After multiple delays and months upon months of uncertainty, the healthcare industry is (finally) making the move to ICD-10 tomorrow, October 1. With the government mandated-deadline looming, hospital administrators and employees are without a doubt feeling all the feels, — relief, anxiety, anticipation, because ready or not, ICD-10 is only a day away.

So while you’re reflecting back upon your ICD-10 preparation and “just thinking (or stressing) about tomorrow,” we thought you’d enjoy hearing the story of one HealthcareSource customer’s journey to ICD-10.

Earlier this summer I spoke with a director of education at a 150-bed community hospital in a rural southeastern community, who used HCPro courses from the HealthcareSource eLearning Library (managed, delivered, and tracked through HealthcareSource NetLearning) to get themselves ready. Here’s what they had to say:

How did you begin to prepare your hospital for ICD-10?

We purchased eLearning modules early in 2014 before the implementation date changed to October 2015. There was an ICD-10 planning team which consisted of our CFO, HIM Director, and others who decided to buy the HCPro courses from HealthcareSource.

Shortly after we assigned those courses to our staff it was announced that the implementation deadline had been pushed back to this fall. We struggled with the delay a bit because the contract we had for the courses was a one-year contract and the urgency behind the training felt like it was gone – especially because we were going through training for a new EMR system at the same time.

This past spring we started to really get ready for ICD-10 again. That’s when we decided we would repurchase the HCPro courses for physicians and nurses to reengage them.

Why the focus on nurses and physicians in 2015?

Our CDI (clinical documentation improvement) team was working harder than anyone on this, because they knew how important it was for their jobs. The coding and billing staff had continued to prepare too, but deciding what to do for our nurses and physicians was more difficult. We’re a small hospital – and all on our own – so we need to watch every penny we spend, but after some discussion we felt this was very important. This is going to be a big change and we want to make sure that were going to be as ready as we can. This was worth the effort.

Can you share some of the feedback about the programs?

The nursing program was very beneficial. Several of the nurses who I’ve talked to after completing the courses said, “That was hard!” It’s definitely a different type of training than they’re used to. Typically, our nurses haven’t had to worry about the financial part of the business, as they’re so focused on patient care. Of course nurses work with the CDI staff and see them walking the floor, but they didn’t really have a clear understanding of their role. This training was great for our nurses as they now know how to document better and have insight into what the CDI staff are doing on the unit.

And what about for the physicians?

We bought the physician program because we have several hospital practices and felt it was important to provide them with training as well. We have assigned it to the physicians through HealthcareSource NetLearning, and it’s worked out very well. Initially we only assigned it to hospital-employed physicians though we did tell our contract groups that if they, or anyone else, was interested in the education we would make it available and the staff were very receptive. For example, I had our orthopedic surgeon call me back the same day to ask  me to assign it to people in his office.

How did you handle assigning the education and building up excitement around it?

As I mentioned, the CDI staff and coders already understood the value. They knew it was important and that they had to have it. They wanted to take everything they could.

When it came to the rest of the staff the first thing we did was communicate the need for the education. We went to the medical staff meetings and shared information about our plans. After that we had it assigned to the acute-care nurses, and all hospital-employed physicians. We made it clear that if anyone else was interested in the education it would be available.

Other than your coders and billers who have been prepared since 2014, did you do any training for your other hospital staff?

We held a competency fair earlier this month, where we displayed a storyboard to provide an overview of ICD-10.The HIM Director has been working on this so when other staff see ICD-10 referenced in reports they’ll have some baseline knowledge.

Why did you purchase the ICD-10 and CDI education from the HealthcareSource eLearning Library rather than through another vendor?

The ICD-10 committee knew to consult with one of our educators before they made the purchase and we knew the value of having the courses integrate with HealthcareSource NetLearning. The ease of assigning the courses and tracking on the back end made it an easy choice.

What are your future plans for the outlook of the training and preparation for ICD-10?

We haven’t considered anything after the October deadline yet. We’re doing dual coding and testing now and have been since the beginning of the summer. My impression is that everyone will be ready for it so let’s get on with it! It’s a big undertaking, and as I mentioned, we’re a small rural hospital that has to watch our pennies so if we’re not ready for ICD-10 it could be a major catastrophe for us. Our administration is very aware of that and I’m grateful they pushed for us to get what we need.


To learn more about how the HealthcareSource eLearning Library can help with your ICD-10 and clinical documentation initiatives, download our exclusive ICD-10 Educational Resources to receive complimentary datasheets, client profiles, and more!

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Valerie Keays

About Valerie Keays

Valerie Keays is the Marketing Programs Manager at HealthcareSource. Valerie is responsible for the development of our educational webinars and marketing programs pertaining to our L&D solutions.