What is ICD-10 and how will it Impact you?

February 28th, 2014

For those in the medical field, ICD-10 is something that has been part of your vocabulary for a while and most health care professionals wonder how the newest procedures, set to be adopted in October 2014, will affect them. If you are wondering about the impact, you are not alone. Since 1983, this medical classification list has provided the ability for those in the industry to track new diagnosis and classify medical issues. It has streamlined the diagnosis process and helped prevent confusion in the international health care field.  This continues to be a driving force in better care throughout all healthcare facilities in the country and within the world. Changes bring the need to learn what is different and to also know how your practice will be affected.

Forward Progress
ICD-10 is the biggest change in standard healthcare coding system in decades and the transition from ICD-9 to 10 will impact every aspect of the healthcare coding system that uses a diagnosis code. There are no exceptions for a grace period and when it switches, it’s done. Over 25 countries are already poised to accept the classifications and this will create a streamlined medical system for every country involved. It will help with the following aspects of medical care:

  • Payments and insurance issues: When the diagnosis, procedures, and classifications are the same, they can be processed faster and more efficiently.
  • Reduce errors. With a simple classification system, everyone will be on the same page instead of trying to read and interpret what others have written down and passed on.
  • Increase precision.  Each diagnosis can be more exact and clear for others to understand.

An example of the forward progress being made is along the lines of how ICD-9 is not “left or right” specific so instead of a code stating, “broken wrist”, the new code will say “left broken wrist.” It is easy to see how this will help the medical community in the future.

How to Prepare
Because the new codes will be more specific, it will take some time for you and your staff to remember and learn what should be included. In the past, you may have classified something differently or just used a generic term but now you will be required to use the right code. It may take time to sort through the options but in the end it will save time due to the lack of errors avoided with the correct coding. The learning curve will be the biggest hurdle of ICD-10 for the majority of facilities and team members but with proper training, it can be minimized.

Pinnacle is poised to work with clients to properly implement ICD-10 and with the latest staff innovations, each team member can have the necessary knowledge to perform at your facility. Have additional questions? Contact us today!

Reasons to Stay in Contact with Your Medical Recruiter (After You Have Been Placed)

February 21st, 2014

The job is yours and a sense of relief washes over you. Now it’s time to start the next chapter of your life, working in a career you love and in a company where you can grow. After sending a quick ‘thank-you’ email to the medical recruiter who placed you, you embark on this exciting journey and time spent on resumes, interview prep, and your recruiter’s phone number become a thing of the past. Before you forget about that recruiter and stop updating your resume, you may want to reconsider at least staying in contact with the person who got you the job. Even though you are happy with the new job, it is never a smart idea, in any economy, to be closed to new opportunities or neglect networking with those in your field.

Increase your Circle
Your personal network is one of the most valuable assets you have in your life. Some are there for you in personal ways while others support you professionally but regardless of their role, they are your circle, your connections. These are the first people you turn to when you need help or to share good news and your medical recruiter should become part of your professional circle. While it’s not necessary to talk on a daily basis, regularly checking-in with them will prove to be beneficial for several reasons:

  1. They are your advocate. This is one person in your professional life that wants to help you and will do what they can for you to achieve success.  They have proven their abilities to you by placing you in the position you currently have so it is safe to assume they have your best interest in mind for future placement.
  2. Increase your personal network. It’s important to keep in mind that as you grow in your career, you’ll meet new people and they may come back into your life again at some point so you should treat everyone well. If you have connections at other medical facility it doesn’t mean you are switching jobs but you can learn from their situations and practices to improve yours. There may be a time in the future when you need to change jobs and having the people in place to help ahead of time can be a time and stress reliever.
  3. You can give back. It feels good to assist someone else and your medical recruiter is no exception. They got you in a great job so why not send friends and family to them when they need to be placed? If you stay in contact with the medical recruiter, you’ll see their available jobs and can send business their way.

Throughout your job search, your recruiter probably became your friend and someone who provided objective advice to you on a regular basis. They are someone you want to keep in your life for the long haul not only as someone you may need but as someone you appreciate for the work they did for you.

Looking for employment in San Antonio? Pinnacle Workforce provides an array of staffing services to clients across the nation, in 37 states. Contact our team of experts today for more information!

What are the Most Useful Smart Phone Apps for Nurses?

