I work for a small non-profit clinic inside a large social service agency, in an urban area. I've only been an RN for a year. This clinic receives federal and county funding as well as grant money.
When I was trained to do documentation, I was instructed to use a "cheat sheet" that was made in-house that contained ICD-9 and V-code that weer supposed to match up with the things we commonly do. I played along until I was recently sent to a coding course specific to my job, and discovered some disturbing news. Keep in mind I've only been a nurse for a year and never even heard of ICD-9 or coding until I started here.
At the coding training I attended, I was shocked to discover that all the other nurses there had a coder or coding department in their clinics. They, in turn, were shocked to find out that I was being expected to do my own coding without ever having been trained for it. I showed the instructor my "cheat sheet" and they said most of the codes were dead wrong and/or outdated and inappropriate. Incorrect coding is a threat to both patient safety and liability of our practice and licensure. It also greatly affects our data, which determines our funding.
I came back from the training with lots of ideas and eager to share what I'd learned. Since then, everything I've said has fallen on seemingly deaf ears. No one seems to want to listen to me or deal with this. If they are donig anything about it, it's happening behind closed doors and I have not been invited to give my input. At one point, an administrator even "fixed" the "cheat sheet" and it was STILL totally wrong.
I've since picked up an Easy Coder book. If I'm being forced to perform a job I've never been trained for that puts my license on the line, I'm going to at least make an attempt to do it right.
Does this sound nuts to any of you?