Green Tree Healthcare is a healthcare management and consulting firm; as such, its main objective is to be able to provide its clients the highest possible level of service by integrating the medical and healthcare expertise and knowledge of the diverse medical and healthcare professionals that the company has access to. Some specific service segments that the company is directly involved in include but may not be limited to strategic consulting, operational management, financial controllership, information management and controllership, regulatory compliance, organizational development and leadership, mergers and acquisitions, and business development .
It can be noted that although the company operates in the healthcare industry, its core business operations are more in line with business management and integration. In firms that operate based on the same business model, access to a concrete, reliable, and a highly integrated source of information it is important because this factor can spell the difference between a financial year marked with over performance or underperformance. Naturally, as part of the data integration team working for Green Tree Healthcare, the former would be the preferred outcome.
The company, just like any other in the same industry, has one big dilemma and that is the complex and continually evolving nature of the industry where it operates. Because of this, there are certain processes and operations that the company gets required to redo after a certain period. This often happens whenever certain government and other regulatory agencies release new policies and policy updates. Whenever those things occur, Green Tree Healthcare, as a business, is legally obliged to comply and in doing so, there are often complicated processes involved.
The problem in this case has something to do with the integration of all data available in Green Tree Healthcare’s databases that are based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD), particularly ICD 9. According to the WHO, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) “is the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes” including the “analysis of the general health situation of population groups” with an ultimate goal of enabling organizations that use it to “monitor the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other healthcare problems” that are present or presenting as risks and threats so that policy makers can other concerned government organizations and departments can make the necessary steps to act on it .
The latest version of the ICD was ICD 10. Basically, Green Tree Healthcare is one of the organizations that have been required to update their data so that it now reflects the requirements and new features of the ICD 10. Some of the notable improvements of ICD 10 over ICD 9 include the use of 68,000 existing codes (versus only 13,000 in ICD 9); the expansion of the use of code identifiers from five to seven positions both using alphanumeric characters ; the modernization of the terminologies being used; and the integration of certain codes so that only few codes would be required whenever reporting about a certain condition .
All in all, the improvements of ICD 10 over ICD 9 are substantial and so it only makes sense to require organizations that access and process this information using this standard to be obliged to update their data. Green Tree Healthcare’s Data Integration Map will be divided into five elements or phases, namely that are shown in the diagram below.
What the diagram above represents is the data integration plan for Green Tree Healthcare. It is meant to be a vicious process starting from extraction, mapping, revision and validation, and data loading, and then back to extraction again, every time new policy updates get released.
Basically, in order to fully update and integrate all of Green Tree Healthcare’s data, they have to be extracted from the data sources first. Data mapping is all about determining how the extracted data will be revised and updated or how the process can be automated. The data revision and validation is where the execution (of the integration) and evaluation part is. The data loading part describes a process where all the processed data gets loaded into and integrated into the system. It is important to note that all the data integration processes discussed must be based on the guidelines (e.g. ICD 10 implementation toolkit and checklists, resources, and playbooks) the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) and CMS Implementation Planning principles.
AHIMA. (2015). Transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCS in the Classroom: Countdown to Implementation. AHIMA.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Resources. (2015). Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice's Route to ICD-10. CMS.
Green Tree Healthcare Partners LLC. (2015). Business Line of Services. Green Tree Healthcare Partners LLC.
World Health Organization. (2015). International Classification of Diseases. World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/.