Even after years of EMR improvements, much of what we hear and read regarding problems in healthcare revolve around the lack of data. Great strides have been made to put discrete information in the EMR and in the hands of physicians but there are still big gaps to overcome. Bridging these gaps will positively impact clinical decision making and patient satisfaction.
In a recent RAND study, physicians noted insufficient health information exchange, or in my words, the data gap, as one of their top complaints.
What is a data/document gap?
That’s when information exists but it can’t be delivered to the decision maker in a cost or time effective way.
What is the result of a data/document gap?
Slow decision making and heightened patient anxiety as patient’s wait for a diagnosis or a treatment plan.
How do you solve the data/document gap?
One example of a gap that Extract has eliminated is the gap caused by outside laboratory result documents that come into the organization as faxes. Extract has dramatically automated the capture and delivery of this information to the EMR so that patients and physicians receive the information quickly. You’ll find case studies and video testimonies describing these improvements here.
Lab results are but one type of document.
What about the benefits of automating all documents and data coming into the organization in paper, fax, and image formats? It’s safe to say that if your office uses a fax machine, someone on staff is printing, reviewing and making decisions about what the document is and what is to be done with it. This step is remarkably time consuming and when added up the cost of classifying fax documents is shocking. In addition, there is a large hidden cost when someone fails to identify a document correctly and as a result, pushes the document into the wrong workflow which dramatically increases the chance that the document will be delayed or even lost. Exception processing is always expensive but are people thinking about the patient’s anxiety caused by the unnecessary delay in the diagnosis or treatment plan? We should think about it.
Workflow Objective: move information from the point it enters the organization to its desired destination as quickly as possible so that action can take place. Each mishandled step in the process delays physician decision making and delays patient access to critical care information.
The Extract Systems Platform is a proven solution. One customer reduced the data delay from 5 days to 1 hour. Just think how more effective physicians will be if they have the information they need, when they need it. Think about how many sleepless nights can be avoided by delivering both diagnosis and treatment information to the patient more quickly.
Another customer reduced errors by 80% while a third customer doubled their document volume without adding staff.
These results aren’t platitudes. They are documented success stories that can be applied to any data gap.
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About the Author: David Rasmussen
David Rasmussen is the President of Extract. With 30 years’ experience leading software companies, David is driven by the challenge to consistently find groundbreaking ways to solve customer problems and finds it rewarding to hit the customer’s target and create a great team, build a solid infrastructure, and emerge with a strong value proposition.