Retention: Support is Key
We recently addressed the importance of confidence building in transitioning to ICD-10. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than with your experienced coders. For these folks, this means not only instilling confidence that they're up to the task, but also confidence that they have your support and respect.
Taking action now can help you retain your experienced medical coders – those who will be the most valuable at the onset of ICD-10 and most sought-after by other providers. While retirement is always a personal decision, strong employer support may be the key to engaging the most experienced staff to stay on to help with the transition, which may include mentoring less-experienced staff or leading transitional projects.
In this regard, carefully thought out training can go a long way in showing all your coders that you understand the difficulty of the task before them and are working to simplify it as much as possible. Including coders in ICD-10 planning is another confidence-building tactic and a mutually beneficial activity that allows you to gain their perspective while demonstrating your respect for their input. And don't forget to keep them updated on the transition and assured their efforts are appreciated.
There are, of course, monetary and other types of incentives an organization can offer to keep experienced coders on their team. But, for many employees, that's only part of their job satisfaction. That's why, while you're striving to keep your team strong, it helps to do a little cheerleading. Another consideration as the ICD-10 Countdown continues.