Query percentage goals

 I have a question that I am looking for some thoughts on from the group. As a CDI Director are working on increasing our query volume and have questions on how we should report our goal percentage.

We have set a goal of 20% for query volume (which we were told by a consulting firm that is a national average) but are trying to decide if that is 20% of total reviews or 20% of unique patients reviewed?

Obviously our query percentage will be much higher if we base it on unique accounts but is that how others report?

For example if I review a pt. record 2 times and only query once, my query percentage is 50% if I use total reviews but it is 100% if I use unique accts as my denominator.

I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you are confused or if you report this data in a different manner. We are open to ideas! 

Thank you!


  • I call these 'query quotas" and although I do understand the need to monitor to get a snapshot of your programs activities, i do encourage people not to put too much weight or expectation on such numbers. The better data is a review or audit that captures missed opportunities- versus a flat number of how many queries are asked. This of course takes more time. But this allows you to better understand your staffs level of functioning and target educational need.

    Also the nature of the organization will influence query rates so a national average or expectation as a benchmark can be concerning. if you experience high provider turnover related to the use of locums, or resident training etc. your rate is going to be higher than a hospital in which the provider staffing is more stable. Specific service lines will demonstrate different rates of query. The identified mission or focus of your department will impact query frequency, etc.

    As to your question above- i would measure queries per encounter. If you do it by the number of reviews that might lead to pressure upon the staff to query when it is not appropriate because there is an expectation that they must do so "X" amount times.
  • Thank you! I think your response gives us a different way to look at our metrics! I appreciate your input.
  • I agree with the above comment to audit and ensure query opportunities are not missed.  We do have a "query rate target" of 35% and typically exceed that (query rate is based on number of individual cases - not total reviews).  However, we also audit each CDIS monthly to ensure their queries are appropriate when solicited and that there aren't missed query opportunities.  I think the query rate gives you an idea so you know your staff is sending queries, but the true story will be found in auditing. 
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