MILWAUKEE, Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Experis recognizes National Healthcare IT week, September 12 -16, and shares perspective and tips for hospital leaders faced with decisions regarding ICD-10 assessment investment prior to implementation. ICD-10 is the 10th revision to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, which is a medical classification coding system implemented by the World Health Organization. All healthcare providers must comply with the ICD-10 mandate by October 1, 2013.
The multi-faceted and complex ICD-10 mandate is estimated to impact 80 percent of U.S. healthcare providers' operations. The conversion process has the potential to create inefficiency, escalate cost and even decrease the publicly reported HCAPHPS scores, which measure patients' perceptions of their hospital experience.
"Timing and engagement are critical to success in the complex ICD-10 conversion process," explains Guillermo Moreno, vice president of the Experis Healthcare Practice. "While many healthcare leaders view the conversion as a simple technical/systems upgrade, the fact is the entire healthcare enterprise will be impacted by this process. From finance and operations to patient care delivery and back-office support functions, the change management, training and staffing challenges and remediation/risk management aspects of this process are exponential."
To address the far-reaching impact the conversion process will have on healthcare organizations, some providers choose to first engage in an ICD-10 assessment to prepare for the change and lay the foundation for moving forward after the conversion. Depending on a number of factors, including the size and scope of the provider organization, an assessment may or may not be the right first step to determining the estimated total cost of the conversion. Experis suggests healthcare leaders consider these tips to determine if an ICD-10 assessment is right for their organizations:
- Understand the financial requirements of ICD-10: The conversion to ICD-10 will be complex and costly. An assessment typically includes a "financial exposure" component that can give organizations a realistic estimate of associated costs, from systems upgrades to staff training to funds required to cover potential reimbursement shortfalls in the early stages of conversion. For larger institutions, those with greater than 300 beds, implementation costs can soar into the millions of dollars. If total cost accommodation is a concern, an assessment can enable better financial planning.
- Know how ICD-10 will work within the existing technical infrastructure: An assessment provides an overview of the status and application of the entire system infrastructure to ensure optimal integration before moving full force into the conversion. For smaller hospitals (under 200 beds) that are not comprised of different organizations, physician practices and technology systems, there may be fewer components to integrate. Larger hospitals and health systems are more prone to having gaps in centralized knowledge and system integration. Another systems consideration is technological sophistication. Some organizations are technologically advanced and thus may encounter less disruption during the ICD-10 conversion process due to extensive planning and systems alignment. If this level of detail is not already clear, an assessment can be a smart investment.
- Plan and prioritize: Because ICD-10 is a complex and time consuming process, it can be difficult to discern where to start. By conducting an early assessment to define the scale and complexity the organization faces, efforts to institute the necessary systems changes, as well as focus and engage employees, partners and vendors, can be better accommodated.
- View ICD-10 as an organization-wide initiative: ICD-10 is not simply an IT process; it is an organization-wide initiative. Operations, clinicians and IT all need to be equally engaged, vested and ready to lead the organization through this process. During an ICD-10 assessment, interviews are typically conducted with leadership, clinicians and financial services staff, not only to understand their roles and responsibilities in the conversion process, but also to understand and plan for the communication and training requirements. These interactions can greatly facilitate buy-in of the ensuing changes. If there's any chance your stakeholders aren't on the same page, an assessment can mitigate the risk of disruption and inefficiency.
Rex Healthcare is a leading U.S. healthcare organization already taking steps to prepare for ICD-10 conversion. Rex Healthcare is a 665-bed hospital facility based in Raleigh that treats nearly 34,000 patients each year. Working with Experis, Rex Healthcare is conducting a thorough business assessment prior to ICD-10 implementation, preparing the groundwork for this change. The assessment is designed specifically to help reduce costs, provide for greater business efficiencies and ultimately help improve patient care.
"Our leadership team wanted to not only minimize the disruption and financial impact of ICD-10, but also optimize the opportunity it provides," said Peyman Zand, director of strategy and governance at Rex Healthcare. "Working with Experis, we've engaged key factions across the organization and are quickly moving from the assessment to the planning stage, where we are utilizing this change to align many of our organizational initiatives, strategies and plans to a master plan for success. For us, the upfront business assessment has been a critical part of the process, helping to align employees across the organization and provide a structured approach to a complex initiative."
Not every healthcare institution needs to complete an assessment prior to ICD-10 implementation, but it is important to understand the benefits an assessment can provide for long-range planning. For more information about Experis, please visit Experis.us/healthcareIT.
About National Healthcare IT Week:
Now in its sixth year, National Health IT Week is a collaborative forum assembling all key healthcare constituents - vendors, provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, and consumer protection groups - who are working together to elevate national attention to the necessity of advancing health IT to transform our nation's healthcare.
Experis™ is the global leader in professional resourcing and project-based solutions. Experis accelerates organizations' growth by intensely attracting, assessing and placing specialized expertise in IT, Finance and Engineering to precisely deliver in-demand talent for mission-critical positions and projects, enhancing the competitiveness of the organizations and people we serve. Experis is part of the ManpowerGroup family of companies, which also includes Manpower, ManpowerGroup Solutions and Right Management. To learn more, visit www.experis.us.