The Ongoing Threat of a HIPAA Breach

The Ongoing Threat of a HIPAA Breach

It couldn’t happen to us.

I doubt anyone still feels that a HIPAA breach is impossible in their organization.  Results speak louder than words. 

A quick search reveals that every year there is a large number of breaches in the US.  There is no doubt these organizations know the threat of HIPAA breaches have taken some number of steps to protect against a breach but there is always more that could have been done to reduce/eliminate the exposure. 

The HIPAA Compliance Balancing Act

The HIPAA Compliance Balancing Act

I was just listening to a webinar by a reputable Health IT vendor the other day on visual security and privacy risks in healthcare.  As my company offers many ways to help with the challenges that healthcare organizations face with keeping PHI protected, I was interested in hearing what another solutions provider had to say. 

I was rather surprised when the speaker mentioned keeping faxes and print outs further behind the counter so that others cannot easily see or take them. 

5 Tips to Boost Productivity in the Lab

5 Tips to Boost Productivity in the Lab

Let’s be honest. We could all use an extra hour in the day. Or two… or three… or even just 30 minutes!

In working with labs we have found one of the biggest pain points is the inability to find the time to scan or fax in lab results and manually enter the data into the EMR. This is an enormous issue, considering if these results aren’t entered into the EMR quickly and accurately, someone’s life could be in harm’s way.

Are You Compromising Your Clinical Data Management Quality?

Are You Compromising Your Clinical Data Management Quality?

Have you been involved with clinical data management (CDM)?

If so, you know that following a defined and consistent process will lead to statistically sound data from clinical trials—every hospital’s dream. Part of that process may involve converting unstructured data into structured data which generally includes...

HIPAA Violations: Stay Out of the Spotlight

HIPAA Violations: Stay Out of the Spotlight

When it comes to security and PHI for hospitals, it’s best to keep out of the news headlines…

In talking with our healthcare partners these days, a lot of our conversations tend to move toward security, and more specifically, securing PHI. With the recent cyber-attacks on healthcare organizations making headlines and resulting in complete shutdowns of hospital IT systems, you can understand how this is a priority.

What's Better for your Hospital, Manual or Automatic?

What's Better for your Hospital, Manual or Automatic?

No, this isn’t an article about buying cars.  Although it may sound like it, I'm actually talking about clinical extraction software.  There are some striking parallels when comparing car purchases and data extraction software purchases.

Aside from the fact that modern cars are essentially computers on wheels—on average containing thirty computers and millions of lines of code—buying a car is similar to the purchasing process of choosing an extraction software in a more practical way.  

How Bad Data Hurts Quality Improvement in Healthcare

How Bad Data Hurts Quality Improvement in Healthcare

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines Quality Improvement (QI) as systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups.

While procedures and systems are necessary to ensure continuity, equally important is the measurement of actions and patient health status, which require data not only to establish a baseline but also to continuously track, monitor and measure progress toward QI goals.

Prevent PHI from Falling into the Wrong Hands

Prevent PHI from Falling into the Wrong Hands

They are systematically gathering data about all of us.  No bit of data is too small because it could be a critical piece of the puzzle that connects all of the seemingly unimportant information they’ve already collected on you.  Imagine creating a digital picture of you, one pixel at a time.  Get it?  No wait, they’ve got it.

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program: Part 6: A Real Example

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program: Part 6: A Real Example

How do your objective measures and process improvement plans fit together in your Quality Assessment and Process Improvement Program (QAPI)?  Are they all individual efforts, kept in binders and not communicated to the various stakeholders? Or is your QAPI program a vibrant living entity in which all stakeholders are actively engaged?  One of the key items that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services looks for is a clear, cohesive and implemented plan that is reflected in your QAPI policy and it is a lack of this that is frequently cited as a deficiency during a CMS audit.  

We Just Need to Get Those Darn Labs Entered!

We Just Need to Get Those Darn Labs Entered!

"We just need to get those darn labs entered!"

I had an interesting conversation with a transplant director at the UNOS Transplant Management Forum. She said, "we have a great transplant management system, now we just need to get those darn labs entered!"

