Free Hospital EMR and EHR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to Hospital EMR and EHR for FREE!

Opening the Door to Data Analytics in Medical Coding – HIM Scene

Posted on November 15, 2017 I Written By

The following is a HIM Scene guest blog post by Julia Hammerman, RHIA, CPHQ, is Director of Education and Compliance, himagine solutions.

Data analytics has moved from IT and finance to the majority of business functions—including clinical coding. However, most healthcare organizations admit they could do more with analytics. This month’s HIM Scene blog explores the importance of analyzing clinical coding data to improve quality, productivity, and compliance.

Coding Data in ICD-10: Where We Are Today

HIM leaders are implementing coding data analytics to continually monitor their coding teams and cost-justify ongoing educational investments. Coding data analytics isn’t a once-and-done endeavor. It is a long-term commitment to improving coding performance in two key areas: productivity and accuracy.

A Look at Productivity Data

Elements that impact coding productivity data include: the type of electronic health record (EHR) used, the number of systems accessed during the coding process, clinical documentation improvement (CDI) initiatives, turnaround time for physician queries, and the volume of non-coding tasks assigned to coding teams.

Once any coding delays caused by these issues are corrected, coding productivity is best managed with the help of data analytics. For optimal productivity monitoring, the following data must be tracked, entered, and analyzed:

  • Begin and end times for each record—by coder and chart type
  • Average number of charts coded per hour by coder
  • Percentage of charts that take more than the standard minutes to code—typically charts with long lengths of stay (LOS), high dollar or high case mix index (CMI)
  • Types of cases each coder is processing every day

A Look at Accuracy Data

Accuracy should never be compromised for productivity. Otherwise, the results include denied claims, payer scrutiny, reimbursement issues, and other negative financial impacts.

Instead, a careful balance between coding productivity and accuracy is considered best practice.

Both data sets must be assessed simultaneously. The most common way to collect coding accuracy data is through coding audits and a thorough analysis of coding denials.

  • Conduct routine coding accuracy audits
  • Analyze audit data to target training, education and other corrective action
  • Record data so that back-end analysis is supported
  • Assess results for individual coders and the collective team

Using Your Results

Results of data analysis are important to drive improvements at the individual level and across entire coding teams. For individuals, look for specific errors and provide coaching based on the results of every audit. Include tips, recommendations, and resources to improve. If the coding professional’s accuracy continues to trend downward, targeted instruction and refresher coursework are warranted with focused re-audits to assure improvement over time.

HIM and coding managers can analyze coding audit data across an entire team to identify patterns and trends in miscoding. Team data pinpoints where multiple coders may be struggling. Coding hotlines or question queues are particularly helpful for large coding teams working remotely and from different geographic areas. Common questions can be aggregated for knowledge sharing across the team.

Analytics Technology and Support: What’s Needed

While spreadsheets are still used as the primary tool for much data analysis in healthcare, this option will not suffice in the expanded world of ICD-10. Greater technology investments are necessary to equip HIM and coding leaders with the coding data analytics technology they need.

The following technology guidelines can help evaluate new coding systems and level-up data analytics staff:

  • Data analytics programs with drill-down capabilities are imperative. These systems are used to effectively manage and prevent denials.
  • Customized workflow management software allows HIM and coding leaders to assign coding queues based on skillset.
  • Discharged not final coded and discharged not final billed analytics tools are important to manage each piece of accounts receivables daily and provide continual reporting.
  • Systems should have the ability to build rules to automatically send cases to an audit queue based on specific factors, such as diagnosis, trend, problematic DRGs.
  • Capabilities to export and manipulate the data within other systems, such as Excel, while also trending data are critical.
  • Staff will need training on advanced manipulation of data, such as pivot charts.
  • Every HIM department should have a copy of the newly revised AHIMA Health Data Analysis Toolkit, free of charge for AHIMA members.

HIM directors already collect much of the coding data required for improved performance and better decision-making. By adding data analytics software, organizations ensure information is available for bottom-line survival and future growth.

If you’d like to receive future HIM posts in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

A Look at the HIM World with Dr. Jon Elion from ChartWise Medical Systems – HIM Scene

Posted on April 5, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This post is part of the HIM Series of blog posts. If you’d like to receive future HIM posts in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

Healthcare Scene had a chance to interview Dr. Jon Elion, founder and president of ChartWise Medical Systems where we asked him about some of the big happenings in Health Information Management (HIM) and how world of HIM is evolving. Dr. Elion offers some really great insights into the HIM profession. You can watch the full video interview embedded at the bottom of this post or click on one of the questions below to hear Dr. Elion’s answer to that question.

