Take Your ICD-10 Training Efforts to the Next Level

When it comes to ICD-10, we are truly all in it together. The interconnectedness of the people and processes across the health system—from patient intake through final payment—means everyone and everything is impacted in ways big and small by the new coding standard.

In April, we offered some advice for planning a comprehensive ICD-10 training program. As you design your actual courses, be sure to incorporate a mix of learning opportunities that meet the various needs of individuals based on their learning style and their familiarity with ICD-10.

A great way to approach this is by organizing your curriculum around three levels of instruction:

  • Overview training, which orients participants to the reasons, benefits, challenges and timelines of ICD-10, as well as department-specific impacts to workflow and systems.
  • Knowledge-based/skill transfer, to provide a deeper understanding of ICD-10 and ensure those who work with diagnosis data can easily navigate and use the code set.
  • On-the-job training, which helps learners apply their ICD-10 training to their current work.

While ICD-10 affects everyone, pay particular attention to physicians. Accurate clinical documentation is the foundation of a successful transition to ICD-10. Physicians need to be well trained and motivated to provide the level of specificity required. Accomplishing this may be tricky, considering the mix of hospital-employed and independent physicians working in the hospital setting.

A safe bet is to make ICD-10 training and certification simple, convenient and interactive. Admit independent physicians into training programs for hospital-employed physicians. Provide a mix of instructor-led and eLearning options to ensure flexibility in meeting their time, format preference and learning style needs. Where possible, integrate clinical data into the training so physicians can truly see the impact of ICD-10 to billing, quality measurement and compliance in real versus abstract terms. Additionally, coordinate training and certification with other hospitals or facilities in your area to save physicians time.

We will discuss ICD-10 training strategies in more detail in a free Webinar on August 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern. You can register to view the on-demand webinar here.


–Deena Kerr, ICD-10 Education Director, Optum

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