Laying the Foundation through Education - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on February 14, 2014

Laying the Foundation through Education

In Brief

  • Crozer-Keystone’s ICD-10 Clinical Documentation and Training subcommittee has a detailed, comprehensive plan to train physicians and staff on how to document patient encounters using the new ICD-10 code set.
  • Educational initiatives include physician CMEs by national ICD-10 experts, presentations by internal experts to physicians and staff, “Tip of the Month” sheets, a “pop-up” message on all CKHS computers upon startup, and a dedicated website (
  • Individual educational efforts are being coordinated through the product ICD-10 Compass and online education modules offered by Precyse/HealthStream.
  • Crozer-Keystone will continue to support its physicians and employees with educational opportunities once the nation upgrades to ICD-10 on Oct. 1, 2014.

The late Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

While we may not be tackling the world’s social issues, Crozer-Keystone has launched a comprehensive effort to educate physicians and staff on the blink-and-it-will-be-here ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases and Procedure Codes, 10th edition) code set.

With a national “go-live” date of Oct. 1, 2014, many hospitals and health systems across the nation appear to be ill-prepared to begin documenting with the new code set. ICD-10 will change the way that hospitals and physicians are reimbursed. At the same time, it will give physicians the flexibility to specifically document a patient’s condition. This, in turn, should have a long-term positive impact on the quality of patient care.

Early Education

Crozer-Keystone launched an ICD-10 Steering Committee one year ago. That committee broke out into 11 subcommittees, each tasked with a specific goal. The Training and Clinical Documentation Improvement subcommittee, co-chaired by Vince Mazella, director of Training for CKHS, and Eileen Garrity, manager of Clinical Documentation Improvement for CKHS, got right to work. They divided responsibilities into two main categories: physician education and employee education. Members of their workgroup wasted no time in putting together a comprehensive plan to make sure Crozer-Keystone employees are ready to go when the switch flips on Oct. 1.

“Crozer-Keystone wanted to employ a multifaceted approach to ICD-10 education,” Garrity says. She points to ongoing efforts that include physician CME presentations by national ICD-10 experts; presentations by Crozer-Keystone physicians Thomas Bader, M.D., chief medical officer and chairman of OB/GYN for CKHS, and Marlowe Schaeffer-Polk, D.O., physician advisor for DCMH and Taylor Hospital; training for staff; and informational initiatives that include “Tip of the Month” sheets, a “pop-up” message on all CKHS computers upon startup, and a dedicated website (

“It’s important for everyone to understand that ICD-10 is coming their way, and we are preparing to launch training for anyone who does billing, coding and documentation for the health system, as well as the supporting clinicians and caregivers who perform patient services that may need to be documented,” Mazella adds.

Two ways this will be handled are through the product ICD-10 Compass and online education modules offered by Precyse/HealthStream.

Crozer-Keystone contracted with the Advisory Board in Washington, D.C for their ICD-10 Compass program, which enables users to create reports that focus on a physician’s top-billed DRGs based on a year’s worth of claims data (which is updated regularly).

The data can be used to create reports that focus on those DRGs where documentation concepts will change moving from ICD-9 to ICD-10. It can also address documentation and financial impacts. A multidisciplinary team consisting of Garrity, Susan Ishikawa, manager of HIM System Coding; Schaeffer-Polk and Shanika Lewis, DRG educator have been meeting with physicians individually and in small groups to make sure physicians understand the specificity that will be required as of Oct 1.

Non-physician employees across the health system will receive varying degrees of education based on their job descriptions. Mazella is spearheading this initiative, which will provide web-based education through Precyse/HealthStream that employees can access at any time. In addition to the modules, there are ICD-10 simulation labs, phone apps and a communication center that provides the user with additional information at the touch of a button.

“Precyse/HealthStream is the premier provider of web-based ICD-10 training in the industry,” Mazella says. “Our IT and Human Resources departments helped greatly with the behind-the-scenes preparation to make it easy for employees to access the multitude of online courses.”

Effective Education is Ongoing

While the ICD-10 Training and CDI subcommittee should be lauded for its efforts to-date, Garrity and Mazella emphasize that the journey will not end once Oct. 1, 2014 rolls around.

“We will continue to support the training needs of all CKHS employees and physicians to make the transition, even after the launch date,” Mazella says. He explains that the educational modules will be available for reference for several months after Oct. 1. There will be one-on-one continuing education and training support for those who need help.

“The ICD-10 education and training team, led by Vince and Eileen, have spent many hours on the details of the training and education needed,” says Joanna Lucas, senior administrative director of Care Management at Crozer-Keystone Health System and project leader for the ICD-10 Initiative. “The changes coming under ICD-10 are the most sweeping changes in documentation and billing in at least 30 years, and will require more than 5,000 people across the health system to have specific education tailored to their specialty.”

For more information about ICD-10, look for regular updates in system publications or visit If you have questions about Crozer-Keystone’s ICD-10 training efforts, contact Garrity at or (610) 595-6024, or Mazella at or (610) 447-6310.


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