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Cessily Johnson

Cessily Johnson joined Health Catalyst in January 2013 as Director of Terminology Services. She started working in healthcare during college and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Utah. She then worked in the Lab for Intermountain Healthcare while earning an MBA with an emphasis in IT. During her MBA program she moved to the Intermountain IT department working in Clinical Modeling and Terminology, becoming the team lead and then the manager of that department. She then moved on to work for Lantana Consulting Group doing terminology consulting for vendors and healthcare provider organizations before joining Health Catalyst. The focus of her career has been application of Standard Terminology in Healthcare Information Systems.

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Cessily Johnson
Michael Buck

Patient Registries Turn Knowledge into Outcomes Improvements

In today’s data-rich healthcare environment, patient registries put knowledge in front of the people who will use it to improve outcomes and population health. Non-IT professionals (e.g., clinicians and researchers) often don’t have direct, timely access to operational and clinical data. As a result, organizations miss out on important improvement opportunities and data-driven point-of-care decisions. Knowledge too often remains siloed in the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) or among specialized groups.
Patient registries remove these barriers. It allows clinicians and researchers to make informed choices and frees up data analysts to focus on their priority areas.

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Cessily Johnson

What Is Healthcare Terminology?

I’ve been working in healthcare, in one capacity or another, my entire career. I put myself through college working as a hospital unit coordinator, a women’s clinic assistant, and a medical biller. For the last 10 years, I’ve been in the healthcare IT side of the business. I have taken part in development, implementation, and maintenance projects, always trying to make sure that healthcare terminology standards were used effectively. When I tell people what I do, there is always some level of confusion. What do you mean by healthcare terminology? Do you maintain the medical dictionary? Well, not exactly, but sort of. Terminology is an overloaded term used to describe a lot in the healthcare industry. The truth is that terminology means different things to different people. It depends on what type of organization you work for, your role, and what you are trying to accomplish.

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Cessily Johnson

5 Ways to Use the ICD-10 Delay to Create a Competitive Advantage for Your Health System

In April 2014, Congress gave the entire healthcare industry in the U.S. a reprieve — a one-year ICD-10 delay before providers will be required to document care using ICD-10 codes. The new deadline is October 1, 2015. The question now is, what will health systems do with an extra year to make the transition to using ICD-10 codes? My recommendation is to proceed as though the ICD-10 deadline will still happen this year for five reasons: (1) Coders need time to learn how to code. (2) Dual coding early rewriting of reports and the discovery problems. (3) ICD-10 codes can be used to improve analytics and provide a 2014-2015 comparison of data. (4) Health systems will be able to more accurately project the financial impact of the transition. (5) Payers are learning too, opening up new opportunities for improved relationships with providers.

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Cessily Johnson

How to Consolidate Healthcare Terminology for Better Quality and CMS Reporting

There are many different healthcare terminology standards. Quality reports try to take advantage of these terminology standards, but there is not a single, widely accepted standard to use. Clinical codes are needed for CMS reports, but ACOs commonly use claims data instead. There are many solutions to the multi-terminology problem, including mapping or paying a vendor to reconcile the standards. These solutions are not flexible or adaptable enough and rarely succeed. A healthcare data warehouse creates a single solution that allows for all terminology standards to exist in one place to be pulled out for reporting purposes when needed.

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Cessily Johnson

How the Change to ICD-10 Codes Will Improve Healthcare Analytics

ICD-10 will increase the number of diagnosis codes from 13,000 (in ICD-9) to roughly 68,000. Only 24% of these codes will map one-to-one. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is mandated for October 2014, which is soon considering all the change happening in healthcare right now. However disruptive the change to ICD-10 may seem, the new codes will increase specificity, allowing faster billing and better healthcare analytics. Embracing the switch now will allow organizations to realize the benefits sooner.

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Cessily Johnson

A Guide to Knowing Which Healthcare Terminology Standard to Use

“SNOMED, HL7, ICD-9 , ICD-10, CPT codes: With so many healthcare terminology standards available, which one should you be using? Well, it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Different healthcare terminology standards were developed to fulfill distinct purposes. Each one generally does a good job meeting its purpose. Match your purpose to your standard, and you probably have a winner. There are billing, clinical, laboratory, and pharmacy terminologies. Health Catalyst’s expert shows you the trick to picking the one that’s right.

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