Preparing your Practice for ICD-10: IT System Considerations

From the Summer 2015 edition of Vital Signs

Physician practices typically interact with many information technology systems and solutions daily, such as electronic health records, e-prescribing systems, billing systems, hospital systems, lab systems, and health plan systems. In all cases, these systems may contain ICD-based transactions. Knowing which systems your practice interacts with, and whether those systems will require upgrades or enhanced capability in order to efficiently function in the ICD-10 world is extremely important. Taking a moment to consider the following steps can help get you on the right path today.

Conduct an IT System Inventory: Engage your staff in a process to identify all of the IT systems that are in use both directly in the practice and those that you interact with but may be external to the practice. Consider all of the vendors, systems, and other entities that you may exchange ICD information with. This is an important step even for those that are not currently using electronic health records. An example is a third-party billing company that provides reports back to the physician or a web-based e-prescribing system.

Determine Which Systems Require Upgrades: Categorize the IT systems you interact with into ones that you directly own or license and those that you interact with through vendors. This step will help you identify which systems you will have to work to upgrade and those that you can work with the vendors to make sure the upgrades will occur.

Contact Your IT System Representatives: For the software and systems you own, reach out to the vendors and determine the steps necessary to upgrade the systems for ICD-10, including any associated cost. For systems you interact with, reach out to all vendors and make sure that the systems will be upgraded, what the timeline is and whether or not there will be any cost to your practice.

Create a Plan: Based on the outreach you’ve done, put together a strategic plan and timeline for the steps you need to take to make sure that your systems are ready in advance of October 1, 2015. As part of your plan,  be sure to include a step to test trans- actions in advance of implementation so you are aware of any potential glitches and can already be working on a resolution.

Monitor Transactions Post Implementation: Even with the best laid plans, glitches can happen. Be sure to monitor all systems and transactions on October 1 and beyond to make sure that everything is working as expected.

Quick Hit ICD-10 Checklist

  • Speak with Vendors
  • Educate Your Staff
  • Conduct a Documentation Gap Analysis
  • Review Internal Processes
  • Create Your ICD-10 Conversion Plan
  • Develop a Test Plan
  • Create a Plan for Post Go-Live Monitoring
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