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‘Codeman’ seeks to improve documentation and coding

Feb. 22, 2018, 9:05 AM

Codeman, a superhero well known in the 1970s, has come out of retirement and accepted an important position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Codeman come out of retirement and join our VUMC family to help improve our coding and documentation skills,” said Mark Glazer, MD, assistant professor of Medicine and executive medical director of the Center for Health Information Management. “This is an area where we have a great need, and it’s just like Codeman to step up to help.”

Codeman is back to help people improve their coding and documentation skills. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Glazer also said, “Most superheroes I know have aged well. Codeman hasn’t, but he seems to be intact mentally and that’s what we’re counting on.”

Excellence in documentation and coding serves multiple purposes, including being the source of information that ranks physicians and hospitals on the quality and complexity of care delivered, which is increasingly publicly reported. Documentation and coding also serves as an “invoice” for services rendered in order to support appropriate reimbursement.

Unlike Clark Kent (Superman) and Bruce Wayne (Batman), Codeman’s alter ego has remained a mystery.

Rumor has it that Codeman will publish a VUMC newsletter, titled “The Codeman Chronicles,” which will be coming soon to all Vanderbilt Medical Group (VMG) clinicians who document in the medical record.

“I, for one, could not be more thrilled to hear that Codeman is back! I loved reading his comic books and I am confident that he will help us improve our documentation,” said Rob Hood, MD, assistant professor of Medicine and associate chief medical officer for VMG.

“The results of effective documentation and coding are essential to the Medical Center’s continued progress. I want to thank Dr. Glazer for his commitment to this work, as well as the creative and unique approach he is bringing to this effort to improve awareness and expertise across our enterprise,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, VUMC’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer.

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