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 5: PI Project - Methodology and Statistics

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 5: PI Project - Methodology and Statistics

Once you have established and tracked your objective measures and have determined that an improvement project is in order, you need to make a decision as to which of the available methods and tools that you will use to perform your project. While the tendency will be to rush to begin the project, keep calm and chose the right tool for the right job.

Precision Medicine is Coming, Are Your Records Ready?

Precision Medicine is Coming, Are Your Records Ready?

There are six key principles of the federal Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). PMI was a federal initiative announced by President Obama in 2015 and was incorporated into the 2016 budget. The mission statement for PMI is “to enable a new era of medicine through research, technology, and policies that empower patients, researchers, and providers to work together toward development of individualized care.”

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 4: Transitioning to Process Improvement Projects

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 4: Transitioning to Process Improvement Projects

Our previous blogs on Quality Assessment and Process Improvement (QAPI) in this series have focused on designing objective measures and using those to monitor key aspects of our transplant programs. Today, we want to discuss what to do with those measures and how to translate them into successful process improvement projects. 

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 3: Considerations and Data Analysis

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 3: Considerations and Data Analysis

In our last blog, we discussed the development of objective measures in your Quality Assessment and Process Improvement (QAPI) program and using a SMART approach as described by Doran in Management Review in 1981.  Today, we are going to focus on some additional considerations and discuss how to manage these measures so as to yield demonstrable and actionable improvement through the use of process improvement projects.

Medical Errors are Causing Patient Deaths: Here's How We're Saving Lives

Medical Errors are Causing Patient Deaths: Here's How We're Saving Lives

The headline Medical Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death is a popular title for a recent study that highlights the impact diagnostic errors can have on patients.

A web search turned up similar headlines every few years going back to the 1990’s. Clearly, not much has changed.  There are still too many diagnostic errors and not enough has been done to reduce the carnage. 

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 2: Objective Measures

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 2: Objective Measures

In our first blog of this series, we discussed the model framework for developing a Quality Assessment Process Improvement program.  Today, we will discuss how to develop objective measures that are used in three of the aspects of the program, namely Feedback, Data Systems and Monitoring; Systematic Analysis and Systemic Action; and Performance Improvements.  The directive to emplo y objective measures is provided in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (§482.96(a) Standard: Components of a QAPI Program) that states...

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 1: The 5 Aspects of QAPI

What Makes an Effective QAPI Program? Part 1: The 5 Aspects of QAPI

In our previous blogs, we have reviewed some aspects of transplant operations, how to stay compliant and how to address concerns raised by regulatory agencies such as the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) when issues arise.  Our next series of blogs will focus on how transplant programs can proactively track their progress and address potential problems before theybecome major issues.  During this series, we will review the structure, operations and tools of an effective Quality Assessment and Process Improvement Program (QAPI). First, let’s review the 5 aspects that create the conceptual framework for a QAPI program under the Medicare requirements.

24th Annual UNOS Transplant Management Forum: One More for the Books

24th Annual UNOS Transplant Management Forum: One More for the Books

Once again I had the pleasure of attending the 24th Annual UNOS Transplant Management Forum for my 4th time earlier this year.  As always, it was a flurry of learning, knowledge-sharing, networking, and well-deserved awards for leaders in the industry.

It was as apparent this time as it was every time before, that the transplant community is a close-knit group who all struggle with similar things regardless of their geographical location. These struggles span across many areas, including financial, staffing, regulatory requirements, lack of organs, information technology, reporting, managing the constant deluge of paper, and many more.  While I can't claim that Extract can help with all of these, there are two specific struggles that we excel at fixing: extracting discrete results from faxed external lab results and intelligently splitting, classifying, and filing large documents (such as referral packets) into patients' charts.

Automated PHI redaction makes clinical data management easier

Automated PHI redaction makes clinical data management easier

Spend more time finding a cure and less time finding and redacting PHI.

Population health without complete clinical data is like...

Population health without complete clinical data is like...

Your incomplete data set doesn’t tell you the full story.

A population health management program without the ability to analyze a complete set of clinical data is like reading a book with missing pages.  You’re left with only your imagination to fill in important details.