5 Ways Medical Terminology is Used By Coding Professionals

man coding on desktop computer

If you are a medical coder, medical terminology plays an integral role in every code you enter. It is the language of medicine that all medical professionals must learn, and for a medical coder, it is vital to know. Avidity Medical Design Academy offers a course in medical terminology to help you grow in your medical coding career. In the meantime, here are five ways that medical terminology will make your job easier if you are thinking about pursuing a career in medical coding, or if you are already a medical coder, and you want to continue to learn new medical terms related to a particular medical specialty, to improve the accuracy of your coding.

Reading the Medical Record Will Become More Natural

If you’re new the medical field, terms like “hepatomegaly,” “myalgia,” and “stenosis” will probably leave you scratching your head. As a medical coder, these terms should become more familiar to you, especially if you work in a doctor’s office, clinic, hospital, or ambulatory surgery center. If you code for a particular medical specialty, such as dermatology (the study of the skin) for example, you will see certain terms over and over again that pertain to dermatology, and it will become easier for you to recognize them. But other words you will not see very often and you might have to look them up. By learning medical terminology, you spend less time looking up words and more time entering codes.

Medical Terminology Helps You Find the Right Codes

Accurate coding is critical. An incorrect code becomes a permanent part of the patient’s record, it can affect patient care, and delay physician reimbursement because the patient’s claim may be rejected due to an incorrect code. It also means that you or someone else will have to go back in and correct the mistake. Coding can be challenging, especially for someone new to the field. Knowing medical terminology goes a long way towards cutting through the confusion. 

You’ll Be Able to Speak Intelligently to Other Medical Professionals

You are probably going to have to question or query doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and many other healthcare professionals in relation to a code assignment. They are most likely going to be pushed for time, so they may not have time to give you detailed answers to your coding questions. If you are familiar with the medical terminology they are using, you will be able to know exactly what they are saying and will be able to ask intelligent questions. It also helps when you get an email from your supervisor, or the medical biller, or the medical claims examiner, asking why you assigned a particular code. 

Learning Anatomy Will Be Easier

Knowing anatomy is crucial to being a successful medical coder, and in order to understand the terms used to describe the human anatomy, you must understand prefixes, root words, and suffixes, and how they combine to form the complete medical term. There is a reason why many medical terminology classes and anatomy classes are taught together.  If you know that ‘my’ means muscle and ‘-algia’ means pain, then you understand that myalgia means muscle pain. 

You’ll Be More Efficient

No one likes to think that they are not efficient at doing their job. It’s also hard when you get negative feedback. By learning medical terminology, you will be faster and more efficient at your job. The more medical terms you know, the more time you can spend finding and entering codes rather than researching unfamiliar medical terms. Your employers will be impressed, and you’ll have greater confidence in what you can bring to the table as a medical coder.

Learning medical terminology can be intimidating, as there are many terms to master, but it is a part of the job that you will do everyday. It will save you headaches, and improve your ability to accurately code each patient’s medical record. Check out “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!” offered Avidity Medical Design Academy, for more information on how to learn medical terminology.

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