The ICD-10 coding classification system was given a recent reprieve of an additional year for preparations by healthcare providers. By October 1, 2015, all healthcare providers must be fully ready to code, bill, and index medical information in the new coding classification system. This is causing stress and anxiety in most, but for a few, there is a positive side the transition.
Changing the culture of an organization, and the mindsets of clinicians and staff at all levels, is not to be underestimated. Indeed, the entire notion of coding, documenting, and diagnosing to the greatest detail possible using ICD-10 is going to present everyone with a challenge. The new ICD-10 has five times the number of diagnostic codes as its predecessor. This alone can be daunting.
Some professionals in the medical records and coding departments are quite excited about learning the new process. They are eager for the detailed specificity which means easier coding.
According to the theory of change management, “the general school of thought is that the most-effective and longest-lasting change is achieved through a behavioral norm-based strategy, with effectiveness decreasing with incentive-based, sanction-based, and adoption-based strategies.”
The key here is to work side by side with those who will bear the greatest burden of change with the ICD-10: the clinicians. Finding ways of integrating the least possible disruption into their workflows, whether or not you have an electronic health record (EHR), will require a collaborative approach by everyone.
The most important aspect of the ICD-10 change is the culture of the organization to adapt to a new way of doing work. In order to work collaboratively with the clinicians and staff, everyone needs to understand the whole dilemma. This will require training, education, and practice. And more practice.
The medical industry is struggling with the sense of reprieve and therefore procrastination has a great opportunity to take over. It is better to learn ICD-10, truly understand the impact and what it means, and get used to it rather than trying to change an entire organizational culture at the last minute.
We recommend machine-assisted indexing, such as that provided through Access Integrity. By providing training and quality assurance services, Access Integrity reduces the risk of coding errors and incorrect tags. Access Integrity is fully ANSI compliant and can help reduce costs in the workflow.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Access Integrity, delivering advanced technology solutions for full and complete compliant processing of medical transactions to the healthcare industry.
Photo by Derek Jensen, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glass-of-water.jpg