How much of that ICD-10 training did you forget?

Remember way back in 2009 when they told us that ICD-10 was going to begin October 1, 2013?  How many people started training in 2011 to be ready for the go live date?  We were ready….we were set….we were told “wait.”

Not to worry, it’s only a short delay, new date:  October 1, 2014!  Whew!  Ok, a lot of people hadn’t started training or the 2013 or 2014 date, but a lot of people were diligent in their training.  With a new date set, we were gearing up for the transition.  The Top U.S. health official, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated repeatedly “no more delays”, we’ve got to get ready…Remember that?

We were ready, again, we were set, again and then the SGR appeared out of nowhere and delayed us again!  Now SGR has passed with no mention of ICD-10 and no more delays seem possible, so now it’s time to ask yourself, since you trained in 2011, 2012, 2013 or even 2014, how much of the at ICD-10 training do you remember versus how much did you forget?  How much do we forget from one year to the next and do you have to do training again?  What’s the solution?

To start, let’s talk about how much people forget.  Research is inconsistent.  For example, in one study from the UK, we’re told “People forget 40% of what they learned in 20 minutes and 77% of what they learned in six days.”  In fact from this study, they suggest the first thing people do when they leave a training course is that they start forgetting what they have just learned.  Educators refer to this as the “Forgetting Curve.”   (  Another report from the University of Waterloo in Canada says that learners will forget 50-80% of what they’ve learned after one day and 97-98% after a month.  If all of these facts are true, which they can’t be because they contradict each other, then our basic elementary education is forgotten on the way home on the school bus.  Furthermore, if our goal is to produce long-term retention of the clinical concepts of ICD-10, repetitive learning should mean the learner will forget less and retain more on a daily basis.  What you do after your training is more important than what you do during training.  Further, the frequency of training seems to be a contributing factor to retention and forgetting.

dont_forgetWhen it comes to the clinical documentation training that you have completed, can you now afford to forget any of it? Here is what we know about the forgetting curve and retaining knowledge:

  1. Just as everyone has different learning styles, and retention abilities, studies that show people forgetting at some pre-defined rate don’t make sense. We researched the forgetting curve and have found data that is so contradictory, that it’s almost impossible to answer this with any accuracy.
  2. Learning interventions and consistent reinforcement can produce profound improvements in long-term remembering. We know that repetition is valuable in learning and in training because of the frequency we are exposed to the concepts.  Simply put, if we are constantly re-learning the material, it doesn’t give us time to forget.  Surely you don’t have time to constantly learn the documentation requirements for ICD-10 so let’s use an “app” for that!

There must be a ROI for the education, or an ROEI, Return on the Educational Investment.  The return is this, proper documentation and data collection, and yes, of course, mitigating the risk to the revenue cycle.

Want to see if you’ve forgotten your ICD-10 training?  Click here if you are a coder.  Click here if you are a physician.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *