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VUMC completes transition to new ICD-10 system

Oct. 1, 2015, 9:13 AM

After months transitioning clinics across Vanderbilt University Medical Center and training clinicians and staff, the move to the new medical coding and reporting system is complete.
The deadline to transition to ICD-10 was Oct. 1, and a team of project managers at VUMC has been working to ensure the move was smooth and comprehensive.

“The remediation process had to be carefully orchestrated in a systematic manner, which took countless hours of testing, design and implementation,” said Debora Bohlen, administrative director for the transition. “It was a complex feat and took great resolve to ensure that all systems were updated correctly.”

Thousands of clinicians, coders and staff across the medical enterprise will be impacted by the change to ICD-10.

The new system provides for more than 68,000 unique medical diagnoses. That compares to the 14,000 codes available in ICD-9.

The ICD-10 team was charged with implementing the new system in 161 clinical areas and training more than 7,000 clinicians and staff in how the ICD-10 coding system works and how it will impact their current workflows.

The current ICD-9 code set — which stands for International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 9th Revision — has been in use in the United States since 1979. The transition has been in the works for years. The system was set to go into place in 2013, but has since been postponed twice.

Most health care billing and statistical analysis personnel use ICD codes. Sometimes providers assign the diagnosis codes while other times specialists assign them based on information in patients’ medical records.

Part of the effort is also to put into place a computer-assisted physician documentation system, which will help surgeons in particular complete compliant ICD-10 operative notes. The application is designed to increase the efficiency and speed with which the notes can be completed.

The team used informational events aimed at boosting awareness of the new coding system across the medical campus and educational fairs to help train large groups.

Bohlen said the smooth transition was made possible due to the cooperation and teamwork of her project team and the clinicians and staff across the Medical Center. Theresa Zuckowsky, the information technology program director for the transition, also carefully remediated and analyzed more than 500 applications, databases and systems to help Vanderbilt successfully transition to ICD-10 coding, Bohlen said.

“Due to the ingenuity of the Healthcare IT team, we were able to roll-out ICD-10 early in 99 percent of the VMG clinics along with the Adult and Children’s Emergency Departments ahead of the national compliance date, which made the transition smoother for the entire organization.”

For more information visit VUMC’s ICD-10 transition website (Vanderbilt login required) or by calling the project transition office at 615-343-1657.

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