automated

The centralized faxing/scanning conundrum

The centralized faxing/scanning conundrum

The centralized vs. de-centralized faxing conundrum seems to be a topic with every healthcare organization we encounter.

In theory, centralizing your incoming documents seems like a grand idea. You have a core group of people who do things consistently, know the documents and are managed by a single department.

Extract and the Chinese Parable

Extract and the Chinese Parable

There is a Chinese parable about the farmer who had a horse. One day, the horse ran off. That was bad. A couple days later, the horse came back and brought with it three wild horses. That was good.

Your care is only as good as your EMR/EHR allows you to be

Your care is only as good as your EMR/EHR allows you to be

Physician burnout is at an extremely high rate. Doctors and nurses everywhere are expected to keep up with management changes, new hospital mandates, technology in procedures, all the while keeping their clinical care first-class. I’ve read countless articles about predictions that the burnout rate will rise

An Introduction to Machine Learning

An Introduction to Machine Learning

I can guarantee that anybody reading this blog uses machine learning dozens of times each day without even realizing it. When you perform a web, search using Google or Bing, for instance, the search engine works so well because their software has figured out how to predict searches and rank pages for you.

Juggling Quality of Care and Compliance: How to Leverage Data to Optimize Results

Juggling Quality of Care and Compliance: How to Leverage Data to Optimize Results

What is compliance and why it’s important in Healthcare?

It is a way for healthcare organizations to prove that their patients are their number one priority. By proving the quality of compliance, organizations can prove that year over year their quality in care is constantly improving. By being able to prove compliance is important within an organization, there is a direct correlation to better patient satisfaction, more patients, better opportunities for successful outreach, and staying in business.

How can healthcare benefit from OCR?

How can healthcare benefit from OCR?

Can you benefit from OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is powerful software that transforms images such as faxes and scanned documents into human readable text. Access to this text is very powerful and can be used for many purposes. The questions below will help you determine whether or not you could benefit from an OCR solution.

No lab interfaces? No problem.

No lab interfaces?  No problem.

No interface?  No problem.  Automatically capture send-out test results into your LIS. 

Unfortunately, setting up lab interfaces to every reference lab isn’t an option. This is especially true for low volume, high value esoteric labs. 

How to redact PDF documents the truly proper way

How to redact PDF documents the truly proper way

I chose the title for this blog a bit tongue in cheek.  You see, there are numerous blog posts about how to “properly” redact PDF files.  While all of those other blog posts correctly explain the challenges that makes redacting PDF files difficult and outline all of the steps that one must take to ensure private information is completely and irreversibly redacted, all of those blog posts fail to mention one critical idea that anyone tasked with the important job of redacting electronic documents should be aware of -- automation. 

What do a road trip and health information have in common?

What do a road trip and health information have in common?

I recently spent three days driving across the northern Midwestern States and through a good part of Canada with a longtime friend as we headed to a once-in-a-lifetime wilderness adventure.  As you might imagine our conversations spanning those 72 hours took as many twists and turns as did the roads we traveled.   However, one saying my friend repeated several times stood out among many insightful remarks he’d made, “Your judgement is only as good as your information.“

Can clinical data abstraction improve care quality?

Can clinical data abstraction improve care quality?

Clinical data abstraction is often one of the last steps in the patient care information workflow. Typically it's performed for the sole purpose of submitting data to compliance or quality improvement measurement programs.

Intelligent clinical document classification reclaims critical time lost each day to handling "loose" medical records

Intelligent clinical document classification reclaims critical time lost each day to handling "loose" medical records

Do you frequently find yourself searching for and routing documents, whether paper or electronic, to colleagues, care team members or departments that need them?  Or, worse do you find yourself waiting for documents to be routed to you?  In our work, helping hospitals to automate clinical data abstraction, we're struck by the hours of time lost each day to inefficient workflows involving "loose" records that we often find ourselves helping our customers extract data from.

Population Health and "good enough" Data

Population Health and "good enough" Data

A consultant who supports analytics for population health and quality of care recently told me that frequently, they can only access 80% or less of the total data needed for these initiatives.

If that data is truly random and characteristic of the whole body of data, than acquiring 80% of it is pretty good, perhaps even great. But what if that 80% comes largely from one population sub-group. What if it represents patients who are local - city-dwellers who live nearby and come directly to your facility for lab work and other tests - while the missing 20% is a completely different population. Perhaps this 20% is defined differently by lifestyle, geography or other variables because that population cannot easily come to your facility?

Mergers & Abstractions: Merging EMRs Feels Like A Forced March

Mergers & Abstractions: Merging EMRs Feels Like A Forced March

For those involved in the manual abstraction effort, the tedious nature of this work can feel like a forced march. As a result, EHR implementation costs rise, data quality deteriorates and morale suffers. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Deduplication spoken here: Deduplicating external lab results with clinical data capture software

Deduplication spoken here: Deduplicating external lab results with clinical data capture software

Lab tests are one of the highest volume activities in healthcare that inform between 70 - 80% of all clinical decisions. Keeping pace with the high volume of lab results that are so vital to patient care can at times be overwhelming.

Clinical data stuck in unstructured formats… It’s enough to raise your blood pressure.

Clinical data stuck in unstructured formats… It’s enough to raise your blood pressure.

As with every study, the article laid out the limitations of this particular study, which focused on blood pressure only, before getting into the detailed results of their work. The seven limitations they named were quite typical, including possible duplicate data and possible non-reporting of improved patients, but the limitation that seemed most unnecessary and raised my blood pressure indeed was, “Sixth, incentive program CQM reporting was based only on the data available in the EHR system of the health care provider. If a patient transitioned to another provider, such as a specialist, the original EHR might not have subsequent, possibly improved, blood pressure values recorded.”

Transplant Evaluation Process: Before the Visit

Transplant Evaluation Process: Before the Visit

 Our next series of blogs will consider some best practices to efficiently complete the work-up process including the intake, record retrieval and initial screening, the education and evaluation visit leading up to the presentation to the multi-disciplinary team meeting and listing decision.

Research and PHI – Oh, the many issues…

Research and PHI – Oh, the many issues…

In the course of a clinical research project or trial, researchers must gather patient data and records and prepare them for adjudication and analysis. In keeping with the spirit of HIPAA and PHI regulations, the organization conducting this research or trial likely wishes to control access from both within and outside of its firewall to ensure that any potential for breach of this personal information is strictly curtailed. 

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 4

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 4

You finally found the perfect solution to the problem of getting data out of documents and into your EMR or other system. It’s a system that automates this data entry and the workflows surrounding the entire document handling and quality assurance processes. So, now it’s time to go ask for permission (budget) to purchase this solution. 

Part one of a seven part blog series about EMR - lab results interoperability.

Part one of a seven part blog series about EMR - lab results interoperability.

There are several misconceptions about interfaces and intelligent clinical data extraction software and lab results interoperability in general that I’ll attempt to clear up in a series of seven blog posts.