Upgrading to ICD-10 is a necessary step in realizing health IT potential. ICD-10 data are more easily retrieved in electronic format than ICD-9 data. Because the code set is more robust and up-to-date, it offers better mapping from SNOMED CT. The full benefits of a reference terminology such as SNOMED CT will not be realized if that system is mapped to an obsolete classification system such as ICD-9-CM.
Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) offers improved coding consistency, efficiency, and accuracy. The detailed and logical structure of ICD-10 simplifies the development of map rules and algorithms used in CAC applications. As a result, ICD-10 more easily enables CAC.
ICD-10 is a good opportunity to phase out aging and inflexible systems or to modernize legacy systems. Many CIOs I’ve met with state they are leveraging their ICD-10 readiness/system inventory work to consolidate redundant applications. Moreover it is giving them an opportunity to look for new platforms and vendor solutions which can be used across the enterprise.
Ann Chenoweth is Director of Industry Relations and Market Research with 3M Health Information Systems.