February 14th, 2014

Nurses are the backbone of any medical facility, and without their knowledge, skills, and care, the physicians wouldn’t be able to achieve the results they do with their patients. The nurses may not receive the same amount of formal training as the doctors but they are still expected to have the same amount knowledge when patients need information. A nurse is the first person to assist a patient with their problems or recovery yet who gives the nurse help? Over the past several years, nurses can be seen running the halls with their hands full of supplies and their smartphones. There has been an increase in the amount of apps designed specifically to help these healthcare heroes and these apps have been able improve the productivity levels of these already amazing people.

Latest and Greatest Apps for Nurses
In 2012, Apple compiled a list of the top apps that are working to help nurses with their daily workloads and with at least 11 that made the list, it makes sense as to why nurses are rarely without their smart phones most days. With apps designed to help with organizational skills to other apps that will allow staff members to communicate using the hospital user directory and VoIP system, a nurse now has several options for help any time of the day or night. Here are some of the most useful smart phone apps available for nurses:

  1. Voalte One by Voalte: This is an app designed to make communication around the hospital easier. The name of the company is derived from the elements of the app itself, voice, alarms, texts (vo-al-te).  It enables calls across the hospital and texting based on the user directory as well as alarms that can be customized for the needs of each nurse.
  2. Nursing Central by Unbound Medicine: A unique app that puts information in the hands of nurses in seconds of a question. With a database of over 5,000 drugs and over 65,000 definitions, nurses will be able to interpret hundreds of lab and diagnostic tests on their own in a matter of minutes. Complete with pictures and a user-friendly interface, this is a must-have for nurses of any age and experience level.
  3. Patient Touch by PatientSafe Solutions:  This app touts its ability to organize each patient the nurse has from their meds to care required, and even their necessary labs. It will alert the appropriate resources of what is going on with the patient and keep things moving in a forward direction for excellent care to be given. It is said to improve the safety, quality, and efficiency with which a nurse can work and in turn will decrease unnecessary costs and human error.

The high demand and stress placed on nurses can result in mistakes, which are unintentional but can still create problems. The smart phone apps currently available are designed to be the added help a nurse can use to their benefit on a daily basis.

Have additional questions? Pinnacle Workforce provides an array of healthcare staffing services to clients across the nation, in 37 states. Looking for employment? Contact us today!

How will the Affordable Care Act Impact the Use of Temporary Employees?

February 7th, 2014

In January 2014, the Affordable Care Act was implemented and it has caused quite a stir within companies of all sizes. The biggest impact was felt within the smaller ones with employee counts around 50+. The legislature mandates that every company with more than 50 employees working full-time will need to offer health insurance or pay a penalty. This means those staff members working more than 30 hours a week will need to be covered with insurance or have their hours reduced to avoid penalties and fees. Due to the idea that most staffing agencies place temporary employees, companies have started to capitalize on the idea of maximizing this type of employment option to save money and avoid the hassle of providing benefits to their full-time team members.

Benefits of the ACA to Temp Employees
The negative impact of the ACA can be felt throughout companies for many of the full-time employees who may have their hours cut-back or they may even be without a job before too long. Uncertainty has become the hurdle these companies have to overcome as the future of their companies is unknown; how will they grow without being forced to increase their healthcare budgets or pay the fines? This is where the use of temporary employees comes into play as these employees can become vital team members and maintain the business momentum without the hassles.

Temp Employees are not Under-Qualified Employees
Most temporary employees understand they are not going to receive benefits such as healthcare, stock options, or even a guaranteed number of weekly hours and they are okay with that fact. Maybe all they need is up to 30 hours a week and they have their own personal health insurance so they make the perfect candidate for any company struggling with the new ACA legislature. In the long-term, each company will benefit from having a dedicated temporary team member, even as a temporary employee. The common misconception of hiring a new team member from a staffing agency is that they may not be as qualified or devoted as someone who is full-time but that is not usually the case. Many of these employees are highly qualified but struggling to find work after a personal move, a company lay-off, or even after a career change but would be an asset to any company.

Increased Hirings
The ACA has increased the hiring of employees from staffing agencies as the company can fill the vacancy without changing their healthcare budgets or being forced to pay penalties. In turn, many of these temporary employees will work the maximum hour allotment and that will allow them to contribute positively to their local economy. The ideal situation for most team members would be a steady 40+ hour work week complete with benefits but with the passing of the ACA, the employment world has changed. Smart staffing and contingent work force companies will capitalize on this and provide highly qualified employees to their clients.

Looking for work in  San Antonio? Pinnacle Workforce provides workforce solutions to healthcare organizations across San Antonio and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions on how our team can positively impact yours, contact us today!

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