3 Reasons to Code Your Blog Posts Like an Office Visit

The advent of EHR software and the requirements to meet meaningful use have spurred a greater focus on the use of standardized code sets earlier in the patient care cycle.  Rather than jotting down COPD in a patient’s past medical history, providers are now selecting 496 Chronic Airway Obstruction from a drop down list.  As the stages of meaningful use progress, and providers become more familiar with various code sets it’s likely they will increasingly rely on them when searching the web.

With these things in mind, healthcare providers posting content online in reference to specific conditions and/or procedures may find value in coding their blog posts by adding ICD-9, CPT, DSM, NDC, HCPCS, LOINC codes, etc. as tags and/or categories.

Three reasons to code posts:

Helps others find your content.

  • With the global push toward electronic health records and increasing focus on structured data as a means of facilitating data exchange between disparate systems more providers and provider agents are searching the web using diagnosis, procedure, lab, and medication codes.   For example:  It’s easier to copy and paste a CPT code from an EHR into a Google search rather than attempt to accurately spell, Laparoscopy, surgical, myomectomy.   Posted content including the CPT code in the text and/or associated as a tag or category is more likely to be found.

Helps you find your own content.

  • By attaching standard codes to posts in the form of categories and/or tags it is possible to create subsets of content which may be converted into tag clouds or unique URL’s including all posts that contain specific codes or combinations of codes.  WordPress allows its users to add a category name at the end of a blog URL to filter posts by that category alone.  Example:  A URL for all blog posts on this site associated with a category for congestive heart failure would look like this:  http://digitalhealthcom.com/category/428

Helps curation and/or data conversion services find and move content.

  • When the time comes to gather blog posts to be imported into a curation framework or content management system, data migration engineers will be looking for reliable keys for parsing data.  Standard codes sets attached to text make it much easier to know what to move and where to put it.  For example: As meaningful use phase two approaches and electronic patient instructional/educational materials increase in use, existing blog content might prove helpful for re-direction to patients once it has been imported into a certified EHR software and attached to a chart.
Final tip:  If you’re writing a blog post and need a code for a disease or treatment, etc. just Google it. Chances are someone has already posted about it and included the appropriate code.  If you can’t find an existing post with the code desired then Google the type of code you’re searching for followed by the text string “free lookup.”  You’re bound to find it.

 

Happy Coding!

 

 

 

 

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