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Use Technology to Expand Your Skill Set

Use Technology to Expand Your Skill Set

SQL, Tableau, and advanced Excel are invaluable tools for coders and auditors.

Expanding your skill set as a medical coder or auditor is essential in today’s constantly evolving healthcare industry. With the growing reliance on technology, it’s becoming more and more crucial for coders to be proficient in essential tools such as SQL, Tableau, and advanced Excel. This article will explore how these three tools can assist you in your work, as well as add to your collection of employable skills.

Study SQL

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a database management language that’s used to manage and manipulate data in relational databases. Learning SQL can help you quickly and efficiently extract data from electronic health records (EHRs) and other databases. This can significantly improve your ability to analyze complex data and identify trends and patterns that inform your coding/auditing decisions. Additionally, you can use SQL to automate repetitive tasks, freeing time for more critical projects.

For example, you can use SQL to extract data on a specific condition, such as type 2 diabetes, from EHRs, analyze the data to identify demographics of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or the frequency of diagnoses over time, and then generate automatic reports based on this analysis.

Try Tableau

Tableau is a robust data visualization tool that allows you to create interactive dashboards and reports to better understand and communicate findings. By using Tableau, you can quickly identify areas of concern and highlight areas for improvement, thus leading to more informed decisions. Tableau can also perform more sophisticated analyses such as forecasting and predictive modeling. You can use Tableau to create visually appealing charts and graphs that better communicate their findings to healthcare providers and other stakeholders.

Using diabetes again as an example, you can use Tableau to create a map that displays the geographical distribution of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or a chart that shows the frequency of diagnoses over time.

Exceed Expectations With Advanced Excel

Advanced Excel functions are another essential tool for efficiently managing and manipulating large amounts of data. With advanced Excel skills, you can automate routine tasks by creating pivot tables and performing complex data analyses. You can also use Excel to create macros, which automate repetitive tasks. Additionally, Excel can help you create charts and graphs that visually represent data, making it easier to both understand and communicate findings.

For example, you can use advanced Excel to perform regression analysis or forecasting on patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You can also use Excel to automate the generation of reports on patient demographics or the frequency of diagnoses. Additionally, you can use Excel to create pivot tables for easier data summation and analysis.

Invest In Your Future

Broadening your skill set as a medical coder or auditor with SQL, Tableau, and advanced Excel is a wise investment if you’re looking to stay ahead of the technology curve and advance your career. These three tools offer a range of benefits, from more efficient data management to better communication and data analysis. By learning and using these essential tools, you’ll be poised to do your job more effectively and continue to play a critical role in the business of healthcare.

LeAndrea Mack
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LeAndrea Mack, BHA, NR-CMA, CPC, CPCO, AAPC Fellow, is a healthcare consultant for United HealthGroup/Optum. She has a degree in healthcare administration with a specialization in health information management and over 20 years of healthcare experience. She also holds a certification in Google data analytics. Mack’s healthcare career started as a medical assistant before transitioning to medical coding and healthcare consulting. Mack is known for her expertise and commitment to excellence in helping healthcare organizations navigate the complex regulatory landscape. She is currently a member of the Baltimore, Maryland, local chapter.

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