Most people have a pretty good idea of the work performed by hospital staff
like nurses and medical technicians. But what does a Certified Coding
Specialist like Linda Windham do?
Linda maintains and assures the accuracy of patients' medical records,
including the complex system of codes that health insurance providers
use to determine the proper reimbursement for specific medical procedures.
This crucial job requires a comprehensive knowledge of medical terminology,
anatomy and physiology, as well as an understanding of the diagnostic
and treatment procedures used for various medical conditions. But there's
another challenge in Linda's job, too.
"It's true what they say about doctors' handwriting - at times
it can be difficult to read," she chuckles. "Accuracy is very
important in what we do. If we have trouble reading what is written in
a patient's chart, we might have to consult the physician or other
members of the health care team, asking for clarification."
A Fremont-Rideout employee for 22 years, Linda works in the Health Information
Management Department. When her 28-year-old son was younger, she worked
the day shift. Once he turned 18, though, she switched to the night shift,
coming in at midnight - which is how she earned the nickname of "Midnight
Girl" from another employee. "I really like working at night,"
she admits. "It's peaceful and quiet, so you can get a lot of
work done before the regular business day begins."
Linda's coworkers readily attest to her being a STAR performer, with
comments such as: "Linda is worth her weight in gold." "They'd
need five people to replace her." "I know I can always go to
her with any questions I might have."
She is also known among her colleagues for collecting "vintage"
clothes, which she finds at fairs and shops in the area. That hobby dovetails
nicely with her keen interest in ballroom dancing and also led to her
joining the Sacramento Art Deco Society 10 years ago. " I heard about
the society at a Vintage Fair," she explains. "We help to preserve
historical art deco buildings from the 1920s-1940s."
When she's not working, collecting, dancing or preserving art deco
history, Linda enjoys time with her son and grandson. "I adore my
grandson, who is 8 going on 50," she says. "He always knows
exactly what he wants - he runs the house."