Discussion Topics for Coding Teams
CONVERSATIONS WITH THE coding team help manage staff perception and expectations of the changing workflow. Open
communication helps determine the best path for each individual. Following are considerations and questions for discussion.
CONSIDERATIONS AND QUESTIONS TO ASK
Keep coders in the loop and involved in the process
Have coders participate in workflow re-engineering
Discuss how productivity should be measured in the future state
If planning a “master coder by specialty” strategy for ICD- 10, ask which coders have specific interests or strengths
Position technology (CAC, EHR, ICD- 10) as a tool to support the coding process, not a computer system to replace
Discuss benefits the new technology will bring to coders, such as greater control over workload
Identify coders who have technology experience they can share with others
Discuss which training methodology works best for each coder
Identify coders who can train others
Determine who will provide back-up and maintain productivity while coders are being trained
Ask if any coders are planning to obtain advanced degrees and determine how organizational efforts can support or
complement these objectives
Defining future coding workflow involves answering two
The first question addresses physical locations, which will
expand as technology advances. There will be greater focus on
remote or virtual work. Future coding workflows should encompass increased communications between growing communities
of virtual workers: coders, clinical documentation improvement
specialists, denials management systems, and physicians. Technology, time zones, organizational culture, and state boundaries are among the factors to consider.
“Where” is also a question with regard to workflow assignments. For example, as HIM professionals look toward CAC,
where will notifications of unreadable reports be sent? Where
will claims denials resulting from incorrect CAC code assignment be identified and tracked? Where will these types of issues
be routed for review and reconciliation? Where will coders look
up references and resources?
3. Define Gaps
In the third step, HIM professionals conduct a gap analysis,
comparing current coding workflows from step 1 with the de-
sired future state in step 2. They identify and review the differ-
ences, discuss options for closing the gaps, and prepare a plan.
While the workflow assessment process encompasses both CAC
and ICD- 10 needs, the types of gaps identified may vary.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Based on the gap analysis, HIM professionals can create a timeline that leads up to and extends past the ICD- 10 implementation deadline in 2013. The timeline will also serve to set expectations and be a guide in budgeting. As in any major undertaking,
facilities should expect change and accommodate it in their
plans when it happens.