Learn about how executives have easy access to more data than ever and how it can affect their decision making processes.
Do you ever find yourself asking "how could we still be processing so much paper and faxes in the year 2017?" Sometimes, it can feel like there are mountains of paper that need to be climbed and processed with no summit in sight. There are EMR's, Care Everywhere, FHIR, HIE's, reference lab interfaces, and hundreds of other ways to exchange information electronically. But here we are…still seeing hundreds or even thousands of actual faxes per day in clinics and HIM departments.
DON'T CLICK THAT LINK.
It seems that every day you’re hearing of a new cyber-attack to hit a large company. These cyber-attacks are happening frequently in healthcare databases too, resulting in your information being held in a ransomware’s data encryption. This malware will prevent organizations from being able to enter specific parts of their system. The ransomware typically works one of two ways. It either works to prevent you from accessing important data or encrypts it entirely, jeopardizing your data security. How do you then get your data back? Fork over your wallet… and that’s not even a guarantee that you will see your data again.
Earlier this month, Dr. Thomas Starzl, the father of organ transplantation, died at the age of 90. In reading an article about all that he did to ultimately discover what was needed to successfully transplant organs, one cannot help but to be awed by the uncertainty and risk that he needed to “work around” in order to make progress.
I attended the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) conference during the week of October 16 and learned about the complexities of copy-and-paste in healthcare. It’s a common problem that Extract’s automated data capture can help with.
The copy-and-paste function (CPF) is extremely prevalent in the EHR in efforts to improve efficiencies, foster prompt communication and increase time spent with patients. At the event, I learn that 7.4% of charts contain CPF information. This isn’t good for the following reasons...
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.
If you've ever managed an EMR data conversion, you likely know how painful data conversions can be. They require someone with intimate knowledge of the old EMR to write complex queries to extract the data in the format that the new EMR requires it to be in. In addition, at some point in the process you have to transform the old values into the new system's values (assuming they can be mapped at all!). Even if you have experienced, intelligent people and excellent vendor support during this process it is expensive, time-consuming, risky, and can delay your go-live. So, what if you don't have experienced people and good vendor support for your healthcare data conversion? Believe me, it's gonna get ugly.
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?
Tracking data in your transplant care software is a key component of QAPI programs, not only for CMS, but now also with UNOS debating the requirement of QAPI programs. One of the most challenging aspects of transplant program management is ensuring that your Quality Assessment and Process Improvement programs are measuring meaningful and actionable items that lead to program improvement.
Healthcare Informatics recently published an article most of us can relate to—that if you want to remember something important, it helps to write it down. Information is only useful if available. According to the article, Research: Access to Docs’ Notes Increases Medication Aherence, researchers at Geisinger Health System found that patients who had access to their doctor’s notes demonstrated an improved adherence to a medication regimen. [medical record software and information accessibility
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.
You have successfully set up your outreach program and established a strong local presence (please check out my 4 previous posts on this topic). What now? In order to achieve sustainability, you will have pressures to improve efficiency, reduce costs and demonstrate value. It is important to have in place a methodology by which you track your activity from both a quantitative perspective as well as to be sure that the quality delivered matches the quality of your main program.
Why do we have EMRs again? Were they meant to be electronic file folders? No, they are meant to hold discrete, structured data and add value by summarizing the most valuable data, giving us a more complete picture of a patient’s history, and allowing us to analyze and see trends in the data while automatically alerting us to data outside of allowed values.
In our first two blogs of this series, we discussed outreach programs beginning with education and facilitating improved patient care in the local community. What happens when the success of these efforts require a more frequent and sustained presence in the local medical community, particularly if the main facility is at a distance and precludes frequent visits by your team? In these cases, it may be beneficial to consider establishing your own brick and mortar facility to provide services to the patients on a routine basis.
In an article in Forbes business magazine today, Peter Ubel, begins to investigate the question of whether or not we should be striving for a world in which all transplant candidates should have access to LearJets so that they can place themselves on multiple waiting lists and have a greater chance of reaching the top of that list in time? No matter how you feel personally or professionally about this issue, an important point that he raises in the world of transplant is this: as technology (planes, drugs, etc.) improves and allows for greater possibilities of organs for a greater pool of candidates, how can we be sure that waitlists are always accurate and up to date.
Recently, I had the misfortune of sustaining an injury while running. Due to the nature of my injury I visited a total of five providers in the span of one week. The events that unfolded provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on the state of health information interoperability six years after the passing of the HITECH Act.
You finally found the perfect solution to 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. Now it’s time to go ask for permission (budget) to purchase this solution.