How to Prepare: Creating an ICD-10 Communications and Awareness Plan

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One key to a successful ICD-10 transition is making sure that everyone impacted, both inside and outside of your practice, understands what needs to be done and when. But with so many different stakeholders, how can you make sure people have the right information without overwhelming them?

A good way to manage this is to create a communications and awareness plan as part of your ICD-10 implementation project. Creating the plan involves identifying and documenting:


  • Who needs to know about ICD-10
  • What they need to know
  • When they need to know this information
  • How to let them know
  • How to evaluate whether the communications were effective

Once this information is documented, you’re better able to see where gaps might exist. For example, it’s common to forget about people (or organizations) if you don’t engage with them regularly. But if these entities need ICD-10 information from you, or vice versa, you need to make sure they’re included in your communications and awareness plan.

You can learn more about how to create a communications and awareness plan in CMS’ ICD-10 Implementation Guideline for Small and Medium Practices. This document outlines the six phases of an ICD-10 implementation project and details the actions required for each. In addition to communications, these project phases include planning, assessment, implementation, testing and transition.

Begin planning your practice’s ICD-10 implementation project today by visiting the CMS website.

Article Resource: “ICD-10 Implementation Guideline for Small and Medium Practices” located on the CMS website.