Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Doctors spending on EMRs instead of ICD-10-CM switch

As I noted in a previous post, doctors have insufficient resources to both adopt electronic medical records and switch to ICD-10-CM.

As this story indicates, doctors have been focusing resources on meeting the federal government's "meaningful use" criteria for EMRs at the expense of the switch to ICD-10-CM. Specifically, two thirds of physicians responding to a survey reported spending resources on "meaningful use" in favor of ICD-10-CM.

Of course, in my post, I said that the switch would slow down meeting "meaningful use", but it appears that the converse is happening, and that "meaningful use" is slowing down the switch.

Regardless, the switch ought to be deferred to allow physicians to meet "meaningful use".


Faiza said...

Hi, I just discovered this blog as I was exploring and comparing various diagnoses coding options.

Re: your post http://no-icd10cm.blogspot.com/2009/07/meaningful-use-criteria-require-problem.html and I quote:

"Well, the latest "matrix" (warning: pdf) of meaningful use criteria stipulate that the EMR must maintain problem lists in either ICD-9 or SNOMED."

How would you compare SNOMED CT and ICD-10/9? Is one better than the other? Can the health care facility choose which one to adopt?

Your post further goes on to say: "We think they are both terrible choices. Problem lists maintained in either system are not likely to be very meaningful at all."

Do you have a better alternate option in mind?

Your reply will be appreciated.

Spero melior said...

Under MU criteria, yes, eligible providers and eligible hospitals can choose whether to adopt SNOMED CT or ICD-9.

SNOMED CT is better, because it attempts to capture actual diagnoses as opposed to the classes into which diagnoses go. Clearly for patient care, you need the actual diagnoses and not some higher level classification.

The alternate option I have in mind, unfortunately, does not exist. Ideally, it would capture diagnoses in physicians' own language, and then link them to formal ontologies of disease. The closest thing to this idea right now is probably IMO (I have no financial interest in IMO): http://www.e-imo.com