digital data

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.

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. 

A fax machine walks into a doctor's office...the not-so-funny joke about health information exchange

A fax machine walks into a doctor's office...the not-so-funny joke about health information exchange

30 years ago, a fax machine, an eight-track tape player and a pager walk into a doctor’s office looking for a job. Which one of them is still working in that medical office today? Why, the fax machine of course!

Are "too many clicks" part of your health data challenges?

Are "too many clicks" part of your health data challenges?

Health data challenges are a part of any healthcare organization. Frustration is a natural consequence. This is also a common topic in most healthcare press lately. It often feels like depending on which way the wind is blowing, the consensus is that EMR adoption by clinicians is either improving or getting worse. A recent KLAS report indicates adoption is improving across the globe. The decision to move to an enterprise EMR for most organizations often includes as a factor the goal of reducing the total number of applications supported. Initiatives to improve adoption then becomes a challenge if your department's prized application is removed for something "less than robust". Along with pain and frustration, keeping your clinicians happy is also a challenge

Transplant Evaluation Part 3: Best practices & health data challenges

Transplant Evaluation Part 3: Best practices & health data challenges

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. 

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

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

I will cover a list of misconceptions throughout this blog series which will be covered in the span of seven weeks. 

IOM Identifies Health Information Integration as a Failure Point in Diagnostic Process

IOM Identifies Health Information Integration as a Failure Point in Diagnostic Process

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.”

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

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

Last week I published the first in a series of seven blog posts that discuss some of the misconceptions about lab interfaces and intelligent clinical data extraction software.

Why do we have EMRs again?

Why do we have EMRs again?

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. 

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 2

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 2

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.

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 1

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 1

Your department is overwhelmed with data entry. Incoming faxes with lab results and other clinical data swamp your staff. You are beginning to worry about quality of care and data entry errors. Your staff is wondering if they are here to help patients or to improve their typing skills. 

Clinical Labs: Meeting the needs of providers is a juggling act

Clinical Labs: Meeting the needs of providers is a juggling act

The ultimate juggling act: clinical labs in a hospital setting are required to maintain the highest operational standards. They complete their own inpatient testing while managing the logistics of send-outs and the returning results from reference and specialty labs. No matter where it’s coming from, comprehensive data needs to get back to the ordering physician -  data required to make the best care decisions.

Can advanced data capture help with Data Conversions?

Can advanced data capture help with Data Conversions?

Every patient has a history. Getting those histories moved from other systems and sources is an important consideration when implementing a new EHR. Whether your healthcare organization is deploying a new EHR, replacing one or implementing a new module in an existing EHR, your ability to capture data into the fields of the new EHR/module will define how fast you can use that history to make better care decisions.

DATA STANDARDIZATION and ACCURACY for Lab Results

DATA STANDARDIZATION and ACCURACY for Lab Results

Document management associations and consulting organizations have published a mountain of studies addressing the inefficiencies of manually keying data from unstructured documents to electronic databases. Most acknowledge that manual data entry is error prone, labor intensive and slows the workflow process.Yet, particularly in healthcare, it’s stunning how many organizations still rely on this practice day to day to populate demographic and lab results data into EHRs and other clinical decision support systems.

Why does it appear that we're entering more data when new information systems come along?

Why does it appear that we're entering more data when new information systems come along?

Enterprise applications are driving change in most every hospital, and transplant programs are no exception. I’ve spoken to many nurse coordinators, and I often hear they are coping with change; many are adopting new systems in progress, or will be soon.  I get to speak to a variety of healthcare personnel as part of my job and it seems that the only constant these days, is change.  Changes in software, changes in workflow, changes in management, and merging of institutions are common.  Sometimes change is for the better of the organization but is it always welcome for the service line or more importantly, the transplant team working with patients.

The Cancer Registrar Shortage and the Impact of CoC's CTR Standard 5.1

The Cancer Registrar Shortage and the Impact of CoC's CTR Standard 5.1

The role of the cancer registrar is essential in the effort to gather vital information for treatment planning, research studies and in the conduct of clinical trials. Further, as quality of data is more closely looked at in this era of monitoring patient outcomes with a financial eye, already overburdened cancer programs and state registries are doing their best to cope with an ever increasing volume of work. The new CTR standard seeks to ensure the quality of this data collected by cancer registrars is optimized.

What does “we have scanning” mean in your healthcare organization?

What does “we have scanning” mean  in your healthcare organization?

When considering how you get vital clinical data that arrives via “paper” (mail, fax, etc.) into the hands of providers quickly, people often say, “oh, we have scanning.” But what does that really mean?

Paperless healthcare is not here yet!

Paperless healthcare is not here yet!

If you're like me, you see your physician regularly for your annual exam. When you reach a certain age, man or woman, one needs to consider routine screenings for cancer. I reached a milestone age for one of those routine screenings this year.  You know, the one where you stay home so you can be prepared for a quick run to bathroom. Don't worry, I won’t go into details, but I’m grateful to say that I’m good for another 10 years. The one thing that amazed me during my outpatient visit, other than the kindness from the nursing staff, was now much paper remains in an ambulatory/outpatient setting. 

Lab Data Integrity and Patienty Safety

Lab Data Integrity and Patienty Safety

Ensuring the Safety and Effectiveness of Laboratory Data in Electronic Health Record Systems

Resources: Paper from CDC's Lab Program Division

The CDC’s Division of Laboratory Programs recently published a paper: The Essential Role of Laboratory Professionals: Ensuring the Safety and Effectiveness of Laboratory Data in Electronic Health Record Systems. This paper offers excellent cautions, guidelines and advice for both lab professionals and IT staff who work on LIS or EHRs.