Who Says ICD-10 “War Rooms” Can’t Be Fun?

By most accounts, the switch to ICD-10 on October 1st has been a non-event. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a release on October 29th that compared claims data from October 2015 to a historical baseline. Other than a slight increase in rejected claims 10.1% versus a historical norm of 10%, everything else was virtually the same.

Payers and healthcare media have similar stories.

In preparation for ICD-10 many organizations put together “war rooms” where experts from IT, coding/billing, clinical documentation, administration and clinical operations sat at-the-ready should issues arise. With the lack of issues, I can only imagine that these experts must be pretty bored.

So for all you ICD10 war room denizens this blog’s for you. Here are 10 things you can do to while you wait for your ICD-10 hotline phone to ring:

10. Name that horror movie with ICD-10 codes. Play a rousing game of name-that-movie using nothing but ICD-10 codes. Example: W29.3XXD (Contact with a chainsaw) = Texas Chainsaw Massacre. S11.83XA (Puncture wound without foreign body of other specified part of neck) = Dracula.

9. ICD-10 Pictionary. Divide into two teams and use the war room whiteboard to draw ICD-10 injuries. Answers must be in proper ICD-10 format and must not be rejected by CMS.

8. Office Chair Race. A classic time-waster. Two teams face off in a race around the board-room table. One person sits in the office chair and hangs on for dear life as their teammate pushes them around. Bonus if you cause a W07.XXXA (fall from a chair)

7. Post-it Piñata’s. Take all those multi-colored squares that you had at the ready and put them together to create your favorite icon or animal shape. Then take turns spinning around in an office chair and see who can destroy it fastest using just a pen (warning do not use a hockey stick unless you want a W21.210A).Post It Pinata

6. Play Hot Potato using Blab. Get 4 fellow war-room denizens to log onto Blab. Give each person an identical item – like a whiteboard marker, post it pad (if you still have any left after playing Post-it Piñata). Once on Blab, pretend to pass the item from one person to the next. Anyone who fails to make it SEEM like they are passing the item to their Blab neighbor gets eliminated. Last person standing wins. For pro players add music and use musical chair rules.

5. Thumb Tack Art. Take those boxes of thumb tacks that always seem to be lying around and get creative. Add some bling to an old pair of shoes or indulge your inner (Jackson Pollock) to create a thumb tack abstract masterpiece. Bonus: your artwork will be a constant reminder of October 2015.Thumb tack shoe bling

4. Post-it Wall Art. Those white walls in your war room are practically screaming for some color. Use those post-it notes to create your favorite cartoon or video game character. You non-war room office mates will be jealous.
Post It Note Art - Mario

3. ICD-10 fiction game. Write 20 random ICD-10 codes on index cards. Shuffle the cards face-down and each person pulls out three cards at random. Then take turns a creating a fictional story based on the codes on the cards in front of you. Best story wins.

2. ICD-10 Twitter race. On the count of three, everyone in the war room must tweet out a request for ICD-10 help. Fastest response = winner. First non-consultant response = real winner.

1. Write that guest blog post that’s been on your to-do list for 3 weeks. Oh wait this one is just for me. 

About the author

Colin Hung

Colin Hung

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.