Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kick-starting Your ICD-10 Project: Inventorying Software Applications – Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on kick-starting you ICD-10 assessment and remediation project. In Part 1 I shared some approaches, tasks and ideas to assist with identifying business artifacts impacted by ICD-10. See Part 1: “Kick-starting Your ICD-10 Project: Identifying your Core Assets”

What do you hold in your portfolio? Inventorying Software Applications

To accurately assess ICD-10’s potential impact to your applications, you’ll need to itemize all the operational software, legacy applications and end-user developed applications, interfaces and files that comprise your application portfolio; including all those one-off apps, “sneaker-net” files and that special database maintained by the financial geek that serves as a key part of your monthly revenue management forecasts.

For each software asset in your portfolio:

1. Identify the attributes and metrics that will form the basis for your remediation plan.

2. If possible, identify how the software uses ICD codes and the type of impact so you can start to begin to establish remediation patterns. Most common ways ICD-10 will impact your applications include:
  • Field size expansion
  • Data type change
  • Use of decimals (EDI transactions, sorting, field alignment, etc.)
  • Redefinition of code values (Combination codes, External Codes, V Codes, etc.)
  • Longer code descriptions (Search algorithms, screen real estate, etc.)
  • Edit and logic changes (OPL, Body Parts, Workflow, HEDIS measures, etc.)
  • Modifications of table structures
  • Expansion of flat files
  • Systems interfaces (good luck!)
3. Identify unused and/or applications that are near the end of their lifecycle that can be consolidated, migrated to other platforms, and/or retired.

4. Collect key ICD-10-related attributes that you can be used to plan and manage your assessment and remediation efforts.

A Little Extra Effort Now Can Pay Off Handsomely Later On

In addition to collecting attributes to assist with your ICD-10 project planning and management, you should consider capturing asset attributes that can be used to manage the overall cost and value of your application portfolio. There’s likely little extra expense to capture additional information at this point and that expense can pay large dividends down the road.

Key benefits of gathering this additional information now include:

1. Serves as the basis for identification of redundant and outdated applications
2. Assists with managing licensing, support and maintenance costs
3. Assess and manage PHI risk – diagnosis is key PHI element
4. Understand application landscape opportunities and risks
5. Implement a managed process for controlling your assets
6. Eliminate redundancy/duplication that leads to additional licensing and support expenses

Some questions to ask about each of your software assets include: 

1. What can be retired?
2. What can be consolidated?
3. What should be enhanced?
4. What should be replaced?
5. What should be purchased?
6. What should be sustained?

For additional information related to inventorying your core business assets impacted by ICD-10, see my previous post Building an Inventory of Assets for Your ICD-10 Assessment and Other Projects.

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on kick-starting your ICD-10 assessment and remediation project. In the last part, I will identify some tasks, questions and ideas related to addressing Stakeholders, Process Owners and other role-based assets in your portfolio; along with some information on tying it all together.

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