ICD-10, or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, is a medical coding system for diseases, symptoms, drugs, procedures and other medical related details, and an indispensable resource that helps keep health information operations running smoothly. ICD-10 is significantly more advanced than the previous medical coding system, ICD-9, which was developed thirty years ago, and the information involved in ICD-10 is about ten times greater and more detailed, diagnostic codes and detailed individual codes.
Lagging behind France, Canada and the U.K, all which have been using ICD-10 for years already, U.S. law mandates that all healthcare facilities must be using the new system by October 1, 2013, a date that may be looming over some medical facilities’ heads if they’re not prepared. In 2010, one survey found that only 9 percent of healthcare providers had begun the switch to the new system.
Some providers may be worrying that there aren’t enough personnel to handle the technology updates, but there is a fairly joyous silver lining to this – more jobs will be created. The healthcare industry is one of the few American industries that is growing, with 299,000 jobs added over the past year. Using ICD-10 will be a surefire way to add more jobs to the American economy, something it desperately needs. In a survey conducted this year of 600 healthcare establishments, 55 percent cited staffing as their number one concern going forward with ICD-10.
Here are the top 5 ICD-10 jobs expected to arrive on the scene:
1. Medical Coding Specialists
Medical coders are the ones who actually write the program’s operating codes, and this position is one of the ten fastest growing allied health occupations. ICD-10 coders will be especially sought after for the specific knowledge of ICD-10, which operates differently than ICD-9. Thousands of specially trained ICD-10 medical coders will be expected to handle the functioning of the new system as well as help get the rest of the hospital staff up to speed. The ICD-10 coders’ in-depth knowledge will be invaluable to making the transition smooth and helping others adjust, and there are even specialized schools or training programs to certify a coding technician with ICD-10 proficiency.
2. ICD-10 Project Managers
ICD-10 project managers will need both ICD-10 familiarity and many years of IT management experience to work in this high management technical position. This job encompasses the business side of healthcare technology, and the project manager is basically responsible for overseeing the general implementation of ICD-10. Consulting with clients and staff, presenting material, and tracking costs are all a part of making sure the ICD-10 projects are successful, on time and within budget.
3. Data Architects
Data architects are the programmers responsible for making sure that data is consistently available in the back end of the system. Companies hire data architects to create and implement a design for storing data or improving an existing system. For the ICD-9 to ICD-10 switch, data architects will be in high demand because they will assist with the conversion of data from the old version to the new. Other charges include monitoring data trends, assessing the impact of data on business, evaluating the feasibility of data architecture and recommending any alternative data structures.
4. Software Developers
As the ICD-10 software advances, software developers will be needed to research and implement the newest forms of the system. Just as important as the data or the coding, software developers write the instructions that tell a computer what to show onscreen and what to do when a user interacts with the images or text shown. It is the front face of the system and these positions will be in demand because user interface is an important part of the system’s operation.
5. Business Analysts
Like a project manager, a business analyst must have coding abilities, familiarity with the ICD-10 system and capability to manage the business operations of the system. Planning, organizing and auditing analytical activities is a major part of this position, along with obtaining, analyzing and compiling patient data for the conversion of records from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
These highly technical and advanced positions within the medical billing & coding field won’t be the only ones opening up, but are some of the most skilled and in-demand jobs that will be crucial to the successful transition to ICD-10. Some entry-level jobs that are expected to develop include application analysts, medical software sales, clinical document control specialists and help desk specialists. Other jobs for people with previous healthcare IT experience may include clinical software trainers, EHR implementation specialists, programmers, developers, database professionals, systems administrators, and more. Anyone with healthcare IT training or ICD-10 training will be a valuable asset to any hospital team working together to meet the October 1, 2013 deadline for the transition, as well as afterwards to update and maintain the system.
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Mitchell Gavillion is a freelance writer who covers various lifestyle industries including healthcare, education, and fitness. Mitchell passionate about learning, he believes education is one of the things that keeps people moving forward in life.