Is Your EHR Ready for ICD-10, Not Just Say They’re Ready? – ICD-10 Tuesdays

Posted on December 10, 2013 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 week I’m attending the mHealth Summit in Washington DC. One of the interviews I’ve had at the event was with Dan Cane, CEO of Modernizing Medicine. You might remember my previous post talking about Modernizing Medicine’s unique interface (and it’s still unique). However, Dan demoed their ICD-10 interface which was like none other I’ve seen.

What I found unique about the Modernizing Medicine ICD-10 interface was that the ICD-10 codes were identified algorithmically as opposed to doing a search. In fact, it begs the question: are there other EHR vendors that algorithmically choose an ICD-10 code as opposed to providing some interface where the user has to search and identify the code? I don’t know of any other EHR software that do this.

Certainly there are plenty of ICD-10 interfaces that let you search for the ICD-9 code and then let you find the ICD-10 code. While it’s an extra step, this can be one way to filter down the vast ICD-10 codes. I’ve also seen other interfaces that after doing a search group the various ICD-10 codes and allow you to drill in to find the right code. However, it’s very different for the EMR to use the data you’ve entered into a note to determine the ICD-10 code for you.

The problem that most EHR vendors have is that they don’t have the EHR data recorded in a way that they could create an algorithm to identify a specific ICD-10 code. Is this even possible to do with a template or macro based EHR documentation system? The only possibility is to take something like Watson together with NLP technology to try and identify the ICD-10 code. The results of such a thing would vary greatly by doctor. Watson can’t magically know right or left (or choose something more esoetric) if you don’t document it.

Why does this matter? If it takes you can extra 1-2 minutes per patient finding the ICD-10 code, that’s going to be a major issue. The moral of the story is that even though your EHR vendor might say they’re “ready” for ICD-10. Are they really ready? Just because a program can do something doesn’t mean it does it well.

Check out all of our ICD-10 Tuesdays series of ICD-10 related blog posts.