RDS Clarification/Education

Our providers tend to use RDS in their documentation to describe respiratory distress, respiratory distress syndrome of newborn, and acute respiratory failure.

Often we find ourselves querying to clarify/remove the RDS when it is in fact respiratory distress and not respiratory distress syndrome of newborn.

This helps with denial prevention however is a negative impact query.

Does anyone have education you've created to help the providers differentiate between the diagnoses that you'd be willing to share?

Thanks in advance,

Alicia Mitchell

Director Clinical Documentation - Norton Children's Hospital


  • Hi There,

    I'll have to dig around and see if I still have anything from several years ago. I would suggest talking to your Neo's and getting their definition of RDS and see how that compares with evidenced based definitions. Also determines if you are talking about pre-term or term infants. Many infants will have mild RDS and not require surfactant.

    Are they using RDS for TTN?

    While a "negative impact query" , it's a compliance metric in my opinion. These are the types of queries that prove CDI is not just a "cash cow", etc... there are numerous times a week that I query to verify if dx was ruled out or ruled in...generally creates a lesser DRG but that's what's compliant.


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