Always learning, always growing: Meet Keisha Downes, CDI Director, Tufts Medicine

CDI Director for Tufts Medicine.

Recently returned to school to earn her MBA.

Contributor to, and co-author of, the latest ACDIS-AHIMA physician query practice brief.

Speaker at the upcoming ACDIS conference.

And all-around cool person.

Keisha Downes, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, joined me recently to talk about her impressive career in healthcare, a path that started from humble beginnings at Wal-Mart, then to nursing, travel nursing, and finally CDI, which took her from her home state of Virginia to my home state of Massachusetts.

Today Downes serves as CDI director over a 3-hospital system and a staff of 21. She constantly challenges herself to learn and do new things, and is constantly learning and growing as a result.

We get a bit into her ACDIS session, CDI Mortality Reviews: Going Beyond SOI/ROM, as well as Tufts’ metrics for success and mortality review process. And a little bit about a session I plan to deliver at ACDIS about my former colleague, the late Melissa Varnavas.

We happen to share a similar love of 80s hard rock, which was an unexpected surprise. Downes’ CDI oversight includes Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, the place where I was born—another surprise. Which often occurs when speaking with my guests.

Come to think of it, I wonder if my mom’s admission and my delivery was given a proper CDI review—probably not, this was 1973. Pre-DRGs, pre-EHR, almost pre-electricity.


Listen to the episode here:

Related News & Insights

New definition of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): Coding, auditing, and CDI professionals take note

By Brian Murphy The clinical definition of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is changing. CDI and coding professionals take…

Read More read more

Talking tech, CAPD with Intermountain Health’s Kory Anderson

Technology. I’m of a mixed mind. Broadly, I think technology is a blessing for humanity. It saves…

Read More read more