ICD-10 Transition: How EHRs play a role

The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is hard on small practices, not only because ICD-9 is deeply rooted in our healthcare system, but also because modifying existing systems to be compatible with the new code set is technically difficult.

Despite these challenges, ICD-10 will benefit doctors, patients, and our healthcare system. Through expanded categories and diagnosis codes, ICD-10 will foster a more accurate reporting system that will result in better clinical decision support.

Medical professionals who use web-based EHRs and billing services will fare better during this transition. Since mappings from ICD-9 to ICD-10 are not one-to-one, electronic tools like EHRs help guide users to the appropriate ICD-10 diagnosis and, in some cases, automate the conversion from one code-system to another. This helps ensure that users are selecting the most specific, billable, ICD-10 code for a particular diagnosis category.

EHRs play an important role in the ICD-10 coding process—they serve as the primary diagnosis entry point, with diagnoses typically captured in multiple places in an EHR workflow, including the problem list and as encounter diagnoses. Additionally, 2014 certified EHRs are required to record these entries with a SNOMED code (learn more about SNOMED) rather than an ICD-10 code.

We’re here to help make the ICD-10 transition smooth and stress-free. We’re working hard to make sure our EHR is ICD-10 ready, and we’ll also be publishing additional training resources as the deadline approaches.

In the meantime, it’s important to begin preparing now for ICD-10 implementation. Check out the CMS website, as well as these additional resources your colleagues and staff may find useful:

Read more about the transition to ICD-10 from ICD-9 and ways that your practice can prepare ahead of the October 1, 2015 deadline.