Improve ICD-10 coding with the right EHR

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale
Improve ICD-10 coding with the right EHR

When the U.S. healthcare system moved to ICD-10 coding, some physicians complained that the new codes made it harder to do their jobs. Often they cited multiple pull-down menus that took too much time.

The real problem might have their electronic health records (EHRs). Maybe their medical practice or hospital didn't purchase a system that really worked for the people who had to use it each day.

Which is a good reason to read these five elements of the best EHRs by Alex Tate, a health IT consultant at CureMD:

  • "Established vendor"
  • "Multiple back ups"
  • "Client support"
  • "Integrated billing"
  • "Data crunching and system intelligence"

This is a great list. All these criteria will help improve documentation and process accurate, complete medical claims. Which is very important for ICD-10 coding — especially since increased specificity is becoming more important.

Just as important as any of these criteria is clinician buy in. The people who will use the EHR need to be able to understand it quickly and intuitively. Yes, this can partially be achieved through good training. But if vendors are telling physicians that they're not smart enough to use the EHR properly, physician intelligence isn't the problem.

Even clinician buy in isn't a foolproof defense against the wrong EHR, but it is a big step in the direction of the right EHR.