Understanding the role your nursing staff plays in ICD-10

Written by Super User on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Posted in Healthcare Facilities

Ready or not, ICD-10 is coming. By October 1, 2014, ICD-9 code sets will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets.

Your facility undoubtedly is working now towards being ready for the deadline, and your staff is probably hard at work to make the transition a smooth one.

ICD-10's impact will not be limited to just documentation by physicians or medical records coding and billing. Your facility's revenue cycle will feel the impact and your facility's physicians will see a big increase in the documentation recording required of them.

But your clinical documentation and charging will feel the impact of ICD-10, too. Because ICD-10 will allow for more computer-aided automatic coding, coders' duties will turn into those that lean more toward editing.

Changes for Nursing Staff

Nurses' duties will change as well. For example, charting that's used by coders for billing will have to include sharper details. ICD-10 demands more details regarding problems, procedures, treatments and assessments in clinical documentation. This means that nurses will be working with many members of the healthcare team to meet the requirements for ICD-10 as well as for Meaningful Use. Nurses with expertise in informatics will be working with teams from different departments and disciplines within your facility to change clinical documentation and workflow plans in order to reach the precision that ICD-10 requires.

Time to Hire?

If your facility doesn't already have nurses who have informatics experience, you may want to look into hiring some who do. They could be temporary or traveling RNs to work with your facility up to and a bit beyond October 2014 to ensure a smooth transition to ICD-10.

Opportunities for Nurses

The need for nurses skilled in informatics also means opportunities for RNs, particularly traveling nurses. If you have the informatics expertise, you can practically write your own ticket when it comes to choosing your travel assignment cities and facilities, as hospitals and other types of health facilities are clamoring for nurses with these skills.

Even if you're not an expert, the transition to ICD-10 means nurses should do all they can to at least become familiar with it—as well as informatics.

Whether your facility is looking for traveling RNs who have expertise with the transition to ICD-10, or if you're an RN yourself with the aforementioned in-demand skills in informatics, contact a recruiter at Health Providers Choice. We look forward to hearing from you.