Health Language Blog

Keeping Up With COVID-19

Posted on 03/25/20 | Comments

New COVID-19 Related Codes Now Available

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the world is hyper-focused, as it should be, on the caregivers and the population of patients contracting the virus.  However, we must also keep in mind the need for clear and concise documentation regarding the diagnosis, testing, and tracking of the spread of the virus.

There are hundreds of medical terminologies that document every step of the health care process through admission, testing, treatment, discharge, and billing.  So when there is a large health event or worldwide pandemic, like COVID-19, it requires quick changes and updates to those terminology sets.  This is required to ensure that health care providers have the ability to accurately document, track, and treat their patients in a timely fashion. 

For the benefit of healthcare organizations looking to understand what’s changed and how to manage this pandemic, I’ve taken the opportunity to summarize changes to the billing and coding sets, their effective dates, provided links to the various standards bodies, and summarized how these codes will benefit clinicians who are tasked with documenting the COVID-19 condition at the point-of-care.

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Topics: ICD-10, Standard terminologies, LOINC, SNOMED CT, standards, COVID-19, Coronavirus

SNOMED CT: Why it matters to you

Posted on 08/03/16 | Comments

In Part One of our Terminology Standards blog series, we introduced the goal of using industry standards to achieve semantic interoperability and promote better information sharing. The second blog tackled coding and billing standards. This third installment describes the importance of SNOMED CT as the foundation for standardizing clinical content in EHRs.

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Topics: SNOMED, data normalization, interoperability, SNOMED CT, standards

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

Posted on 07/22/15 | Comments

bridge_the_gap_between_SNOMED_CT_and_ICD-10_CM

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.

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Topics: ICD-10, SNOMED CT

How SNOMED CT Compliance Will Benefit Your Patients

Posted on 01/28/15 | Comments

Historically, a doctor recorded a patient’s medical issues on a problem list included as part of the patient’s paper chart.

Chronic illnesses and major medical issues were included on the list. Such paper records faced severe limitations, however. The chart was housed in one physical location, restricting accessibility. Each healthcare provider organization working with the patient would maintain its own records -- including problem lists -- leading to a highly fragmented view of the patient. Caregivers moving towards a more collaborative care delivery model would soon find paper records an undesirable and insecure way to share patient data. In addition, these paper-based problem lists were not always consistently maintained.  

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Topics: SNOMED CT