This content is part of the Essential Guide: A guide to news and analysis from HIMSS 2015
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Jump in medical codes could benefit patient outcomes

CHICAGO -- At this point, there is little doubt that ICD-10 is coming this year. After last year's eleventh-hour holdup, which produced a one-year delay in the rollout of the international medical coding system's most current version, most healthcare providers expect ICD-10 to take effect Oct. 1, as outlined by CMS.

In this video, Albert Oriol, vice president and CIO of San Diego's Rady Children's Hospital, says his organization -- from coders to physicians -- is largely ready for the much wider array of medical codes that comprise ICD-10. He did add that some employees are being retrained for ICD-10.

Oriol, a board member of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, says better care is among the benefits he expects from ICD-10.

"We are definitely expecting more granular data, which should help us with better medical outcomes and research and better understand the approach to tackling disease that works best," Oriol says in the video, recorded at the HIMSS 2015 show in mid-April.

ICD-10's capacity to produce more data should also help Rady understand which medical approaches "maybe don't work as well or are less effective or don't have the outcomes we would expect," Oriol adds.

As for any looming pitfalls on the horizon, Oriol says he's watching the insurance part of the healthcare transaction to make sure new medical codes fit smoothly into the payer-hospital workflow and cash flow.

Let us know what you think about the story or the impending increase in medical codes; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writeror contact @SSutner on Twitter.

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