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Original Article

A Three-Phase Decision Model of Computer-Aided Coding for the Iranian Classification of Health Interventions (IRCHI)

Zahra Azadmanjir; Reza Safdari; Marjan Ghazisaeedi; Mehrshad Mokhtaran; Mohammad Esmail Kameli.

Introduction: Accurate coded data in the healthcare are critical. Computer-Assisted Coding (CAC) is an effective tool to improve clinical coding in particular when a new classification will be developed and implemented. But determine the appropriate method for development need to consider the specifications of existing CAC systems, requirements for each type, our infrastructure and also, the classification scheme. Aim: The aim of the study was the development of a decision model for determining accurate code of each medical intervention in Iranian Classification of Health Interventions (IRCHI) that can be implemented as a suitable CAC system. Methods: first, a sample of existing CAC systems was reviewed. Then feasibility of each one of CAC types was examined with regard to their prerequisites for their implementation. The next step, proper model was proposed according to the structure of the classification scheme and was implemented as an interactive system. Results: There is a significant relationship between the level of assistance of a CAC system and integration of it with electronic medical documents. Implementation of fully automated CAC systems is impossible due to immature development of electronic medical record and problems in using language for medical documenting. So, a model was proposed to develop semi-automated CAC system based on hierarchical relationships between entities in the classification scheme and also the logic of decision making to specify the characters of code step by step through a web-based interactive user interface for CAC. It was composed of three phases to select Target, Action and Means respectively for an intervention. Conclusion: The proposed model was suitable the current status of clinical documentation and coding in Iran and also, the structure of new classification scheme. Our results show it was practical. However, the model needs to be evaluated in the next stage of the research.

Key words: Clinical Coding;Computer-Assisted Coding;Health;Information Technology

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