EHROL – Clinical Coder Training Tool Project

This project is open to those interested to join the discussion and development.  If you are interested, would like to know more, be involved or to discuss the tooling and resources contact:

Project Partners, whom we thank for their support are:

  • Department of Education and Training - Victoria, Australia
  • Department of Health and Human Services - Victoria, Australia
  • Victoria University / Victoria Polytechnic
  • Western Health

The Problem

There is a shortage of appropriately trained clinical coders.  Employers want coders who are work ready and to up-skill existing coders.  Training organisations find it difficult to find suitable staff to teach and develop clinical coding courses and the workload in maintaining those courses is so extensive that few courses can justify the costs involved and therefore do not offer courses. Training organisations also find it difficult to provide students with material that mimics the medical records, and the workplace situation  that they will encounter when employed.  Students are not motivated to take courses as jobs are not advertised widely or openly and students are often found inadequately or inconsistently trained and so not given employment.

The Solution

The Clinical Coder Training Tool (working project name) provides a solution to these problems.  It  is a tool delivered through a cloud based, secure, online platform which:

  • supports the clinical coding community (coders, hospitals, government, and the profession) and the education community
  • improves the consistency of education
  • reduces the effort to maintain educational materials
  • includes student progress monitoring mechanisms giving all students a similar experience and guaranteeing all students have coded the required number and type of cases for their skill level, while offering alternative records to vary the actual cases seen (i.e. students will not all see exactly the same cases).
  • engages the coding community to support quality processes and content
  • establishs and implements standardised marking strategy to ensure consistent understanding of ''competence''.

through provision of

  • Healthcare information systems (PMI, ATD, Post Discharge Processing, Clinical Code Data Entry) - simulated for the purpose of training - similar to common products but not a specific vendor product.
  • Medical records of episodes of care of fictitious patients
  • Coding answers (initially - ICD-10-AM-10th edition), feedback and references confirmed by a group of experienced coding auditors and members of the governance community.

Who will use this Tool?

The Tool will be  made available to educational and healthcare organisations and individuals on a not for profit, cost sharing model.  Some users include:

  • Governments seeking to expand the number of clinical coders in their jurisdictions
  • Clinical Coding educational organisations
  • Clinical Coding and Health Information Management professional bodies seeking to ensure the quality and provide training in clinical coding
  • Healthcare organisations
  • Individual experienced clinical coders and health information managers
  • Individuals seeking to confirm their skills or improve their coding skills.

Development Stage 1 - Available from January 2018

Initial Development establishes the coding record resources, the core information system, and the impartial experienced governance structures necessary to ensure quality and utility of the Tool and the content maintained in the Tool.

  • Cloud based ICD Tool and repository and training system (including student management)
  • A process for governance of the content (records, answers and feedback) will be managed by GeHCO through community engagement and dedicated coding staff.
  • Web site upon which open publication of coding jobs can be made (to encourage students to enrol in courses and to assist employers to find clinical coding staff)

Development Stage 2

Coding  interfaces  to coding software products and external processes  (that have chosen to join the Tool project), reporting and error management systems.  The interfaces would also support clinical coding audit simulation.

  • Offer standard interfaces to coding software products such as:
    • DRG grouper/s
    • Encoders
    • Data warehousing
    • Other
  • Send data to Government required reporting data collection test environme nt to support student report management and learning
  • Send data to cancer registration processes as a simulated environment
  • Retrieve records for coding audit simulation based upon defined criteria

Development Stage 3

Ongoing project development will be undertaken and could include additional functionality such as:

  • Linkage to other Global eHealth Collaborative projects, including EHR simulation and HealthCare Information System/s
  • Coding research support - offering an environment where alternative approaches toclinical coding can be tested and evaluated independently.
  • Linkage to tools for screen development such as OpenEHR's Clinical Knowledge Manager (based upon ISO 13606 health record structure standards). This is the information model of the Electronic Health Record being accepted and used  internationally as the basis for screen development and record content storage.
  • Linkage to other standards based initiatives such as training environments for HL7, SNOMED CT.
  • Linkage to maps, and map simulation to develop mapping skills and assess conformanc eto quality requirements to train Mapping Specialists.