Find more great Healthcare Scene Interviews.

If you’d like to receive future HIM posts in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

10 Awesome Things About HIM Professionals to Celebrate HIP Week

Posted on April 6, 2016 I Written By

Erin Head is the Director of Health Information Management (HIM) and Quality for an acute care hospital in Titusville, FL. She is a renowned speaker on a variety of healthcare and social media topics and currently serves as CCHIIM Commissioner for AHIMA. She is heavily involved in many HIM and HIT initiatives such as information governance, health data analytics, and ICD-10 advocacy. She is active on social media on Twitter @ErinHead_HIM and LinkedIn. Subscribe to Erin’s latest HIM Scene posts here.

April 3-9, 2016 is known as Health Information Professionals (HIP) week. This annual event is a great time for celebrating accomplishments and touting the diverse skills of HIM professionals. I came up with a list of great things for us to brag about during HIP week and every day:

  1. HIM Careers: There are roughly 180,000 HIM professionals in the United States. There are 15 nationally recognized professional credentials available for HIM. (Keep spreading the word so we are recognized when asked what we do for a living. We are not just Medical Records!)
  2. Information Governance: HIM professionals are the gatekeepers of health information and are perfectly apt to take on new exciting roles in Information Governance and Data Analytics.
  3. Advocacy: HIM professionals are in Washington, DC this week advocating for a unique patient safety identifier- My Health ID. Be sure to sign the petition to remove the ban that prevents HHS from working on this important endeavor.
  4. ICD-10: ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS coding classification systems were successfully implemented in October 2015 and are providing more specificity and detail to health data for documentation quality improvement and secondary data usage.
  5. Job Growth: There is a projected job growth of 18-26% in HIM positions in 2016. Source: Monster.com
  6. Remote Coding: Many medical coding professionals are able to work remotely from home.
  7. Social Media: A new hashtag for HIM social media conversations was started this week- #HIMsocial.
  8. Networking: We have great networking opportunities in HIM – conferences, online forums, and social media are great ways to learn and share information. Lifelong friendships and strategic relationships are always waiting to be made.
  9. HIPAA: HIM professionals ensure protected health information is kept secure and released only to the correct individuals who have a need to know. This  protects healthcare consumers and prevents fines of millions of dollars for healthcare organizations annually.
  10. Versatility: HIM professionals are versatile and can provide many benefits to different healthcare settings including hospitals, physician offices, EMR vendors, auditors, and insurance providers among many others.

Happy HIP Week to all! Celebrate your success and that of our great HIM community!

If you’d like to receive future HIM posts by Erin in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

Gathering Consensus for EMR Templates

Posted on January 6, 2016 I Written By

Erin Head is the Director of Health Information Management (HIM) and Quality for an acute care hospital in Titusville, FL. She is a renowned speaker on a variety of healthcare and social media topics and currently serves as CCHIIM Commissioner for AHIMA. She is heavily involved in many HIM and HIT initiatives such as information governance, health data analytics, and ICD-10 advocacy. She is active on social media on Twitter @ErinHead_HIM and LinkedIn. Subscribe to Erin’s latest HIM Scene posts here.

By now, most of us have moved beyond the initial phases of implementing an EMR and into the optimization phase. Templates, ordersets, and documentation tools are constantly evolving with input from different departments and clinicians but we need to ensure a centralized EMR change review process is in place to prevent duplication, errors, note bloat, conflicting information, and unnecessary documentation.

Since there are many different uses and objectives for clinical documentation, we must collaborate with many different areas to reach a consensus on the way we capture clinical documentation to ensure compliance. In my experience, the best way to standardize EMR changes and enhancements is to develop a centralized process flow for all requests for changes to clinical documentation. This establishes the team that will provide diverse perspectives and will review and sign-off on all requests before they are built and implemented.

Sometimes we get approached by physicians or other clinicians asking for changes that would be a simple build in the EMR but we must run this and all requests through the change approval process to prevent any potential downstream affects. Even when requests are based on regulatory changes, it’s important to follow the process flow so that all interested parties are aware of the changes and are meeting compliance in all areas.

From the coding and CDI perspective, we need to capture more detail in the documentation to properly assign ICD-10 codes. Adjusting EMR templates to help physicians with descriptive diagnoses is vital to capture all of the detail at the point of entry and time of treatment instead of asking for clarification later. At my facility, we have found success with having our CDI specialists educating the physicians on the diagnosis guidelines and appropriate EMR template use.

