Prioritize physician engagement in ICD-10 transition

The looming transition to ICD-10 continues to be burdensome for healthcare providers nationwide, so much so that some in Congress are calling for it to not be mandatory. However, according to Bonnie Cassidy, senior director of health information management innovation at Nuance, there are several steps that can be taken to ease the process.

For example, Cassidy recently told Becker's Hospital Review, information managers in charge of leading such efforts must prioritize physician engagement from the get-go.

"The best way to communicate with physicians is peer-to-peer, so there's a strong need to engage physician champions," she said. "In addition to pursuing peer-to-peer training, it's also crucial that you focus on training physicians on the codes they need to know based on their specialty. In other words, you can't throw all these new ICD-10 codes and the kitchen sink at physicians and expect them to embrace this change and hit the ground running."

Additionally, according to Cassidy, project management efforts must be firm to ensure that multiple tasks can be completed without a hitch. "You've got to get people who get up in the morning and think about project management," Cassidy told Becker's.

In a recent interview with FierceHealthIT, Christine Armstrong, principal at Deloitte, echoed many of Cassidy's sentiments, saying that overall, most people have a lot of work ahead of them.

"Some organizations jumped ahead, then with the delay, they stopped, then had to regain momentum," Armstrong said. "The organizations that are in implementation now are finding that it's taking longer than they originally thought--whether it be training, or education, or working with their vendors--to get their systems upgraded or their testing plans--both internal and external."

To learn more:
- read the Becker's post