Health Information Management

Falls, spills, and other uncodable events

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 24, 2009

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

By Robert S. Gold, MD

Patient falls account for nearly a half-million inpatient days spent in the hospital each year, making them quite costly to those hospitals and to the healthcare industry as a whole. In addition, the mortality rate related to patient falls is 7%–20%.

The reason patients fall isn’t always straightforward. Falls can occur because of disease or musculoskeletal processes or malnutrition. Some falls result from syncopal episodes (i.e., temporary loss of consciousness). Some indicate an underlying pathology. Others simply result from a patient’s inability to easily move around.

In most cases, patients who fall risk injury-related morbidity or mortality. To provide appropriate treatment, physicians must be aware of the multitude of diagnoses associated with falls.

Typically, a fall is a symptom, not a diagnosis, so it’s important to discover the causes behind the ailment.

Editor’s note: For more information about documenting the reason(s) for patient falls and to purchase a copy of this article for $10, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have access to this article in the February issue of the newsletter.

 



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

    The HIM Director's Guide to ICD-10
  • The HIM Director's Guide to ICD-10

    ICD-10 is the biggest change for the HIM industry since the implementation of DRGs in the 1980s. HIM directors must take...

  • ICD-10 Trainer

    ICD-10 Trainer provides the latest news and updates related to ICD-10 regulations, and tips from HCPro experts and faculty...

  • Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology

    Cardiac coding under ICD-10-CM will require a deeper knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Code descriptions will be...

  • Coding and You

    Coding and You is written specifically to help non-coders; medical assistants, lab technicians, compliance professionals...

  • Coder Productivity in Today’s Environment

    Insufficient staffing and lack of resources continue to plague HIM departments while they also cope with a move to...

Most Popular