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Clinical coding and indexing is the process by which medical procedure and diagnoses are represented and displayed by universal code number. It is a system that plays a key role in modern healthcare and also allow statistical analyses of diseases and treatment, diagnoses related group, reimbursement, easier observance and tracking of epidemic and production events. The study therefore aimed at examining coding and indexing as indispensable tool in healthcare, teaching and research; a case study of OAUTHC Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The target population was 152 health records officer in OAUTHC, Ile-Ife. A cross-sectional research method was adopted. Data was collected using questionnaire as the instrument for the study. A systematic random sampling technique was employed in selecting 80 participants, 80 questionnaires were distributed and 70 were retrieved. This formed a response rate of 87.5%. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20 was used for the analysis in order to avoid errors due to manual calculations. Findings reveals that more than 90% of the respondents agreed that coding and indexing is an indispensable tool to health care, teaching and research as it provides standard and quality healthcare services to the patients, policy creation, clinical audit and finance. The study also revealed that coding patching is highly susceptible to human error with clinician-based errors ranging from incorrectly defining a clinical entity to underreporting co-morbidities.
It is therefore recommended that clinicians and HROs must work collaboratively to improve the quality of healthcare data flow with frequent review of clinical documentation and coding report to ensure accurate and reliable healthcare data for resource allocation, health planning which enhance patient treatment, teaching and research.