Countdown to ICD-10 is On , October 12, 2012

Training for data users (such as quality management personnel, data analysts, researchers, clinical department managers) should be in process. Organizations should now assess coders’ knowledge gaps and determine whether foundational education on biomedical sciences and pharmacology is necessary. Coder should continue to expand their familiarity with the ICD-10 code sets.

Coders who will be involved in ICD-10 implementation projects (such as data mapping or training other coders) should have received intensive ICD-10 training by now. If the training has yet to take place, schedule it soon.

Be sure you assess the quality of record documentation and implement clinical documentation improvement strategies to address gaps. This process will continue past the Oct. 1, 2014 compliance date.

Your organization can facilitate proper documentation through the use of electronic health record documentation templates and prompts. This approach will not only result in better documentation, but also greater coding accuracy and productivity and improved coder and physician satisfaction.

High-quality documentation benefits not only the quality of ICD-10 coding, but also many other current and future healthcare initiatives, including quality measurement reporting, value-based purchasing, and the Meaningful Use program. If your organizations is not where it should be with ICD-10 planning and preparation, there is no time to waste.

A one-year delay is not a “reprieve” from working on ICD-10 planning and preparation. No healthcare entity should be lulled into thinking that a one-year delay means it can relax its pace of ICD-10 implementation efforts, or set aside ICD-10 until later.

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