Frequently Asked Questions

About Intelligent Medical Objects

Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO) is a clinical terminology and insights company. IMO offers a portfolio of clinically vetted products, including interface terminologies, value sets, and normalization solutions. These applications help align provider organizations’ missions, EHR platforms’ inherent power, and the evolving vision of the healthcare industry by ensuring accurate care documentation and administrative coding across the sector.

Over 4,500 hospitals, 500,000 physicians, and 70% of acute care facilities in the US use IMO, along with international clients in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

Intelligent Medical Objects offers a portfolio of products including clinical terminologies, value sets, and normalization engines that are vetted and maintained by professional terminologists, including licensed clinicians and coding experts. Check out our solutions page to learn more.

IMO’s solutions are tailored to specific vendor and institutional needs. To learn if your organization uses IMO, please contact our customer support team, who will be happy to assist.

IMO customer support or your IMO client executive can help supply this information.

Our customer support team would be happy to help connect you with the appropriate IMO contact for your region.

Either login or register for an account. New users can request an account and will have their own login for the support portal once IMO grants access.  

Clinicians who cannot find a preferred term in IMO’s terminology can create a case and submit a new term request within IMO’s support portal. Each request for a new term or to change a term’s mapping is reviewed by the appropriate clinical and coding experts at IMO. While the timeframe to deliver updated terms stemming from user requests varies based on the complexity of the topic, requests are typically available in the next IMO release for the relevant product.

When a standardized medical coding term is changed or replaced, IMO’s precise problem terminology is updated to reflect the new information. These content changes and replacements are documented by IMO and housed in the release comparison tool within the support portal. If IMO recommends an alternate term to use, this will also be listed in the release comparison tool.

Our solutions page provides the latest details about IMO’s products. For more specific questions, reach out to IMO customer support or create a case in IMO’s support portal.

IMO’s release comparison tool describes and lists any changes included in an IMO content update. This includes additions, inactivations, and remapped terms. Find the release comparison tool in the affiliate support portal.

Working at IMO

You know when you see your doctor, and throughout the appointment she enters information into the computer? Chances are, IMO is hard at work behind the scenes.

Used in approximately 80% of electronic health records (EHRs) in the US, IMO enhances EHR workflows, leveraging a vast, clinically vetted library of terms, that allows clinicians to accurately detail patient problems – in their own words – while keeping that information organized.  

Beyond point of care documentation, IMO helps to standardize information from a variety of sources to improve data quality and integrity. This, in turn, enables more accurate billing/reimbursement, meaningful healthcare data analytics, precise cohorting for things like clinical trials, and a wide range of population health initiatives.  

No. While IMO still approaches health IT innovation with the tenacity of a start-up, we have spent over 25 years building solutions that ensure the integrity of patient data from the point of care to a range of uses across the healthcare ecosystem.

Continual learning and the fostering of curiosity are essential to our culture. All IMO employees have access to LinkedIn Learning where they can engage with content spanning a range of topics, from unconscious bias training to project management to Python. We also provide our employees with access to mentor/mentee programs, personal learning paths, and other resources.

Our teams are composed of dynamic professionals who thrive in an environment that is agile, authentic, and diverse. As a successful, growing healthcare IT company, we often make decisions quickly, but always ensure our teams have the flexibility and support to keep up with the pace. Our people value having the freedom and opportunity to make a meaningful impact on healthcare. As a result, we take real pride in our work – celebrating our wins together and supporting each other’s efforts along the way.

At IMO, we empower our employees to work at the top of their license. Here, you’ll touch multiple projects and connect with different departments across the business to create impact while making an actual difference in healthcare. Innovation and collaboration are two critical pillars of IMO’s identity. Our team-oriented culture and “we’re all in this together” mentality make it fun and gratifying to problem solve alongside your colleagues. 

IMO understands the need for flexible work environments. Our hybrid workplace model means different things for different individuals and departments, so while some may be in the office five days a week, others may come in two times, or not at all. We believe that work should work for our people. When you speak to an IMO recruiter, don’t be shy: ask what a hybrid workplace model could look like for your role.

Interoperability in Healthcare

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), “interoperability is the ability of different information systems, devices, and applications (‘systems’) to access, exchange, integrate, and cooperatively use data in a coordinated manner, within and across organizational, regional, and national boundaries to provide timely and seamless portability of information and optimize the health of individuals and populations globally.”

Interoperability is beneficial because it allows a patient’s health data to be accessed by every clinician involved in that patient’s care. Greater interoperability also has positive implications for system and population-level health initiatives, which ultimately can impact patient care. Challenges facing wide-scale interoperability include the time and resources required to develop and implement the necessary technologies. In addition, there are issues of privacy and a lack of incentives for health IT companies and health systems to actually share vital data.

Interoperability can look like this: after visiting a doctor while on vacation out of state, your care team at home can easily access information about the diagnoses, procedures, and services provided, despite the fact that they are from completely different health systems that use different software.

