AHIMA's 6 tips for coding consistency

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

Medical coders can count on ICD-10 to change their lives. Some say the sheer number of new codes will make coding more chaotic, while others insist the greater specificity will actually make it more efficient, if not easier.

That will likely take some time to tell. In the meantime, however, the July Journal of AHIMA's cover story examines half-a-dozen ways to create coding consistency across a healthcare organization.

[Related: Top 3 understated aspects of ICD-10. See also: 3 of the many ways ICD-10 will permeate your health IT.]

Now, this is a long-form narrative piece, and one certainly worth reading and putting into practice, so rather than boiling the sea, I'll give ICD10Watch readers a glimpse of what might might be seen from the beach.

AHIMA's list:

1 Ensure consistent training
2 Audit to identify inconsistencies
3 Check education sources
4 Keep cheat sheets current
5 Gather staff for discussions
6 Promote open communication and centralize answers

The full article, titled Achieving Coding Consistency, serves as the overarching piece in an issue that also features stories about automating coding workflow, and transitioning to computer-assisted coding, or CAC, technologies, three of which are freely available to the public.