Monday, January 23, 2023

The Office Needs To Become Hybrid-Friendly: 4 Tips For Getting Started

Sponsored by Centric Consulting


In this segment of “Office Optional with Larry English,” Larry has four tips for how to structure your organization to be a hybrid-friendly environment.

After compensation, the No. 1 thing employees care about in 2021 is flexibility. This comes from a global study of workers by The Future Forum, a Slack consortium, which found that overwhelmingly, knowledge workers want flexibility in their schedule (93 percent) and where they work (76 percent).

For most companies, the office will be key to achieving that balance. But not the office of yesteryear. As companies hammer out their hybrid workplace strategy, they’re rethinking the role of the office, envisioning a new model for how it energizes workers and reinforces culture.

“No one wants the office to go back to how it was pre-COVID,” says Ira Sharfin, CEO of Continental Office, a commercial design and workplace solutions firm. “People want choices in where and how they work. They want to use the office for collaboration, socialization, mentorship and inspiration.”

This insight comes not only from Sharfin’s work with clients but also from a recent Continental Office survey, which found that while 85 percent of employees want the choice of remote work, 76 percent also want the office to remain a part of their work experience.

Sharfin offers the following tips for reinventing the office for 2021 and beyond.

Dig into what your employees actually want.

Before making any decisions about how the office will be used, Sharfin suggests that companies gather data from employees. What’s important to them? How do they work best? How do they see themselves using the office? Likely, you’ll have some employees who want to come in full-time, others who want to be remote full-time and a large chunk who want a mix.

Quartz, for example, recently decided to let employees work from anywhere. But the company still had a year left on its New York City office, so before reopening, it surveyed employees to see how they’d want to use the space. Not surprisingly, 0 percent wanted to come in full-time, but some did still want the option, with most saying a few days each week would be ideal. Quartz used that data to create a new framework for how the office is used.

Expand your concept of flexibility.

Flexibility isn’t just about the choice of working from the office or home. It’s about having choice within those settings, as well.

Sharfin suggests companies think about redesigning the office to give employees different work environments – think a mix of shared workstations, couches or lounge seating and private phone booths. Making these changes will likely mean reducing cubicle and private office spaces. This shouldn’t be a problem, as most employees will not be using the office for 100 percent of their future work modes.

Upon reopening, Quartz did away with assigned seating, opting for hot desks so employees could have options for where they sit, who they sit by and even whether they use a desk at all.

“The people who say they don’t want to ever come back to the office, it’s because the office is uninspiring,” Sharfin says. “Instead, think of the new office like an adult student union. There’s a vibe, there’s people working with their headphones in while others are meeting. Those are the types of spaces that people gravitate toward, because they feel good and they’re inspiring.”

Give people space to be human.

When people work from home, they can step away from their computer, take a break to meditate, re-center or take care of their mental health. Working from home allows employees to be human, rather than automatons.

The office needs to allow space for employees to be human, too. Sharfin says many companies are installing a wellness or respite room, which can be as simple as outfitting a small office with some inviting furniture and soothing lighting. “These rooms are important to show people you care, and it doesn’t take a lot,” Sharfin says, noting that leaders may have to model using the room to help employees feel comfortable taking breaks in the office.

Invest in tech to make the office hybrid-friendly.

Technology is more important than ever in a hybrid workplace. For one, technology allows distributed workers to seamlessly collaborate, whether that means through a platform like Microsoft Teams or software that facilitates meetings with a mix of on-site and off-premise workers.

Technology can also make the office a more inviting place to work. “It’s important to allow people to easily plug in, no matter where they’re working in the office,” Sharfin says. “The less friction you have for using the office, printers, etc., the better.”

Luckily, Sharfin says there are many inexpensive ways to make the office hybrid-friendly. If companies get rid of dedicated desks, for example, a simple app can let employees reserve a workstation or a conference room for the day. Sharfin says some companies are also letting people see who has booked space so they can more easily plan to come in when their teammates or work friends will be on site.

Can you afford not to redesign your office?

