Silva says radiologists should be leaders in ICD-10 transition

The upcoming transition to the ICD-10 coding dataset offers opportunities for radiologists to lead the charge for higher quality care, according to Ezequiel Silva, III, MD, in an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The increased granularity of the expanded dataset will require additional clinical information. While that may initially seem an impossible task, Silva says it’s actually an opportunity to “enhance the value of what radiology delivers to healthcare.”

Silva advises radiologists to “approach education and information sharing in a logical, systematic manner.” Since documenting “abdominal pain” will no longer suffice, clinicians can offer more detail by focusing on location, severity and content. The information within each of these categories will be different for the various specialties, Silva acknowledges.

Overall, this greater detail will lead to better, more clinically relevant interpretations, better outcomes tracking, and a greater impact on population management, Silva writes.

ICD-10 complements the call in Imaging 3.0 for radiologists to help shape the future of healthcare, he notes. Since the practice of radiology centers on diagnoses of diseases, Silva says radiologists should be leaders in the ICD-10 effort. “The transition will make our reports more focused on clinical questions and more relevant and meaningful to our referring physicians. Furthermore, with improved diagnosis coding, we can better track the impact of our reports on patient outcomes and better participate in registries.”

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