What started out as some friends amusing themselves by looking up odd ICD-10 codes has led to to a book, Struck by Orca, with art that literally imitates life in healthcare information technology.
Outliers: Exploring the whimsical side of ICD-10
The book, with 32 color and black-and-white images illustrating some of the quirkiest of the new codes, is in the hands of the printer, said Niko Skievaski, its 26-year-old Madison, Wis.-based entrepreneur-publisher.
The title of the book, he said, came from one of the weirder new codes, W56.22xA, “struck by orca, initial encounter.”
“When I was telling people about the concept, I used it as my example,” said Skievaski, the co-founder of a health IT company and co-founder and director of a couple of business incubators in the state capital. “There were a lot of ridiculous codes out there like 'struck by orca' or 'bit by duck,' so it stuck.”
Other illustrations include Z89.419 (acquired absence of unspecified great toe) and V91.07xD (burn due to water-skis on fire, subsequent encounter).
The book idea was hatched during a concert this summer on the Capitol Square. “We were sitting around there with all the people in our business incubator. Everyone was looking up on their phones the funny ICD-10 codes. One of my friends said we should put together a children's book” with illustrations of each code.
But nothing happened until a few months later, Skievaski said, when he mentioned the concept to an artist friend, who volunteered to contribute a drawing. Skievaski put up a website, icd10illustrated.com, that same day, and began seeking other artists.
The day after launching the website, the first piece of artwork came back, and so did the first purchase order for the book. “Since then, art has been coming in from the artists (it gets posted to the website) and that's increased the sales,” he said.
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