Interoperability is challenging because it requires every medical provider, be it a large health system or an individual doctor’s office, to have the resources and motivation to purchase and implement the necessary data sharing technology. There is also reliance on EHR/EMR vendors to embrace interoperability between their proprietary systems. The importance of interoperability varies widely from company to company, and is the focus of the 21st Century Cures Act.

EHR Software

An electronic health record (EHR) system is a type of software that allows for the digitization of patient medical records. It is also referred to as an electronic medical record (EMR).

IMO integrates easily into hundreds of EHRs, including Allscripts, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Epic, MEDITECH, and NextGen, among others. Reach out to learn more about your specific platform.

Electronic health records allow clinicians to record a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, laboratory results, immunization dates, allergies, radiologic images, and test results – along with any other relevant clinical information – in a centralized, computerized software. This information is then stored so that it can be accessed by other clinicians during subsequent encounters. Each vendor offers slightly different display and functionality options.

There are several free and easy ways for EHRs to improve clinical workflows, ranging from automating reminders to personalizing documentation templates. Check out more of them here.

Clinical Interface Terminology

Clinical interface terminology (CIT) is a clinician friendly terminology that allows for the capture of clinical intent within electronic health information systems while linking to standard medical code sets such as SNOMED CT, ICD-10-CM, LOINC, and CPT to support downstream use cases such as research, reporting, analytics and reimbursement.

We ensure that first and foremost, the patient’s story is not lost when being documented in the medical record. All relevant concepts, at the right level of specificity, are managed and maintained. Our team of professional terminologists ensure that these clinical terms are all mapped to the appropriate reference and administrative code sets and are updated behind the scenes whenever those codes change.

Medical Coding Terms

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes.

LOINC codes are the universal standard for identifying medical laboratory observations.

LOINC is used as a universal standard coding system for laboratory test results and observations.

LOINC codes are made up of the following attributes: [component/analyte]:[kind of property]:[time aspect]:[system type]:[scale]:[method]. For more details about each part click here.

LOINC is updated twice a year, in June and September.

The Regenstrief Institute owns and develops LOINC codes.

SNOMED CT stands for Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms.

A SNOMED code is one that is part of the SNOMED CT multilingual healthcare terminology. Each code represents a unique, often highly specific, medical concept. SNOMED CT codes are often used in medical research.

SNOMED CT is a detailed coding system often used for research needs.

SMOMED provides international standardization when documenting health information. This universal language enables healthcare organizations to easily share data internally and externally. SNOMED codes also help with many population health and research initiatives because they are related to one another and can be used to infer meaning for functionality like cohort definitions.

SNOMED CT is updated biannually each March and September.

SNOMED International is the non-profit standards development organization that creates and distributes SNOMED CT, and it is operated by the International Health Standards Development Organization.

CPT is managed by the American Medical Association and stands for Current Procedural Terminology.

CPT codes are used to document medical procedures in a patient’s electronic health record (EHR). These codes help ensure that the information a provider puts in a medical record can ultimately be used for downstream tasks like population health management and quality assessments.

There are 10,471 CPT codes in the 2020 release. This number changes on January 1st of every year when the latest release goes into effect. The 2020 release included 248 new codes, 71 deletions, and 75 revisions.

CPT, or Current Procedural Terminology, codes are made up of 6 different sections: Evaluation and Management, Anesthesia, Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Laboratory, and Medicine. These are grouped numerically. For example, surgery codes are 10021 through 69990.

CPT is updated annually, with new codes activated on January 1 each year.

The American Medical Association (AMA) develops and maintains CPT codes.

ICD-10-CM codes are used to document a patient’s clinical diagnoses in their electronic health record (EHR). These codes help ensure that the information a provider puts in a medical record can ultimately be used for tasks like generating billing claims and monitoring patient quality outcomes.

The ICD-10-CM is updated annually, with new codes becoming active every October 1. There is an emergency release date, April 1, when codes that are needed urgently can be added to the manual in advance of the October date.

The World Health Organization (WHO) develops the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems, 10th Revision. In the United States, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), creates a country-specific modification of the international guide, known as the ICD-10-CM.

ICD-10 refers to the international manual maintained by the WHO, whereas ICD-10-CM is the version of the manual modified for use in the United States.

ICD-10-CM codes are used to document medical diagnoses, like appendicitis, whereas CPT codes denote medical procedures, such as appendectomy.

Value Based Care and Population Health

Population health management refers to the process of collecting and analyzing information about a particular group of patients who share certain attributes. Once this information is analyzed, the results are used to improve coordinated care, patient engagement and outcomes.

A healthcare system identifying all of their patients with unmanaged Type 2 diabetes and creating data driven treatment plans to try to improve the health of that patient cohort.

A population health registry is simply a list of all the patient who have a certain shared characteristic, such as all of the patients in a health system who have diabetes.

Value-based healthcare refers to a payment model that determines how much a provider will be reimbursed for care based on overall patient outcomes, not just on the services or procedures performed.