The ICD-10 Verdict is in…7 strategies from MRA

Cathie Wilde, RHIA, CCS - Director, Coding Services Medical Coding Leave a Comment

ICD-10 Implementation Process

Every lesson learned is a step forward. This past week’s decision by the Senate certainly provided a few new lessons for hospitals. First and foremost, we are reminded to “never say never”. And secondly, we can now take a breath and contemplate how to respond. Serious questions now emerge for everyone. The first of these being, when will the new deadline be announced? Until the new deadline for ICD-10 implementation is determined, here are 7 strategies to take today. Take advantage of an extra year, apply the lessons that you’ve learned and keep moving forward.

  • Don’t let the training momentum stall. Keep a steady pace, perhaps a little less intense in 2014, with regular ICD-10 refreshers. Depending on the final go-live date, set up plans to increase training 6-9 months out from ICD-10 implementation.
  • Distribute training aspects evenly. Don’t “cram” at the last minute now that we know the resource-intensive nature of ICD-10 training.
  • Assess the 2013-2014 training obstacles you’ve run into so far. Fine tune the training program by identifying problem areas and targeting more specific/detailed education in that topic.
  • Take advantage of dual coding. Not only to reinforce ICD-10 training but to use as a benchmark for future staffing. Consider cross-training staff.
  • Keep clinical documentation integrity at the forefront of all you do. Ensuring the physician’s thought process (diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment plan) is accurately documented is the key to capturing severity of illness, supporting medical necessity and most importantly ensuring quality and continuity of patient care.
  • Continue to review/update/adjust. View the delay as a positive – more time to get your house in order and be fully ready at the time of implementation.
  • Seize the moment! This is an opportunity to enhance and focus in all areas of HIM to provide superior leadership in the area of data management.

Do you have a tip, suggestion or strategy to add? We are all in this together so we encourage your your comments!

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