Bad habits are present in every industry, but data entry habits are particularly important in healthcare organizations. Cutting corners and entering data in different ways is a recipe for disaster. Learn more about these issues and how Extract can help in our latest blog.
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.
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.
Many of you know the fairly tale tilted, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Upon entering the home of the Three Bears, Goldilocks sits in their chairs, eats their porridge, and falls asleep in their beds. Upon sampling each of the Bear's chairs, porridge, and beds she exclaims that one is too much, the other is not enough, but the last option is just right. What does this fairy tale have to do with Healthcare data and performing one's job, you may ask?
I have recently talked with a few healthcare executives. They, like everyone else I know, are careful about what they say about the effect a Trump presidency will have on healthcare. This could be that they are being politically correct but it’s possible they don’t know what Trump is actually going to do. It is clear Trump’s pre-election rhetoric has softened in many areas. Only time will tell what his real intentions are.
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...
If you've read prior HealthyData blogs such as this one, then you know that we're doing some pretty "classy" things when it comes to handling your incoming documents. This includes putting those documents into the correct section of the EMR chart with nothing more than a quick once-over. This is something we're very excited about and are quite confident that it will change the way document handling is viewed by your organization.
Despite massive adoption of electronic medical records over the past several years, the promise of easy and nearly effortless chart abstraction from electronic medical records enabled by an interconnected web of interoperable EMRs sharing standardized data has yet to be fully realized. You need to look no further than the media tab to see the evidence that we have yet to arrive at this Utopian future.
What I know for Sure:
Discrete, trending data is the bread and butter of a specialty clinic.
Hunting and pecking through the media tab to track down information on a patient is infuriating! And not only for the doctors. For nurses. For abstractors. For the patient! Trending a post-transplant patient's drug levels alongside their medication doses, rejections, infections, transplant history, UNOS data, procedures, and relevant transplant-related scores is of paramount importance to a clinician and is very time sensitive. Getting all patient data into the EMR is the holy grail when it comes to specialty medicine.
Specialty clinics, especially transplant clinics, are mini-ACOs.
When you are treating an acute, chronic disease it is critical that everything about the patient is known regardless of where they are being treated on a daily basis. Luckily, we now live in a world of Care Everywhere, CCD documents, and reference labs…BUT, despite what everyone wants to believe, these things are not a panacea.
Paper is very much alive and well in the healthcare world.
Sometimes clinicians are "closet paper users," other times they just lay it out there. But don't make any mistake about it…they are using. In the transplant world, you may be familiar with the "wall chart." Also known as "the flowsheet" or "the flowchart." You know the one. The monstrous grid that is the holy grail for the transplant clinic, but is the disdain of the HIM team and the project team trying to migrate clinicians to the EMR. But there are good reasons for this chart and the other paper being used. Many hospitals have not implemented effective document management strategies that classify documents in useful ways. And many hospitals don't have the resources to support entering (and QAing) important data discretely as it comes in from external sources (or even internal sources such as the pathology lab).
Specialty clinics are crazy busy.
There were times during my tenure at Epic that I felt stressed. That I felt my days were busy. That I felt it was hard to create work/life balance. And then I'd go onsite and spend a week in a transplant department. Wow. My workday was like a walk in the park! The chaos that is the life of a person in a specialty clinic is very hard to explain or quantify. It seems there is not a moment to breathe. And this isn't just for the doctors and nurses. Even the folks doing data entry are getting calls, being pulled into other things, being tapped on the shoulder constantly. It is nearly impossible to give something 100% of your attention.
Extract's products can help.
I'm a passionate person. I don't back something I don't believe in and I don't work for companies whose product doesn't excite me. When I first encountered the Extract product I was very skeptical. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) with clinical data? Fuggettabout it! However, I've been able to peel back the curtain. The magic isn't in the OCR, it's in the rules, logic, and processing that Extract has fine-tuned while working with numerous healthcare organizations. I've seen it in action. I've seen the product improve with features that allow more reliable mapping to patients and existing orders. I've seen it process large documents and auto-classify subsections of that document and route them accordingly (think referral packets, transplant folks!). I've seen it work. I believe in the product and think it can improve data quality, care quality, data entry efficiency, EMR user happiness, and much more.
Extract's products aren't restricted to specialty clinics.
Yes, it is very easy to see the benefit of using the product to discretely enter lab results or split/file referral packets in a specialty clinic. But once you've seen it in action, it's very hard not to let your imagination run wild. Have an HIM department that is backlogged and needs some help classifying and discretely filing data? Have a natural speech recognition engine that needs some intelligent processing and filing after the output is generated? Have Care Everywhere but wish that you could get some more discrete data from it, such as labs? Still have paper DNR, release forms, or patient surveys coming in and want them to be discrete?
Have any other ideas?
We want to hear them! You can email me directly to discuss your ideas further.
About the Author: Rob Fea
He has spent 12 years partnering with IT teams and clinicians at major hospitals and clinics worldwide during his tenure on the technical services team at Epic. For the vast majority of his time at Epic, Rob supported Epic's Phoenix product, playing a major role in project kickoffs, installation, data conversions, ongoing support, and optimization. During his tenure at Epic, he watched the Phoenix customer base expand from 0 to 55 live and installing transplant organizations. It was a terrific experience and he loved every minute of it. It gave him expansive insight into the healthcare world, especially the solid organ transplant industry. Rob has spent countless hours on the floor in transplant departments observing multidisciplinary visits, committee review meetings, data entry, data trending, reporting, medication dosing, and more.
Transplant Evaluation Process Part 3 in a 6 part blog series
Once the transplant evaluation visit has been completed, the required testing and other consults that were ordered or deemed necessary need to be completed. Frequently, this is the most time consuming segment of the evaluation process and where automation can be most useful.
Yesterday, the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) announced a soon-to-be-released report highlighting diagnostic errors as a persistent “blind spot in the delivery of quality health care” and urges the healthcare industry to change in order to address the prevalence of diagnostic errors, which the IOM defines as “the failure to (a) establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient’s health problem(s) or (b) communicate that explanation to the patient.”
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.