentation requirement education attempts as a low priority in lieu of the top priority: putting the patient first.
  • Learn how to overcome objections like a pro: Attend train-the-trainer programs and sales classes; in order to be successful you must first sell the CDI process to the physician.
  • Know the physician's personality type before you meet with him/her. The best face-to-face coaching time may be shadowing the physician on the hospital floor with short, immediate feedback or at a quiet time at his/her desk.
  • Be willing to rearrange delivery of the information in order to answer questions.

A physician may be frustrated; a good coach recognizes that these emotions are not personal. CDI "train-the-trainer" programs can be a critical tool to shore up your internal subject matter expertise with effective training techniques.


Please refrain from partisan POV when writing future blogs.  The correct term is Affordable Care Act or ACA, rather than resorting to the derogatory Fox News/Tea Party verbiage of "Obama-care."  

I quit reading anything you said after "Obama-care."  If figure if you don't know the proper name for the law, then maybe you are not the best person to be speaking about this subject.

Thank you.

Jenny Harvey March 21, 2014 4:45 PM

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