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Executing the ICD-10 Plan

The references and links below may not have been edited to include the proposed implementation date change.

Training and Education Plan

Executing a comprehensive training and education plan will be integral to ICD-10 implementation. Industry associations indicate that role based training with different methods of education will impact effectiveness. For additional information, see the ICD-10 Task Force’s AHIMA Training and Recommendation Resources. 

Industry associations encourage health care providers to begin ICD-10 training and education well in advance of implementation. It is recommended that the level and timing of education and training be guided by ICD-10 data-user type (e.g. IT, Clinical, Coders, etc.) and level of expertise that will be required of their role (e.g. awareness of ICD-10 only, user of ICD-10 data, coder of ICD-10, etc.). The AHIMA article ICD-10-CM/PCS Transition: Planning and Preparation Checklist  supplies two figures related to training and education. The “High-Level Awareness Education” table (Figure 1) outlines the types of ICD-10 knowledge needed by organizational role type. The “Examples of Categories of Data Users Requiring ICD-10 Education” (Figure 3) identifies different user groups that should be considered for ICD-10 education. 

Tips for Successful Training (April 2011)  from the Journal of AHIMA states, “Without a doubt the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS will impact patient care and revenue. Whether that impact is positive or negative, however, comes down to the quality of the training that organizations provide their clinical and coding staff.”

Change and Process Management

ICD-10 Transformation: Five Critical Risk-Mitigation Strategies  is a publication from the Health Information Management System Society (HIMSS) which explains some of the key risks to be faced in the implementation of ICD-10. For each of the well-defined risks is an equally well-defined mitigation strategy. Specific tips are provided for practices of various sizes and types as well as for health plans.

Communication Plan

Implementing a strong communication plan will help create ICD-10 awareness, set expectations, establish timelines and promote interactions across your organization. Progress reports, presentations, newsletters and other program communications will stimulate consistent program-approved messaging for internal and external stakeholders. 

Consider using the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  provided by the HIMSS ICD-10 Task Force as an awareness tool. Using this information may assist in proactively addressing questions in your organization such as:  

  • Why are we going through the transition to ICD-10?
  • What are the projected scope, timeline and efforts associated with the ICD-10 transition?
  • What are the possible business impacts during the transition?
  • What steps can I take now to get my organization started on the path to ICD-10 compliance?
  • What are the consequences of non-compliance with HIPAA and ICD-10?

CMS has created the ICD-10 Implementation Guide for Small Hospitals,  ICD-10 Implementation Guide for Small and Medium Practices,  and the ICD-10 Implementation Guide for Large Practices.  These resources address a wide variety of implementation topics, including a section on the Communication and Awareness  Phase. The guides cover communication and awareness from initial definition to execution and lessons learned for the following:

  • Defining the project purpose
  • Defining the audience and stakeholders
  • Creating the project plan and timeline
  • Defining communication vehicles
  • Defining communication roles and responsibilities
  • Developing messaging
  • Identifying potential issues

These documents will be helpful resources during both the strategic planning and execution phases of the ICD-10 transition.