The benefits of standardized coding

HealthcareGeneral_Oct02_AOn the surface, the move toward electronic medical records (EMRs) focuses on updating hardware and implementing software. Behind the scenes, however, an equally important shift is occurring in the development and implementation of code-standardization programs.

The goal of a code-standardization program is to ensure that the health-care provider doesn’t have to think about code selection. In other words, the doctor enters a diagnosis, and a code is generated that makes sense to everyone involved, from the health-care provider to policymakers.

The benefits are numerous. First, there’s clinical decision support – the information a health-care provider needs to make a diagnosis being at his or her fingertips. There’s also there’s workflow improvement – the ability to enter information more quickly than it would take to write the same information into a chart. And, don’t forget interoperability – the ability for codes to allow the sharing of patient information regardless of how or where that information is accessed. Finally, there’s patient support – easier access to information because it’s been recorded in a consistent and clear manner.

Codes, such as the ICD series, have been around for a while, but efforts to standardize grew with the passage of the HITECH Act, and may skyrocket with meaningful use Stage 2, in which standardization requirements increase. If you are looking to adopt a standardized code that conforms with meaningful use Stage 2, please contact us today to see what we have to offer.

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