The number one objective should be to ensure the EMR captures the clinical story of each patient to provide the best possible treatment and utilization of resources. Achieving consensus on templates can sometimes feel like herding cats but doing it right the first time is important. We must maintain a governance process of clinical documentation to ensure all objectives are properly met.

If you’d like to receive future HIM posts by Erin in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

Hospital to Turn Off EHR Access for Doctors Who Haven’t Finished ICD-10 Training

Posted on July 27, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.


This article is pretty shocking. I can imagine how well this would go over at most hospitals. I hope we get to hear how well this strategy works and who will win what appears like a game of chicken between the doctors and hospital. Does the hospital need the doctors more or do the doctors need the hospital more?

Here’s an excerpt from the article linked above that describes what they’re doing:

“There is a ‘go live’ date for these changes that is Oct. 1 for everyone across the country, including us, so we felt it was very important that all medical providers be trained,” Groves said. “We set a date of July 27, which is Monday — if they have not done the training by then, their access to Soarian will be cut off.”

If they don’t have access to the EHR, that’s basically saying that a doctor can’t practice at that hospital, no? It’s interesting that access to the EHR is being used as essentially revoking privileges to be a doctor at a hospital. I can hear many doctors initial reaction being that they didn’t want to access the EHR anyway. Although, it’s a lot more complex than that response would describe. Can you practice medicine at a hospital that has an EHR without having access to the EHR? I believe the answer is no unless the hospital makes some extraordinary concessions to a doctor (not likely to happen in the hospital mentioned above).

What do you think about using EHR access as a way to motivate doctors to do something? Is that a good strategy? Will we see it happen more?

What About Data Beyond the EMR?

Posted on April 4, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I saw this tweet from the famous @HealthcareWen which asks a really good question:

While I enjoy the humor of the tweet as much as the next person (everyone who knows me knows I’m all about the humor), this conversation reminds me a lot of what was done with ICD-10. The “funny ICD-10 codes” got all the attention and made ICD-10 a joke in the minds of so many people. This was highlighted by this guest post on EMR and HIPAA called “Why Do People Find ICD-10 So Amusing?” Those who support the shift to ICD-10 did a poor job explaining why ICD-10 was valuable to the quality of care a patient gets. Talking about all the funny ICD-10 codes (and they are funny) goes against the goals of those who see value in the move to ICD-10.

I bring this up because the same thing could easily happen with big data in healthcare. While it’s funny to think about how a doctor might treat us if they know we had a donut for breakfast, there are really meaningful data sources beyond the EMR. If we focus too much on the periphery of the data, then we’re going to miss out on a lot of the value that comes from the not so funny parts of big data.

Right now our EMR systems can’t support most of the data that could come from outside the EMR. However, that shift is going to happen and it’s going to happen quickly. My gut tells me that it will start with the wave of consumer centric medical sensors. Then, I see genomic and social data getting integrated next (both really large projects). These three areas will set the baseline for how outside data is integrated with the EMR data.

Let me offer the key points to consider in these data integrations:
Automated: The data must pass seamlessly without the need for user interaction
Smart Data: The user of the system needs the system to be smart. The user should only be notified with what’s actionable, but with the ability to drill into the data as needed.
Bi Directional: The data needs to be seen and updated by both provider and patient. The system will need to have a great way to track who updated which data. However, we need both the patient and providers eyes on the data with the ability to update incorrect data.

These points should illustrate why integrating outside data is going to be such a challenge. However, it’s also why it holds such promise.

Weird News Wednesday – Man Arrives at Hospital with a Chainsaw Stuck in His Neck

Posted on April 2, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I saw this picture and I knew that I just had to share it even though we usually don’t cover this sort of topic. It’s a picture from a hospital where the guy showed up with a chainsaw in his neck:

This isn’t really a health IT story like we usually do, but I will offer one health IT twist. You just really never know what’s going to come through the doors of the ED. You can plan for a lot in healthcare, but not everything. Maybe some of those funny ICD-10 codes are more common than we think.

The Forgotten Argument For ICD-10

Posted on April 1, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest post by Eric Hodge, Service Line Executive for Revenue Cycle and ICD-10 at Encore Health Resources.

Yesterday evening, the United States Senate joined the House of Representatives in Washington D.C., voting to delay ICD-10 adoption until October 2015.  That’s no surprise.  Truth be told, the vast majority of discussion related to ICD-10 has been all about how difficult it will make our lives.

Providers are asking, “Why is HHS forcing this down our throats when it obviously won’t help me do my job any better?” The AMA is throwing out headlines like, “ICD-10 Compliance Costs Are Triple What Was Expected,” while reminding us that they warned us all along. Now, many commentators are declaring the whole shmeer a disaster before it even goes live.

