assessment. It is important to determine what workflow changes will be
needed as well as any potential staffing
changes. These changes may result in
a change in the organization structure
and even a shift to outsourcing certain
functions as opposed to completing
them with internal resources.
When you conduct your workflow
assessment, you need to address the following:
• Who assigns diagnosis codes?
• Who should assign diagnosis codes?
• How are diagnosis codes assigned?
• Do you need additional or newly
• Are any revisions needed to charge
documents (paper or electronic)?
• Are there any software programs
involved in the process that need to be
• What are the planned changes to any
Depending on the type of orga-
nization, it may fall into your area of
responsibility to budget for the imple-
mentation. If so, you need to ensure you
• Staff training
• Software upgrades
• Form revisions
• New staff positions
• Changes in organizational structure
• Software testing
• Addressing coding delays and backlogs
during the transition period
There are many other implementa-
tion considerations, but this information
should provide you with a high level list
of items to address. There are several free
resources available for healthcare organi-
zations that you can review.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
American Health Information Man-
National Center for Health Statistics
Don’t feel overwhelmed by ICD- 10
implementation. Take it one step at a
time and I am confident you will make
progress that has a positive and lasting
effect on your organization.
Melody W. Mulaik is president and co-founder of
Coding Strategies, Inc. She is a nationally recognized
speaker and has delivered numerous presentations at
AHRA annual meetings and conferences. Melody is a
member of AHRA, has published extensively, and may
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.