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Association for Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) Finalizing Requirements for Professional Certification

With its membership pushing 2,000 members, ACDIS--the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists--passes its one-year anniversary and sets its sights on professional certification for members at its May 2009 annual conference in Las Vegas. In October, a 12-member board of experts in the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) industry met at the ACDIS headquarters in Marblehead, MA, to begin crafting the qualification and testing process for the certification exam, which will launch in May at the annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Marblehead, MA (PRWEB) November 8, 2008 -- Over the last several months, a 12-member board of experts in the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) industry has been working to document the competencies and professional tasks associated with the profession of clinical documentation improvement specialists. In October, the group met at ACDIS headquarters in Marblehead, MA, to begin turning those foundation documents into the qualification and testing process for the certification exam.

Their efforts will culminate in May 2009 at the annual ACDIS conference in Las Vegas, when qualified candidates will sit for the first certification exam and have the opportunity to add the CCDS (Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist) credential to their names.

"ACDIS members have been looking for professional recognition, a further definition of their competencies and skills," says Brian Murphy, CPC, ACDIS director. "The committee is building a professional certification program and credential based upon both training and field experience. It's a level of recognition that is overdue in the field and enthusiastically anticipated by ACDIS members."

The 12 members of the certification board come from diverse backgrounds including nursing, HIM/coding, case management, and quality.

Jill Brocker, RN, MSN, CCS, director of quality services for Indiana Heart Institute and a member of the certification board, says that the CCDS credential will help distinguish CDI specialists and elevate the profession.

"We have to build our own credibility into the credentialing exam and make it stand alone, so that hospitals see the importance of clinical documentation programs," she says. "If hospitals are looking to build a program, they will want to bring in somebody qualified and credentialed."

Mary Phelps, RHIA, CCS, CTR, CIC, senior associate for Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLC, and a member of the certification board, concurs. "The documentation specialist credential will give them a chance to establish a competency level for their employees and help ensure their program has knowledgeable people working to minimize documentation risk."

The ACDIS two-day conference is an annual event and returns to Las Vegas May 14 and 15, 2009. A pre-conference one-day workshop on May 13 will focus on helping attendees build a successful CDI program or boost the effectiveness of an existing program. For more information, visit .

The multi-day event will wrap up on Saturday, May 16, 2009, when qualified members sit for the certification exam.

The sponsor of the Las Vegas event as well as the new certification program is ACDIS, the Association for Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists ( ACDIS was launched in 2008 and is 1,800-plus members strong and growing rapidly.

The Association's multidisciplinary membership comes from diverse backgrounds, including health information management/coding, nursing/case management, quality, and compliance. Early adopters of the organization expressed a desire for an association dedicated to bringing these various backgrounds together. Accurate clinical documentation affects patient care, regulatory compliance, physician/facility profiles, legal protection/defense, and reimbursement.

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