This attitude has skewed the thinking on ICD-10. Few providers are asking how they will benefit from the new information; the vast majority are simply asking how they will survive getting ready to meet the requirement. And that’s too bad, because what we as providers, as an industry, and even as an economy will find that ICD-10 is a key step toward gigantic improvement in how healthcare works in the U.S.

I am not going to argue that the transition is coming without cost or discomfort. But I am saying that this is how large-scale improvement of a system (a broken system, don’t forget) works, and that the benefits are clear and significant, at least for those who get past our first reaction (“Change frightens me!”) and take the time to understand what kind of system this whole healthcare reform effort is trying to build.

Benefits that I have seen with my own two eyes include:

  • Dramatic improvement in the assignment of costs to procedures performed. Most industry observers agree that we ought to move toward rewarding activities that keep a population healthy instead of getting paid for how many times we can treat a patient. Most would also agree that identifying the costs associated with certain disease states or treatments is the key to figuring out economical ways to promote healthy populations. ICD-10 will allow us to develop meaningful estimates about what a disease state or a procedure costs us, while ICD-9 is limited in what it can do in this regard.

    For example, I was working with a well-regarded regional hospital in the Mid-Atlantic on an effort to improve their charge capture. They knew they were losing money in their obstetrics operating room, but they were having a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on. Using ICD-9 information, all we could tell was that there were wildly variable times that a patient would spend in the OR for a cesarean procedure, but we could not gather any more detail. ICD-9 diagnosis codes do not have very specific information about the severity of the condition or comorbidities. Fortunately, this hospital was dual-coding at the time, and we were able to take advantage of the severity information included in the ICD-10 codes to identify the fact that they had a relatively high percentage of moderate and severe diagnoses — complications that were likely to lead to longer OR times and higher resource consumption (costs) to the hospital.

    This information allowed them to build a business case for establish pricing tiers for their OB OR services and gave them the information they needed to turn obstetrics surgery into both a profitable activity center and one that could revise treatment protocols for high-resource-consumption patients (costs).

    Could this have been done without ICD-10 data? Probably. But it would have taken many hours of chart review and qualitative analysis instead of the several dozen key strokes of a database query.

  • Identify opportunities to avoid cost and improve lives. The additional information inherent in an ICD-10 diagnosis code includes severity and specific comorbidity, as illustrated in the OB OR example, but it can also include information about demographics and some of the underlying reasons for the diagnosis. All of this information can easily be combined to make decisions that will save lives while cutting costs for a provider.

    I was working with a multi-facility provider in New England on vendor selection for revenue cycle technology, and I visited the cancer clinic. In talking with the nurses there about the kind of data that would help them care for their patients, they let me know that they would like to be able to flag patients with a high chance of readmission. One of the nurses told me that after 22 years of experience, she knew that a patient who was over 80 with moderate or severe lung cancer and a history of mental illness was going to be readmitted within three weeks. “And wouldn’t it be nice,” she said, “if my new system could flag those patients when they came in for an appointment?”

    Well, only ICD-10 codes include severity of illness, age, and the latitude to include reasons for a diagnosis. In this case, included in the diagnosis code was the fact that the patient was non-compliant in taking his/her medication. We were able to model this scenario for ICD-10 and identify these patients with a simple data query – in minutes. This allowed the clinic to first confirm the nurse’s intuition about those high-risk patients, and second to identify those patients who could use a case manager’s involvement to ensure that they are compliant with their regimen, saving the costly readmission and improving the quality of the patient’s remaining life.

    Again, this sort of effort is possible with ICD-9, but it would take chart reviews, extensive manual analysis, and aggregation of data from several sources to model this type of patient for predictive purposes. This organization did not have the extra resources or the budget to undertake such an effort.

  • Share higher-quality data with other providers and partners. When I meet with providers who are trying to figure out whether to start or join an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), the first question is generally, “What is this big pile of aggregated data going to do for us?” Actually, that’s the second question after, “What incentive dollars am I going to get for doing this whole ACO thing?” But it should be the first question.

    As the data sets grow larger, the ability to parse information into meaningful subsets will become more important. ICD-10 increases the amount of specific information in every diagnosis code and actually makes these large, aggregated pools of data from many providers useful. For example, ICD-9 has a code for laceration of an artery. ICD-10 lets you know if that artery was in someone’s finger or in their heart. If I want to be able to pull meaningful information out of my ACO data sets, I need to have the information that is included in ICD-10.

