ICD-10 Focus Corner: Right Sizing IT For ICD-10

The October 1, 2014, ICD-10 compliance date has been revised to October 1, 2015, due to concern that the healthcare community would not have been ready for all aspects of compliance. There has been significant attention given to training, coding, and education; however, these are only part of the ICD-10 complexity. There are a couple of areas that should be given additional attention while there is adequate time available: one is infrastructure, and the other is performance. Basically, these are cornerstones of information technology (IT).

Providers need to focus on infrastructure with attention to storage, data transmissions from outside trading partners, data transmission to outside trading partners, integration points, and batch and real-time HL7 interfaces. Of equal importance is performance. Attention should be focused on system configurations to allow for more codes, impacts to processing speed, and application and system tuning, which may require vendor guidance and involvement along with potential networking administrator involvement.

Anticipate that the increase in the number of diagnosis codes may require an expansion of the billing and medical records tables. This would likely require a software vendor to act. With a dual coding period, the number of transactions will be greater, and as a result, temporary application tables may need to be expanded to allow for the data. Make sure dual coding is tested to ensure that the IT environments are functioning properly.

This article was written for the SCORH Newsletter (South Carolina Office of Rural Health) by Dave McCord, TM Floyd & Company, dmccord@tmfloyd.com

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