Diagnostic Coding in General Practice
Ergebnisse einer Befragung auf der Practica 2011german translation / full article
Results of a Survey
Introduction: The projected implementation of the Ambulant Coding Guideline (AKR) and the recent German modification of The International Coding of Diseases 10th revision (ICD 10) to ICD-10-GM version 2011 will presumably increase the burden of bureaucracy for practicing physicians. So far, no detailed information on coding procedures in German practices is available. The aim of this survey was to estimate current time requirements for coding and prevailing coding strategies.
Methods: A questionnaire was handed out to 150 participants of the Practica, a nationwide family practitioner’s (FPs) postgraduate training event. Items were methods and allocation of coding, the estimated average coding time and if conversion to a simplified standard coding system like ICPC-2 was desired.
Results: The results indicate an average coding time of only a few seconds. Doctors were mostly involved in coding procedures which was mainly done with computerized support. The vast majority of FPs welcome an implementation of electronic coding tools with ICPC surface and direct mapping to ICD-10.
Conclusions: Short time slots might explain the low quality of ICD-10-coding. Practices need a codingsystem like ICPC-2, which is more accessible and adapted to primary care. As existing coding procedures are mainly electronically-based, a future coding system should also provide this. Further research on improving coding quality and time required for coding is urgently needed.