Technology and the Implementation of ICD-10

Two major themes at the AHIMA convention in Atlanta last week were technology and the implementation of the ICD-10 code sets.

Technology is changing the way we interact with our physicians—my doctor carries an iPad around the office as a mobile way to make clinic notes that are later entered into my electronic health record—and the way our physicians interact with other physicians. The concept of “interoperability” is a hot topic right now in health information management. Interoperability allows doctors from one clinic to have access to a patient’s EHR that was created at another facility. This means my primary physician can gain instant, electronic access to my records or images that were created and stored during a recent hospital stay. This allows for a more complete clinical picture of the patient’s medical history, leading to an overall increase in quality of care due to timely information availability. Interoperability is not a widespread reality at the present time, but there are initiatives in place leading the charge on this advancement. For more info on one of these initiatives visit

On the subject of ICD-10, I recently found an excellent article by Ann Zeisset, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P.
In this article she talks about the benefits of ICD-10 and many of the differences from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Her discussion points are concise and very applicable to the job of the medical coder. The full text of the article is available here.

Technology and ICD-10 are bringing big changes to health information management, but these changes are really very exciting and have the potential to do a lot to improve patient care.

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