Internal Systems Analysis
By Rhonda Buckholtz
Ongoing changes in the implementation of ICD-10 require taking a closer look at Internal Systems to ensure the organization has the capability to move forward with implementation. Does your organization have enough hard drive space to house two codes sets (ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM) simultaneously for a period of time before and after implementation?
The organization must orient information systems technology (IT) personnel as to the specifications necessary for the code sets for successful transition.
Preparation must include information on the length of characters necessary for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes. Prepare not only for the extra digits but also to include alpha numeric entries. Concerns to share with IT on this area include:
- Character case-sensitivity
- Placement of decimals for reporting
- Increasing number of codes and characters
- Supporting both ICD-9 and ICD-10 during transitional times
- Converting systems to 5010
Make sure that IT performs a comprehensive review of information systems and audits for ICD-10 implementation by inventorying all databases in the organization, giving special considerations to implementation hurdles such as:
- How to accommodate mapping
- Stopping assignment of ICD-9-CM codes from being used after implementation
- How will interfaces work between coding conventions
- Timelines for testing system readiness
The ICD-10 planning phase is the time to determine if current systems can accommodate the required software changes. Waiting to address these issues could very well hinder implementation, can be costly and can interrupt cash flow in the organization without thoughtful preparedness.
All systems, whether it be the practice management system, the Electronic Medical record or other systems or databases in the organization that house coding data, must be able to handle the change for successful ICD-10 implementation. Performing this assessment will ensure an accurate budget can be developed and the organization has the tools necessary when ICD-10 “goes live.”