HI Coding; introduction, benefits and drawbacks

Coding refers to the identification and classification of diagnoses and procedures using a standard classification system and applying the appropriate coding principles and policies. The term coding is used in many industries. In health information (HI) coding is changing texts of diagnosis and treatment to alphanumeric code by using specific rules. Today in health care, coding means the assignment of numbers to represent diseases, procedures, and supplies used in the delivery of health care.

The Benefits of Coding:
1- International comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of medical data.
2- Health management purposes and clinical use.
3- Improve health care service quality.
4- International research and data analyses.
5- Retrieval of diagnostic information for clinical uses.

There some problems that the coder or the manager in the health record department can face. The following is a list of examples of these problems and a solution for each:
1- Failure to review the entire record
*establish and enforce hospital policy on completion of records so that the record will be complete for the coders

2- Selection of incorrect principal diagnosis
*the coder should consult the attending physician if he or she has a problem in identifying the principal diagnosis

3- Selection of incorrect code/Coding diagnosis or procedures not validated by the record content
*Provide ongoing training for coders
*do an audit to check the quality of coding and therefore the source of the problem can be identified. In this case, the coder should be replaced if he or she didn't show any improvement

4- Clerical errors in database or on bill
*the coder should check the code that he or she has entered is correct

To sum up, coding is an important issue to manage the health information in hospitals. It is classifying data transferring a representation for the data. Coding has many advantages for the health management and so on for the Ministry of Health. Using coding and letters is much better than writing a large number of words which has a various use in health managing and can be understood in all hospitals. Even, coding has some problems, it can be managed with some techniques to avoid these mistakes.

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