As adults, we learn theories in many different ways; however, until we apply those theories or glean “What’s in it for me?” it’s difficult to truly learn much.

The opportunity to take knowledge and apply it in practice is a great one, especially when we are talking about ICD-10. I have been knee-deep in ICD-10 during the past year. I have received vast amounts of information about ICD-10 that I heard and thought I learned; however, until I underwent the experience of coding records in ICD-10, it was all simply theory. I think hands-on experience is the most valuable lesson we can learn this year as the implementation of ICD-10 looms before us.

Many of us within the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) and coding arena have been proactive and deeply engaged in ICD-10 education during the past year. We have received and delivered awareness training as well as read articles and attended workshops or seminars. Others are just beginning to attend ICD-10 boot camps this year. These are great transitions into the next phase of ICD-10 education efforts, which should focus on application and practice. It is here where the rubber meets the road and people learn the most.

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