What is dental school software’s role in upgrading to ICD-10?

November 27th, 2014

The tenth edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) is due to hit electronic health records software requirements by Oct. 1, 2015. Many health service thought leaders are pressing on the government to keep that deadline intact, despite the possibility that it may be extended further.

The issue is that all of the previous delays have been expensive and disruptive to hospitals, according to iHealthBeat. By this time, many businesses have already begun to adapt to the most recent software, which includes ICD-10 compliance.

Students are also beginning to learn ICD-10 and would benefit from its fast initiation into ordinary EHR coding. Having to learn two sets of codes is a challenging and time-consuming task for students.

Getting ICD-10
Many other parts of the world have already made the ICD-10 transition, leaving hospitals [in the U.S. with two code books – one for international medical centers and the other for U.S. ones. In A recent interview with EHR Intelligence, James Libecco, a practitioner in Ohio, pointed to the challenges inherent in maintaining a system that is functional with both ICD-9 and ICD-10.

"It really was a disappointment for us," Libecco said. "We had put our time into it in terms of verifying codes, our coding, and all the integration between the software. We bought our books; we bought the coding cheat sheets that were ready to go with. By this delay, we're forced into spending money and wasting time and effort when the people who are being rewarded are those who dragged their feet and complained the most rather than getting ready for ICD-10."

A group of 15 medical companies sent an open letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, calling for the government to push everyone into using ICD-10, according to Fierce Health IT. This is ultimately for the good of everyone because just about three-quarters of hospitals in a recent survey stated their readiness for making a quick transition to ICD-10. It is becoming more expensive for hospitals to have ICD-9 and 10 compliance at the same time. It is likely that dental practices are in line with this number as well.

Students benefit the most from having the latest tools
It is unlikely, in the face of all these delays and by many people beginning to complain to the government, that any further feet dragging will be permitted for those who don't make the Oct. 1 cutoff. The best approach is likely to make the switch now. The best dental enterprise software allows this to be an easy transition. Additionally, students can learn the ICD-10 codes and become adept with them before the year is up and ICD-9 becomes a thing of the past.

Students want to have the latest technology available to them. To do anything else as a university is to leave an opening for other dental schools to take advantage. Students have come to expect colleges to provide them with the most up-to-date education possible, and this means continuously maintaining the most recent database of knowledge, whether for ICD-10 or for research tools like dental academic software. When students practice on their own, they want to make sure they're learning the most recently available information and not wasting their time with something that will quickly become obsolete. The best way to do that is to utilize  dental enterprise software to facilitate dental and oral hygiene academic programs. If students don't get the chance to learn ICD-10 and get opportunities to do research on what interests them, they will lose of their competitive edge after graduation.

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