Health Information Management

Pay-Per-View: Consider remote coding for your facility

APCs Insider, June 1, 2007

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One coding manager shares her program

HIM and coding departments strive to find a way for their coders to produce a high volume of work, while also maintaining quality and ensuring the privacy of patient information. The challenges of achieving these goals only increase when coders move from the traditional HIM department environment to their own homes as part of a remote coding program.

But the benefits of allowing coders to work from a remote location--including the ability to easily fill vacant coding positions and retain coding staff--can be worth the challenges. Paula Kessler, RHIT, manager of the coding and cancer registry at the University of Toledo (KS) Medical Center, sought out these benefits with her facility's remote coding program, which began in January 2003.

There was a significant coder interest in such a program, as the department received coder inquiries about remote coding throughout the months and years prior to establishing it. Before jumping into the program, however, Kessler and her staff members conducted a year-long pilot from January 2003 to December 2003, which showed a promising increase in coding productivity.

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