For many providers, the transition to ICD-10 is being looked at as a chore to be rushed through, rather than the medical data game-changer that it is. According to a report in EHR Intelligence, this update is nothing to be skimmed over, and practitioners should realize that it will ultimately help make information stored on chiropractic EHRs and other web based medical software easier to analyze and use in a meaningful way. That said, providers should expect difficulties.
Linda Kloss, founder of Kloss Strategic Advisors and former CEO of the American Health Information Management Association, told the news source that given it's been 35 years since ICD-9 was implemented, professionals are having to start fresh developing protocol to shift to the new code set. However, it's important that they do so, because adapting to new health IT rules can help doctors and administrators stay up to date, ultimately easing processes down the line, Kloss said.
Changing the mindset
Kloss continued that it's likely we'll see updates such as ICD-10—an international set of standards that has 16,000 codes including sub-classifications—approximately every six to 10 years going forward, despite the exceedingly long time it took to develop the current revision. Given this, EHR users can look at ICD-10 training and compliance as an investment in future transitions, as the protocols they use now may come in handy down the line.
In addition to being great preparation for the future, ICD-10 implementation can help healthcare organizations make the vast amounts of data they accrue be put to good use, Kloss said.
"So I look at classification systems and all these data tools as just that: they're tools to help us do our work in healthcare. And part of being in a data-savvy world is knowing how to make those adaptations," Kloss told EHR Intelligence.
She added that doctors and administrators should use this opportunity to review data governance in general at their organization. This includes analyzing all aspects of how information is obtained, stored and used in a facility, paying special attention to any gaps in security or knowledge among technology and staff members.
"We can look at this as a fire drill or we can be a little savvier about this by stepping back and treating this as a competency that healthcare organizations need to have," Kloss told the news source.
Take time with education and training
Becker's Hospital Review reported that it's essential that all staff members using chiropractic EHRs be educated on the basics of anatomy, physiology and biomedical sciences related to their practices's expertise. Having this base of knowledge will make it much easier for them to associate certain conditions and treatments with their respective codes, helping to reduce the risk of human error and increase efficiency. Of course, this type of education is just a precursor to learning ICD-10.
The news source added that EHR users should have about nine months of training using dual coding in ICD-9 and ICD-10, which acts as a sort of rehearsal before final implementation. This way, errors and problems can be identified early on and promptly resolved. Chiropractic EHR users who want to try dual coding should consult with their vendors about the best way to proceed.