Survey: Providers Looking to Purchase Computer-Assisted Coding Technology
Editor's note: This blog was written by Sharlene George, co-editor of ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals.
A survey conducted by KLAS, a research firm specializing in monitoring the performance of healthcare vendors, reports that many providers are looking seriously at purchasing inpatient computer-assisted coding (CAC) solutions within the next year or two.
An American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) workgroup defined CAC several years ago as "the use of computer software that automatically generates a set of medical codes for review/validation and/or use based upon clinical documentation provided by healthcare practitioners."
Adding a CAC system is an integral part of providers'ICD-10 readiness strategy, according to the KLAS report Computer-Assisted Coding: A Glimpse at the Future of HIM Technology, released April 23.
"Providers worry their staff will not be ready in time for ICD-10," stated author of the report Graham Triggs. "Though the market is young and no vendor has fully proven itself in the inpatient space, provider confidence that computer-assisted coding technology will ultimately create greater efficiency, productivity, and ICD-10 readiness is high."
If you are planning to purchase a CAC product, be sure to read "Finding the Right Fit With CAC" written for ADVANCE by Lorri L. Luciano, RHIA. With CAC technology, Luciano identifies several criteria that should be prioritized: the Natural Language Processing approach, workflow, coding accuracy, traceability of codes and ease of use, and coder adaptability. This article also has helpful checklists to review when evaluating CAC vendors.
CAC will change the way coding professionals work in the future, Luciano states, so be sure to get involved now with your facility's CAC selection committee.