Health Language Blog

The Importance of Taking an Inventory of Your Data Normalization Needs

Posted on 08/28/15 | Comments

In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of data normalization and the need for executive-level support as the first step in the implementation process.

This post focuses on the next step: taking an inventory of your data normalization needs. A healthcare system will be hard-pressed to reach its desired data destination if it has no idea of where it stands today. Describing the current environment—where does the key data or terminology exist and who owns it—is the objective of the inventory phase of a data normalization project.


Topics: data normalization

Four Reasons Data Normalization is Key to the Future of EHRs

Posted on 08/14/15 | Comments


The EHR Revolution

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) originated as an attempt to digitize traditional paper medical records (hence the early moniker “Electronic Medical Record” (EMR), implying the system is an electronic representation of a paper medical record). There were certainly drivers for this shift from paper to electronic records, such as enhanced storage, retrieval, update, availability of patient data, and reduction of paper waste, but the capabilities of first-generation EMRs were not designed to extend the use of patient records significantly beyond similar uses to those met by their paper forebears.


Topics: data normalization

How to Bridge the Gap Between SNOMED CT and ICD-10 CM

Posted on 07/22/15 | Comments


For a clinician in a busy clinical environment, the primary focus is on patient care. The objective of Meaningful Use is, of course, to facilitate efficient and effective patient care. But complex problems of integration sometimes posed by EHRs can slow things down if not managed appropriately, and can even create the opposite of the efficient patient care setting that everyone—patients, clinicians, administrators—wants. For example, in the case of SNOMED CT and ICD-10-CM, we’re required to document problems and diagnoses in two very different languages.


Topics: ICD-10, SNOMED CT

Two Common Data Normalization Use Cases

Posted on 07/14/15 | Comments

Data normalization is finding an expanding role in a range of healthcare settings.


Topics: data normalization

The Importance of Testing if Your Systems Are Ready to Process ICD-10

Posted on 07/09/15 | Comments

Anyone on any side of the ICD-10 remediation equation knows that there are a lot of moving parts to the process, and a lot of players in each healthcare ecosystem have a hand in successfully navigating the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10.


Topics: ICD-10

Remediate Your Clinical and IT Systems

Posted on 07/02/15 | Comments

Healthcare providers are all looking forward to the day when semantic interoperability is a foregone conclusion. The day when one single, user-friendly platform handles clinic management, EHR data, and the automatic communication of accurate billing codes to payers, with everything represented in the correct terminology, all housed under one roof. But even though Health Language is working on solutions that get you closer to such a reality, the fact is, healthcare is not there yet.


Topics: IT Systems

Outpatient Claims: Optimize Clinical Documentation that Supports ICD-10

Posted on 06/23/15 | Comments

There has been a great deal of discussion around ICD-10 and how it will impact DRG’s – but what about the outpatient setting?


Topics: ICD-10

Why Do you Need to Map to LOINC?

Posted on 06/18/15 | Comments

The bulk of the recent media attention directed at clinical terminology standards has, for quite obvious reasons, been focused on the the impending October 1, 2015 deadline for ICD-10 conversion. SNOMED, the terminology meant to standardize the way interactions between patients and clinicians are recorded in EHRs, also often gets mentioned in the context of their relative relationship to the ICD-10 overhaul. But despite all the buzz surrounding these high-profile terminologies and their impact on the future of health care, it’s important for providers to remember that Meaningful Use standards apply to more than just attestation these days.


Topics: LOINC

The Difference Between Intensional and Extensional Value Sets

Posted on 06/03/15 | Comments

Value sets, also referred to as code groups, help healthcare providers and payers define clinical concepts.

Each value set is essentially a bag of codes that can represent a particular disease or a type of medicine. A value set consists of terms and their associated numerical codes, which are taken from standard terminologies such as ICD-10, SNOMED CT®, RxNorm and LOINC®.  Value sets have a number of use cases. Those include creating Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs), defining a patient population cohort, defining decision support rules, and developing application pick lists.


Topics: value sets

How to Minimize Lost Revenue Associated with Inaccurate Clinical Documentation

Posted on 05/29/15 | Comments

Healthcare providers depend on accurate diagnoses and procedure coding to bring in revenue for their services. 

Inaccurate clinical documentation, however, has been a problem organizations have grappled with for many years. A report published in Health Services Research, and available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information, reported diagnostic and procedure coding error rates as high as 80 percent.


Topics: innacurate clinical documentation