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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on February 4th, 2015

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Getting Staff Back on Track, and Why it Matters for ICD-10

Healthcare Advice

Getting-Staff-Back-on-Track-and-Why-it-Matters-for-ICD-10In any organization, it’s not unusual for some, if not all of the members to be somewhat resistant to change. This is natural, since we spend a lot of time learning how to work with a particular system, and once employees have mastered a certain way of doing things, they would find it wasteful to have to learn something new.

An example of this situation can be seen in some people’s resistance to learning about ICD codes, despite governmental action to prompt medical organizations to get ready as soon as possible.

Seeing how the U.S. government is requiring the medical industry to transition from the International Classification of Diseases code version 9 to the new ICD-10 code in time for October 1, 2015, you may be wondering how well equipped your team is to deal with the change. Now is the time to get your staff back on track with ICD-10.

Analyze How Changes May Affect Your Practice

There are bound to be some changes in your office’s workflow internally as well as in how you interact with other organizations. Impress upon your staff the importance of recognizing how ICD-10 changes could affect their daily tasks.

For example, there may be some updates in how you process referrals from other doctors, as well as how you do pre-certification or pre-authorization of services.

More Codes Means Much to Learn

There are about 17,000 diagnosis codes in ICD-9. Compare that to more than 140,000 diagnostic codes in ICD-10. With so many new codes to learn or to at least become familiar with relatively soon, it’s a good idea to motivate your staff to get on the ball with studying ICD-10.

Experts at the World Health Organization are in charge of developing ICD and have designed the new code set to help the medical industry describe how they treat patients much more accurately.

Schedule Some Training Time

Have you made arrangements for your staff to learn about ICD-10? Or if you did so, was this early last year? Regardless of when or if you have even done any training, you should evaluate your team and provide them the extra training and help they need, so they can get back on track.

You might want to consider hiring a consultant to come to your office and assess your staff’s relative knowledge of and preparation for using ICD-10. A consultant can then help you better allocate time and money toward improving your team’s knowledge and skills in using the new code set.

Remind your staff that getting prepared for the ICD-10 transition is for a great cause. Eventually, despite the time they need to expend on learning and practicing with the new codes, they will be able to speed up how you process and treat patients, thanks to the more comprehensive nature of the ICD-10 code set.

Key Takeaway

  • Administered by the World Health Organization, the International Classification of Diseases code will switch to version 10 in the United States by October 1, 2015.
  • If your staffers have been lagging behind or become diverted by other matters, it’s time to get them back on track with mastering ICD-10.
  • Hiring a consultant can help your medical practice determine where it is falling short in ICD-10 preparation and in what areas you are doing well.
  • It’s of paramount importance to arrange for sufficient training time for your staff, so they can become better acquainted with all the new codes and how they will be used.
  • More training should lead to improved confidence that only comes with people feeling that they thoroughly know the subject.

ICD-10-Code-Converter

About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.