Achieving 2015 goals: Are you ready for ICD-10?

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 - Claudette Lew
Claudette Lew, Associate Editor

Did you make a new year’s resolution this year? Have you kept it? You may not be alone.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article about the success and failure of our New Year’s resolutions to be more fit, data show that our resolve starts to fade about the third week of January. And despite the jokes about the Lenten season offering a second chance for participants to fail, data from Facebook show that people aren’t necessarily waiting a whole year to start over. In 2014, gym check-ins on Facebook in March surpassed even those for January: more than 4 million check-ins, compared with 3.9 million (based on its 186 million active Facebook users in the U.S.). So when it comes to priorities, we can be committed when we want to be.

So what about your ICD-10 fitness? Are you ready for the October rollout? Despite the starts and stops and reslated deadline, many facilities aren’t quite there yet.

Unlike a general desire to be more physically fit, a hard deadline of Oct. 1, 2015, does not offer us the advantage of starting over in terms of being ready for ICD-10. According to a new survey published by Navicure and Porter Research, most physician practices are now convinced that the ICD-10 transition will happen this year—yet just 21 percent say they’re on track with their preparations.

The survey also reported concerns about potential impact on revenue, with 59 percent of respondents worried about cash flow, and 12 percent being concerned about staff productivity being negatively impacted in the early days of implementation. After all, ICD-10 has been likened to swallowing a phonebook. A tall order, no doubt.

"Even with a well-trained staff, industry estimates indicate that staff productivity will decline by 52 percent for the first 3 to 6 months following the transition," Navicure warns in the report. "ICD-10 is both a broad and complex undertaking that impacts every area of your practice. A successful transition will not happen overnight, but with thoughtful planning, it will be easier to manage."

In fact, it takes  about 66 days to form a habit, according to a 2009 study by researchers at University College London. Whether its fitness training or workflow training, statistics show how difficult it is to change our habits and make those changes stick. In the case of ICD-10, the fitness of radiology practices will depend on how well they’ve trained to meet the deadline. Are you on the right track?