    I have helped organizations use aggregated diagnosis data like this to decide whether pursuing certain services in certain markets will pay off for them. We helped a provider in Washington State decide to extend its diabetes education services into rural Oregon and Idaho by demonstrating that there were enough diagnosed patients to support that business. This type of analysis becomes much faster and easier with ICD-10 data.

There are dozens of other tangible benefits to ICD-10 analytics, but this is a blog entry, not a thesis. Briefly, some of the biggies:

  • Being able to aggregate our diagnosis and procedure information with the rest of the industrialized world, which has already demonstrated that the benefits of ICD-10 will significantly advance healthcare service in the US. There are lots of sick people outside America, too, so being able to combine our coding data with theirs for analysis would be most helpful.  For example, the US has benefited from the increased data collected about the Avian Flu and how to best treat the disease based on ICD-10-collected information.
  • Reimbursements will better align with activity and cost. Payers will reimburse severe and complex cases better and simple cases at lower rates – because now they will be able to identify them as simple or complex from the codes. Those providers whose costs are higher will get paid more. Those whose resource costs are lower based on actual services rendered will get paid less. This principle is how the rest of the free market works; it should also work well in healthcare.
  • Outcome analytics will become more accurate and more efficient. I can quickly determine what happened to my severe CHF cases without having to go back through every single one of their charts or pull in data from multiple sources to figure out which CHF patients were only moderate or mild.
  • Population-based projections will become much more possible. If you want to look at the incidence of advanced diabetes in the aged population in southeast Missouri so you know how to negotiate your value-based reimbursement contracts, you can use ICD-10 data or you can go do a lot of legwork.

The point here is that ICD-10 makes coding information detailed enough so that American providers and payers can make healthcare work in ways that it doesn’t work now: like a free market, with costing and pricing that accurately reflects the effort and the expense. Like a continuously improving system where better courses of treatment are developed for more specific populations. And like a system where we try to prevent high cost and lousy outcomes before they happen.

Looks like we’re going to have to wait until 2015 before we see many of these benefits.

SGR Fix and ICD-10 Delay

Posted on March 31, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been captivated by the discussion of the bill that patches the SGR and would delay ICD-10 from being implemented until 2015. It’s amazing to see the congressional theatrics that occurs. Unfortunately, I’m a little disheartened by the discussion. You can see how much of it is politics and it’s sad. If you aren’t seeing it live, I think the link above will have a video recording of it.

I think we’re about a half hour from the actual vote on the SGR fix and delay of ICD-10. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t pass. Although, it also is really clear that those who vote are voting on SGR and aren’t even thinking about the line that delays ICD-10 a year.

The overriding message I’ve heard is that we’re still kicking the can down the road. None of them want to make the tough decisions to fix SGR or any other part of healthcare. I don’t pretend to know much about politics in Washington or how to solve it. However, I don’t see us getting any dramatic solutions to our healthcare problems coming out of this group.

I’ll update the post once the vote is done. My prediction is that they’ll pass the bandaid SGR Fix and ICD-10 Delay.

Sutter Health Switching Early To ICD-10

Posted on November 6, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare editor and analyst with 25 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

Though the industry has until October 2014 to meet the deadline for ICD-10 go-live, some health systems are gearing up to get there well in advance.

One system which has gone public with its plans is Sutter Health, whose go-live date will be May 31, 2014, according to a story in Healthcare IT News.

The health system, which unveiled its plans at this week’s AHIMA convention, won’t be submitting claims to payers in ICD-10 right away, but it will turn on the new codes for physician use, said Danielle Reno, ICD-10 program director for Sutter.

Sutter faced a formidable challenge when planning its rollout, as it has relationships with roughly 5,200 physicians across 24 acute care hospitals.

To prepare for the rollout, Sutter began by getting key staff and management on board, and making sure they understood the timelines they’d need to meet and the impact to their budgets, Healthcare IT News said.

Also, as part of the teaching process, Sutter made 30- and  60-minute online educational videos available starting in July. The idea was to gear up employees to serve as change agents across 27 medical specialties.

Sutter also identified physician champions who were given privileges to take ICD-10 back to their departments each month, the same physicians who already communicate about any changes to Sutter’s EMR, the magazine reports.

In addition to these efforts, after learning that doctors preferred training from someone in their specialty, Reno started offering all-day sessions in which doctors could learn with their peers. This has been a “great success,” Reno said.

If your organization hasn’t begun preparations for the ICD-10 switchover, there’s obviously not a moment to waste. In addition to getting training going, you’ll want to make sure your EMR vendor is ICD-10 ready. Wouldn’t it be a rude shock to find out too late that it isn’t?