Amy Monagan, EHRtv correspondent interviews Allison Viola, Director, Federal Relations of AHIMA.
Amy Monagan: Hi I am Amy Monagan with EHRtv and today we are at HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas. I am with Allison Viola from AHIMA which is the American Health Information Management Association. Allison, welcome.
Allison Viola: Thank you.
Amy Monagan: Could you tell me a little bit about AHIMA?
Allison Viola: Well AHIMA is an association that’s comprised of 64,000 members and of those members, we have coders, physicians, medical records directors, anyone who is really interested in ensuring the quality, safety, privacy of health information that is captured, stored and maintained in the health records.
Amy Monagan: Okay fantastic. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are showcasing here at HIMSS?
Allison Viola: Well this week at HIMSS we are focusing on the ICD-10 implementation and although we do have other products and services, this is a very critical time in the implementation timeframe. So we like to showcase the training – the very intense training that we provide, some of the books and resources and toolkits that we can provide that not only support coders but other individuals that are involved in the implementation. So whether it’s IT directors or CIOs or physicians that need that little extra help in implementing ICD-10.
Amy Monagan: Okay, so Allison, tell me a little bit about what you would like our viewers to know about the transition to ICD-10?
Allison Viola: Well we understand ICD-10 is a big change from what providers are currently doing with the coding system but the ICD-10 – or I am sorry the ICD-9 coding classification system is over 30 years old and it’s not able to represent current medicine and current medical technology in today’s healthcare environment. So we like to provide the tools and the resources to help them overcome that struggle, how to get through the process whether it’s drafting template Superbills for specific practices just to demonstrate you don’t have to use every code in the book – kind of like a telephone book. If you know the name that you are looking for, you can go to that section of the book. So we like to provide that type of easy-to-use tools and reference points for providers.
Amy Monagan: So it sounds like you are just really making this transition very easy, less stressful and basically you are trying to take the fear out of their transition?
Allison Viola: Yes and also to educate providers that in the long run, the healthcare data that’s captured whether it’s in an electronic health record or a paper-based record, the data will be more accurate, more timely and can also improve patient safety.
Amy Monagan: Good. Allison, thank you for being here today. I am Amy Monagan with EHRtv at HIMSS 2012.