September 2, 2020

Mesa College HIM Alumna Rose Servida Article Published in Statewide Professional Journal

By Jennifer Nichols Kearns & Lauren Dorst

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Mesa College Alumna Rose Servida, who earned two degrees during her time at Mesa College, including a bachelor’s degree, had her senior project article recently published in the California Health Information Association’s (CHIA) Journal for their July-August 2020 “Focus on Education” issue. The industry journal publishes articles regarding current issues and best practices in Health Information Management (HIM), on a variety of timely educational topics, and can include tips, strategies, techniques, case-studies, opinions, and commentary.


“Servida is an outstanding student,” stated HIM Program Director Connie Renda. “As one of 29 students who earned a Bachelors degree at Mesa in 2020, her research is already resulting in a significant cost savings for the facility where she works, and thus, making great contributions to the field.”


Calling on her years of experience studying medical coding and information processing, Servida submitted her article, “Building a Medical Coding Auditing Program: Steps to Standardize and Start a Successful Program,” in Spring of 2020.


Through her research, Servida considers the ways facilities may improve efficiency in medical coding by constructing in-house auditing teams and conducting real-time performance reviews. Marrying her study of best practices with her own four-step model for developing auditing procedures, Servida creates an applicable guide for medical coding departments, designed to decrease multi-month processing wait-times to a matter of weeks. With improved turn-around, Servida postulates the vast effects of better internal communication, increased coding accuracy, and a decrease in billing backlogs. With these improvements in mind, Servida’s program design is a win for all – leading to measurable financial benefits for organizations and quality care for medical recipients.


Servida’s four-step model is as follows: 1) Facilities must first plan and prepare for how they will conduct their audits, considering decisions’ alignment with overall goals. 2) In executing the audit, facilities must practice effective communication and collaboration to collect data that assesses coders’ performance, tools, and processes. 3) Facilities must decide how they will report their audit findings (suggested monthly) to establish a consensus and draw conclusions. 4) From the audits’ findings, facilities will need to decide the appropriate follow-up actions, making improvements where needed and developing areas of focus for subsequent audits.


Servida’s model hinges on the importance of communication and ponders the role increased interaction between clinicians and coding teams could have on accurate and complete data capture. With random preliminary and retrospective audits occurring across all codes and coders, Servida considers facilities’ greater adeptness at identifying coding trends and taking corrective action.


Servida earned an associate degree from Mesa’s Health Information Technology (HIT) program in 2018, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management (HIM). As a member of Mesa’s most recent graduating HIM cohort, Servida shares in Mesa’s legacy as one of only two community colleges in California that offers a fully CAHIM-accredited bachelor’s degree program. In line with Mesa’s mission as the “leading college of equity and excellence,” the HIM program has helped four cohorts of students realize their goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree since its introduction in 2017.


In addition, the program has helped students like Servida pass the RHIA exam to become certified Registered Health Information Administrators. The program’s affordable coursework as well as its hybrid design, offering both online and in-person classes, make it an ideal choice for underrepresented students and working professionals who may otherwise struggle to access a traditional four-year degree.


Visit Mesa’s Health Information Management (HIM) to learn more about the program and how to apply.