Coding is about more than saving money

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Integrating ICD-10 coding and all its updates into electronic health record systems comes with certain challenges. However, the effort is well worth it, considering all the advantages gained with proper coding. It's about more than just receiving full reimbursement. Following coding best practices and using up-to-date terminologies can actually help physicians uphold their Hippocratic oaths and deliver high-quality patient care.

Greater specificity for each patient
The fiscal year 2017 update to ICD-10 comes with 1,954 new codes and only 184 deletions, meaning there are more options when it comes to making a diagnosis. According to Medical Practice Insider, greater specificity in this regard allows physicians to better justify their use of treatment services and thus be more likely to receive full reimbursement. However, validation is hardly the only benefit, as it also guides doctors to the most effective intervention, ensuring each patient gets the highest quality of care possible.

As Michael Wilson, Healthcare Information Management chief executive, explained to Physicians Practice, greater detail can also improve long-term health outcomes for entire populations.

"It will allow for more granular coding, so, as we move toward electronic records being shared with other caregivers, we're going to start getting a clearer picture of what works best for successful patient outcomes," he said.

Clinicians collaborating around table.ICD-10 coding enhances care coordination.

Enhanced care coordination
As Wilson alluded, collaboration among caregivers can only be enriched with the greater coding detail and seamless sharing of information granted through ICD-10 updates. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, care coordination can increase efficiency and safety and lead to better, more effective health outcomes. However, this requires an individual's medical team to communicate and align resources to match both the patient and population's needs, all of which is made easier thanks to the details given through updated ICD-10 coding.

Increased efficiency in healthcare systems
While time is needed to train for and adjust to fiscal year 2017 ICD-10 updates, this move will end up saving precious seconds in the long run. That is, when providers see all pertinent information in a patient's EHR, they can make quick and effective decisions.

Efficiency is made even greater with the help of tools like IMO Anywhere. With this product, members of a healthcare system can access IMO Terminology anytime, anywhere. Its ICD-10 functionality lets clinicians continue to uphold their Hippocratic oaths and deliver care even when disconnected from the EHR system.

IMO clinical terminology is the most widely used in the industry - find out why.