When I started as an inpatient coder last fall, I got the Professional Guide to Diseases (PGD) to refresh myself on disease process and learn more about diagnostic tests and complications of diseases. A couple of years earlier, in my coding certificate program, I took a course on diseases, and I learned basic signs and symptoms as well as common treatments for a variety of diseases. However, when I began working as an inpatient coder, I realized that I needed more detailed information on disease diagnosis and treatment, and I needed to learn about complications and diagnostic testing. From the reviews of the book and the pages posted on Amazon, I decided that the PGD would fit my needs.
This book was an excellent refresher on signs, symptoms, and treatments. The textbook I had used in my disease course was written for allied health students, and it was a great teaching tool for medical coding students who had no clinical background. The information in the PGD on signs, symptoms, and treatments was exactly what I needed to freshen what I had learned in my course two years before. In addition, I wanted more in-depth descriptions of treatments than my disease textbook provided. In the PGD, both first- and second-line therapies for each disease are described, and this was the type of information I needed in my inpatient coding position.
Almost immediately after beginning the inpatient coding position, I also determined that I needed to learn about disease complications and diagnostic testing to be able to detect holes in physician documentation and formulate physician queries. The PGD's bulleted lists of complications fit perfectly into the study guide I was creating to learn major complications and co-morbidities. The sections on diagnostic testing, however, did not consistently detail the diagnostic values for each of the diseases I was studying, and I had to supplement my learning with information from sites such as [...]. In particular, I wanted to learn values that I could reference as I reviewed inpatient charts. From what I could determine on Amazon, the "Handbook of Lab and Diagnostic Tests" would probably have been a good reference to fill this void. However, I changed positions, and I did not need to continue studying diseases.
The information in the PGD that turned out to be most useful on a daily basis was the quick-reference of signs, symptoms, and treatments of life-threatening disorders that was printed on the inside covers of the book and the graphics and tables throughout the chapters. In addition, the concise tables and elegant graphical depictions throughout the chapters provided additional quick-reference as needed at my job.
After starting a position as an inpatient coder, I realized that I needed to refresh myself on disease process and learn more about diagnostic tests and complications of diseases. From the reviews of the PGD and the pages posted on Amazon, I decided that the PGD would fit my needs. The PGD has excellent descriptions of signs, symptoms, and treatments as well as disease complications. Values of diagnostic tests are not consistently clear from disease-to-disease, and anyone wanting to learn about diagnostic tests for diseases will need to search for that information on the web or find an additional book.