Here are 10 questions to ask before you buy CDI software

blog_2015_08_25-11)      Does the software minimize data entry? If your CDIS have to enter all the codes and DRGs manually and also analyze that data for reimbursement manually it severely hampers their productivity. You want your team to be more efficient and productive.

2)      Does it come with built-in ICD-10 compliant query templates or do you have to manually enter them? Manually creating query templates is a time consuming task and you need to spend a lot of time and resources in creating these queries and making sure that they are ICD-10 compliant. You also need to ask if the vendor updates the provided queries periodically to incorporate all the changes like sepsis definitions etc.

3)      How easy is it to customize the query templates to meet the needs of your hospital? Can you do it yourself or do you have to depend on the vendor? Many times the queries that are available out of box do not meet the needs of your hospital. In such cases, you want the process of query template customization to be easy and quick. You do not want to depend on the vendor to do this for you because that will be too expensive. Also once you customize the templates you should have the ability to roll it out to the entire CDI department.

4)      Does the software provide for education and training of CDI staff and the physicians? Ideally whenever you query a physician the relevant educational information should be included as part of the query so that the physician can document better going forward. Similarly, the CDI specialists and the coders also need to be continuously informed and kept up to date about CDI information.

5)      How easy is it to run any reports that you want – CDIS productivity, CMI, CC/MCC capture rates, Query Response Rate, HACs, Physician compliance etc.? As a manager you want to run all type of reports to monitor performance, productivity and efficiency. Such reports should be available easily and on-demand.

6)      Can you run the reports or do you have to depend on the vendor to run the reports? You do not want to wait on the vendor to run the reports and then get on a conference all so that they can explain the reports back to you. You want the reports to be informative, insightful and easy to understand.

7)      How easy is it to navigate the software? Is the workflow intuitive or too cumbersome? The more complex the software the slower the learning curve and lower the productivity. If a new CDI cannot become productive in a couple of days, that software is too cumbersome. If the software has limitations on browsers, operating system versions etc it is not easy to manage.

8)      Does the software support in-house as well as remote CDI specialists? Many hospitals have hybrid work environments – some of the staff are in house while others work remotely. You want to make sure that your software can easily adapt to such an environment.

9)      Can the software be integrated with our EHR? Many hospitals want the queries to be pushed into the inbox of the physician in the EHR. Make sure your software is capable of doing that.

10)     How much does it cost and what is the total cost of ownership? The upfront cost of software is only one aspect of total cost. You also need to look at implementation costs, integration costs, IT infrastructure costs, annual maintenance costs etc.

If you are in the market looking for CDI software or if your current software license is expiring, please watch this 5 minute video that gives you an overview of Doc-U-Aide, the industry’s most intuitive, insightful and intelligent CDI software. Doc-U-Aide comes in three flavors – Enterprise, Lite and Network editions, to meet the budgetary needs of hospitals and health systems of all sizes.