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.