Medical Coding software is often one of the most overlooked clinical software technologies. Coders are often subjected to using simplistic Medical Coding tools that were built in-house many years ago, coding tools built into a piece of OTS (off-the-shelf) software designed for another purpose or something spun out of another product. This results in fragmented and non-efficient coding environments where coders must know many different Medical Coding tools and manage multiple implementations and or versions of the same dictionary.
When evaluating a new Medical Coding tool most companies that use multiple technologies (Multiple Electronic Data Capture systems, Clinical Trial Management System, Safety Systems, Paper Data Capture) would be benefit by considering only purpose-built, stand-alone and centralized coding systems. Purpose built systems will provide robust features such as:
- Centralized dictionary management including unlimited dictionaries (standard and custom) and unlimited dictionary versions
- True workflow configurability including: automated and manual workflows, dictionary specific workflows and source specific workflows
- Advanced centrally managed configurable coding algorithms, stopword and synonym lists
- Propagation functionality across multiple sources
- Centrally managed auto classification
- Central rights and roles management
Once a Medical Coding product has been chosen you will need to determine whether a hosted, on premise or SaaS solution will work best for your company, in either case it will be very important to choose a provider with the experience to integrate your various technologies with the Medical Coding solution. If a provider is relying on a solution that is built into another product that may be an indicator that they lack the integration experience required for your team to be successful. Simply put – there is more to a coding implementation than the software. You will want to work with a partner who is able to assist you with your scoping, installation, integrations, business processes, SOPs, validation and training.