Bangor, ME — Innovation, evolution and staying one step ahead are integral in the ever-changing technological world. Health Information Management (HIM), being a forerunner in new technologies is challenged monthly to find the solutions to ensure accuracy, efficiency and confidentiality of patient records. As the industry moves forward, HIM manages to stay a step ahead and implements new procedures and technological advances to guarantee patients are experiencing only the best in health care.
One such center on the cutting edge is the Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) in Bangor, Maine. Mandy Reid, a 2008 UC graduate and Coding Manager at EMMC, has been with the company for 16 years. “This facility is an innovator. I have had the pleasure of being involved with the first remote coding program here at EMMC. I’ve also been able to implement a documentation improvement program as well as computer-assisted coding technology. I feel fortunate to work for a company that recognizes the potential we have to be better at what we do,” said Reid.
Since the addition of the computer-assisted coding technology the company has seen a 30 percent improvement in inpatient coder productivity, expense reductions of greater than $100,000, and a 7 percent improvement in coder satisfaction. Currently, the system is used for inpatient coding; however, the team will soon implement the technology on the outpatient side as well.
“Our coding staff adopted the computer-assisted coding technology with ease. The coders were actively involved in demos and discussions prior to going live with the technology. The team knows their roles have changed slightly but realize that they are still vital to the quality of data for our organization,” said Reid.
“I hope to continue challenging myself and my staff to do things differently and constantly improve our ability to produce quality coded data for our organization. I want to continue to use my HIM expertise in ICD-10 implementation and moving forward with meaningful use requirements for our system.”
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) defines computer-assisted coding (CAC) as the use of computer software that automatically generates a set of medical codes for review, validation and use based upon clinical documentation provided by health care practitioners. CAC is currently available in the outpatient or physician practice domains and continues to evolve. As the transition to EHRs and the adoption of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS occur in the U.S., the HIM industry will experience many changes and upgrades.
“HIM professionals should be actively involved in this transition at their organizations. We as HIM professionals should be taking a leading role in education and training, preparation and implementation. Computer-assisted technology for both transcription and coding are existing and future applications that we should be researching and understanding as HIM professionals,” Reid explained.
“We need to take a proactive role in identifying risks and making necessary changes in documentation improvement and coding quality. HIM also plays an important role in working with their facilities on adopting meaningful use requirements.”
Reid became interested in HIM when a friend’s mother introduced her to an HIT program. After receiving her associate and ART certification in 1994 from the University of Maine, she quickly moved on to her next goal of achieving her bachelor’s through UC. A native of Maine, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Scott, and their four children, Hannah, 10, Ian, 8, Natalie, 7, and Ainsley, 6.