Make sure your ICD-10 physician training meets the mark

Deena K Kerr_100The ICD-10 compliance date is squarely within the sights of the health care industry. With less than four months to go until we cross the transition threshold, consider what you’ve done — and what you can still do — to help your doctors succeed as they move from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

Help physicians document for ICD-10 as soon as possible. Perhaps last-minute training is how you’ve prepared doctors in the past, such as when you installed an EMR or implemented a new process. You may feel like you’re saving them time by waiting until the end, and that because the training will happen close to the transition, you’re helping doctors remember what they’ve been taught. But doctors aren’t likely to document one way on September 30 and switch to documenting another way on October 1. If physicians are trained in ICD-10 documentation, they ought to be documenting for ICD-10 now.

Better physician documentation means better dual coding. Most coders have already been trained in and are focusing on dual coding, but if physicians aren’t trained in dual coding until just before the ICD-10 transition, coders won’t have the opportunity to see how physicians will go about documenting for ICD-10.

Physicians need more than just training. This new ICD-10 code set is too broad for the physicians to go to an hour-long training and learn everything they need to know. The transition must be supported by other infrastructures within the organization.

Education is more than just e-learning or instructor-led courses — it is all those things you do to support your learners as they work to change their understanding and behavior. Simple education will not suffice for a change of this magnitude, so ask yourself: What can we do to effect a more holistic change for providers? What can we do to make this mandate more beneficial for the entire organization?



About the Author

Deena K. Kerr, MBA
Director, ICD-10 Education

With more than 15 years of experience in the health care information technology field, Deena Kerr has dedicated the past two years to ICD-10 education as part of the Optum360 consulting team.

In addition to being the ICD-10 Education Director, she is also the Associate Director on the Optum360 ICD-10 Provider Team. Her expertise includes organizational transitions to ICD-10, ICD-10 Education strategies, system selection, design and development, implementation, conversions, upgrades and the management of integrated systems.

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