Companies may be hesitant to dive in to redesigning their space. After all, if there’s anything we learned in 2020, it’s that the future is unknowable.

Although it does require an investment to start evolving the office, Sharfin says getting started doesn’t have to mean overhauling the entire space or making permanent changes. “You can test changes out in a small area and use prefab interior products to create conference rooms and offices, which would be easily convertible,” he notes.

Plus, there’s a very real cost to getting it wrong – namely that many employees are already looking for greener pastures, and it costs a lot to recruit and train someone new.

“Companies need to invest more in workplace strategy,” Sharfin says. “They need to step back and think more broadly about the purpose of the office. What do you really need and what do your people need? Is your space inspiring people and helping them do great work and share ideas?”

This article was originally featured on

About the Author

Larry English is president and co-founder of Centric Consulting, a management consulting firm that guides you in the search for answers to complex digital, business, and technology problems. Before Centric Consulting, Larry worked for a large international consulting firm out of college until he got burned out at 25. He and his newlywed wife backpacked around the world as he tried to find his path in life—and he did. Shortly after returning home, he and his like-minded pals founded Centric with a focus on changing how consulting was done by building a remote company with a mission to create a culture of employee and client happiness.

Today, Centric is a 1,000-plus person company with offices in 12 US cities and India. In his new book, Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams, Larry unpacks everything he’s discovered about creating and sustaining a culture of collaborative teams in a virtual environment. Connect with Larry on Twitter.


Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from The Office Needs To Become Hybrid-Friendly: 4 Tips For Getting Started.

Article reprinted with permission.  


Enjoying this topic? Register for the OHIMA23 ‘Office Optional’ Workshop by Centric Consulting. Learn more online:

Monday, January 16, 2023

Coding for Organ and Disease-Oriented Panels

The “Spotlight on CPT” is shining on the Pathology and Laboratory section of CPT this month.  In particular, we are going to be looking at organ or disease-oriented panels.  These panels, in the code range 80047-80076, were developed for coding purposes.  As one can see by examining the panels, one code is covering multiple tests, which allows for a simpler, faster reporting of the group of tests.  It is important to note that the panels were not designed to be viewed as clinical parameters. 

When a panel of tests is ordered, for example an electrolyte panel (CPT code 80051), all the components of the panel must be performed.  This will include carbon dioxide, chloride, potassium, and sodium tests.  Additional tests, as ordered, may be separately reported.  So, if the electrolyte panel and a glucose test were ordered, then codes 80051 (electrolyte panel) and 82947 (glucose) should both be reported.

It is inappropriate to report two or more panel codes which have overlapping constituent tests.  For example, the tests that incorporate a basic metabolic panel (BMP) 80048 are found in the comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) 80053.  It would be appropriate to only assign 80053 for the CMP if both are ordered. This applies when the tests ordered are from the same patient draw.

Similarly, if the group of tests that are ordered overlap panels, report the panel that houses the greater number of tests.  In the previous example we see that all of the tests in 80048 are the same as in 80053.  However, 80047 which is a BMP with a different type of calcium (ionized rather that total) still should not be coded with 80053, but in addition to the CMP code, code 82330 for the ionized calcium could be added.  This is because that is the only test in the BMP calcium, ionized panel that is different from the CMP.

Remember, when individual tests are ordered, if they meet the defined components for a panel, only the panel code should be assigned.

Now, light has been shed on organ and disease-oriented panels.



About the Author 

Dianna Foley, RHIA, CCS, CHPS, CDIP, is OHIMA's Education Coordinator. Dianna has been an HIM professional for over 20 years. She progressed through the ranks of coder, department supervisor, and department director, to her current role as a coding consultant. 

She previously served as the program director for Medical Coding and HIT at Eastern Gateway Community College. Dianna earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and holds RHIA, CHPS, CDIP and CCS certifications. She is an AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer and is a presenter on coding topics at the national, state, and regional levels. Dianna mentors new AHIMA members and also provides monthly educational lectures to coders and clinical documentation specialists.