ICD-10 is around the corner and many sources are predicting an initial drop in coder productivity of up to 50 percent. This will be followed by an ongoing drop in productivity of 10-20 percent. In fact, a former HIM Director from Canada said her coders were never as productive in ICD-10 as they were in ICD-9. So the big question is, “How do I mitigate that drop in productivity?”
Here is tip one of five in our series to improve coder productivity and accuracy. You’ll see immediate results while also preparing for your long-term needs!
Tip #1: Review and Streamline Coding Process and Function
If you haven’t already done so, conduct a detailed analysis of the coding workflow. You should include your coders in the process as they are closest to the work.
As W. Edwards Deming would argue, those closest to the work are best equipped to improve the process.
Gather a list of functions coders perform each and every day. Document every step then highlight those that slow down productivity. While your coders may still complete a few of these tasks going forward, you will find some that can be assigned to a data analyst, another department or clerical staff. Data collection issues regarding restraints, anesthesia, consultants, etc. could be collected at the point of service.