Posted in Workflow

How technology can improve patient care and ICD-10 data care

The debate over the usefulness of ICD-10 data often glosses over a basic point: Physicians resent recording the data — even if it's called clinical documentation.

This is often expressed as a major frustration by U.S. physicians:

"My dissatisfaction stems from having to be a data entry clerk in addition to being a physician. Think about it…U.S. physicians are the most educated data entry clerks in the world!"

The idea of physicians as data entry workers has been floating around for some time. And it doesn't seem like the best way to allocate highly-educated professionals' time.

Physicians learned to treat patients because that is what they care about. They weren't driven by a desire to work with diagnostic data. Thus documentation is seen as something that takes time away from treating patients.

Hopefully, natural language processing (NLP) can come to the rescue. This could let physicians easily provide the documentation that allows them to focus on patient care while the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) specialists and medical get what they need.

It's up to healthcare vendors to deliver the truly useful technology not "digital snake oil."