ICD-10 Data: How can ICD-10 improve patient care?

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

The following is a guest post by Anita Archer, director of Regulatory and Compliance Services at Hayes Management Consulting.

ICD-10 will bring tons of new data to the U.S. healthcare industry. But how does that improve actual patient care and clinical outcomes?

Let me list the ways:

  • The increased specificity epidemiologists and other healthcare researchers to mine data down to the most granular level and be better able to track and monitor disease elements. According to Debbie Abbott, CHIM, RESOLUTIONS (INT) PTY LTD in Queensland, Australia, "The problem with ICD-9-CM was the vast amount of  'dump' codes i.e., codes that were 'other' or 'unspecified.' Our data experts in Queensland Health said that the increased specificity and precise definitions helped them obtain more accurate research results."

[See also: ICD-10-AM: 7 things we can learn from Australia's ICD-10 implementation]

  • Increased detail in discharge data enables a better understanding of the value of various medical procedures. It can also help determine which types of procedures result in the best outcomes.
  • With ICD-10, it will easier to identify patients in need of disease management before their disease progresses and changes from ICD-9’s "other" category to the full-blown disease diagnosis code.
  • More effective use of data granularity for diagnosis and case mix groups used to profile medical conditions will also help improve utilization management, which can lower costs.
  • Sharing the ICD-10 data on drug side effects and usage can improve patient safety and care.
  • Improved clinical documentation will enhance the monitoring of patient safety and quality measures.

How do you think ICD-10 will help patients?

Anita Archer is the Director of Regulatory and Compliance Services at Hayes Management Consulting. Hayes works with numerous hospitals and physician practices to provide strategic advice, installation and optimization programs and software solutions.