Training is a crucial part of ICD-10 transition

Doctors working in small medical facilities may already be preparing their staff for the upcoming ICD-10 transition. The software aims to add more medical codes to give medical professionals better methods of cataloging their patients' conditions, and as such, may include aspects unfamiliar even to those who currently use ICD-9.

One aspect that could help make for a more stable transition is for doctors to start developing a training program for the new software. Many healthcare experts say this begins with a thorough assessment of the staff's current knowledge of the diagnostic coding.

"Training to create ICD-10 code set impact awareness throughout the organization, if not already completed, should begin today," Melanie Endicott, manager of professional practice resources at the American Health Information Management Association, told Healthcare IT News.

Since it is more involved than its predecessor, the software may require new users to understand medical terminology, physiology, pharmacology and anatomy more clearly. Both new and established professionals can benefit from the refresher courses in these subjects, even if they learned the requisite knowledge as part of their medical training.

During this training, doctors should determine members that may require more training than others, or look for certain areas that are across-the-board problem areas, the news source says. Endicott recommends that these training sessions be broken down into different stages to allow professionals more time to get used to using the software.

For example, she recommends addressing the structure, organization and unique features of the software. In turn, she says the latter stages should aim to tackle preparing to code with the system and mastering particularly challenging aspects of this process.

By developing a comprehensive training plan, doctors can then use this template when training for other transitions – such as those to EMR software and medical billing software from providers like Lytec or Medisoft – need to be addressed.