As the current healthcare industry hot topic continues to be use of AI in multiple applications and arenas - I can't help but look at Computer Assisted Coding as the system "toe" that was dipped into the water for testing the temperature. The base NLP technology certainly has transformed the medical transcription and discrete data review world, but the dive into coding has required sophisticated application learning to produce consistent and meaningful codes. Overall, it is clear we will not be giving up human intervention in coding anytime soon. However, with an understanding of the technology's potential pitfalls, and an even deeper understanding of your facility's EMR structure and documentation practices, you certainly can expect to see significant improvements with coding productivity and the quality of your coded data.
What I find interesting about the theme of most all articles evaluating Computer Assisted Coding is the almost singular conclusion that the technology's success is completely dependent on how well you implemented it. Computer Assisted Coding is seen as an effective tool to assist with documentation review and code assignment - when the structure, workflows, and people using it are aligned.
I realize you can say this about any system implementation - but I feel validated - as my hallmark phrase over the past few years for describing Computer Assisted Coding is that it really should stand for "Change Agent Critical". The need for adequate implementation and change management across all phases of a CAC project are paramount - from product evaluation through post-live optimization. For more tips on what outcomes to expect, considerations to review, and advise on implementation … please check out the links below.
The technology is an effective tool - and the promise for the future is bright as the industry continues expanding Computer Assisted Coding use across the outpatient professional fee arena; and has even plunged into the potential for combining facility and professional fee coding workflows.
I would say the answer is to CAC!
Some additional tips from the Wilshire Group:
- CAC - Project and Change Management Success
- CAC - Focusing on improving your metrics with a successful implementation
Contact us - we are happy to share our experience!