Taking Medical Coding to the Next Step with Clinical Validation
As a reputable and trusted healthcare facility, it’s paramount that you take action to ensure your health information management (HIM) team is fully equipped to handle the ever-changing demands of the coding field. Embracing new initiatives that enhance your team’s clinical knowledge is the first step to ensuring improved clinical validation in patient record-keeping. Here are some steps you can take to empower your HIM employees in the process of improving their clinical skills:
Invest in clinical education
Through clinical education programs, you’ll give your HIM employees the skills to identify clinical indicators for the purposes of more accurate medical record documentation. You can provide clinical education programming in a variety of formats, such as one-hour seminars, online courses or monthly meetings. Over the course of training and development, be sure to follow up with your staff and give them repeat testing so they retain new information and stay engaged in the learning process.
Focus on productivity
In any industry, time is money – and in the case of the HIM field, time can often cost patients’ lives. A focus on improving productivity among your HIM employees requires an investment in the most advanced resources allowing your staff to quickly access vital information – such as drug references, anatomy charts and other pertinent data. Finding ways to improve access to information is one of the most impactful steps you can take to save time, reduce errors and enhance clinical documentation.
Reinforce proper coding rules and guidelines
It’s always important to get back to basics and give your HIM employees the tools they need to stay refreshed on all elements of proper coding practices, including the understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. HIM professionals who are well-versed in coding language will be best positioned to apply coding principles along with clinical knowledge in ensuring the most accurate code assignments are made for each patient. Additionally, honing soft skills is also critical, as HIM pros must be able to confidently communicate with clinical staff in all types of specialty areas, including physicians, nurse practitioners, technicians, and therapists, among many others.
Managing HIM professionals requires a sustained effort to invest in their ongoing professional development. With the practices above, you’ll allow your HIM to acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence to grow in the coding field and improve patient care outcomes for your organization.
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