fax

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.

The Benefits of an Enterprise-wide Fax/Scan Handling Solution in Healthcare - Part Three

The Benefits of an Enterprise-wide Fax/Scan Handling Solution in Healthcare - Part Three

The benefits of an Enterprise-wide fax/scan handling solution in healthcare is part three of a series. If you haven't read Part One and Part Two, read them now! While the benefits listed in our previous posts of this series can increase efficiency, a truly good enterprise fax and scanned document handling solution is one that can automate as much of the process as possible. 

Simplifying Your MIPS Reporting Management

Simplifying Your MIPS Reporting Management

Under MACRA, the MIPS program went into effect at the beginning of this year.  Many practices and institutions are deciding which measures they will report on and setting up the infrastructure to provide those reports.

Do You Even Document Handler, Bro?

Do You Even Document Handler, Bro?

Most people don’t realize how heavily some industries rely on faxes. But to those of us in the know, it’s becoming cliché to mention how relevant faxing still is. With non-relenting fax volumes comes the need for businesses to hire people who can manage incoming documents. Document handling is an intense job that requires an immense amount of focus and attention to detail. 

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.

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.“

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.

How to automate critical results reporting for priority patients

How to automate critical results reporting for priority patients

Critical results reporting or reporting lab results for priority patients from non-interfaced sources is no easy task. A delay in reporting can yield an unfortunate outcome for a patient whose condition is deteriorating. This is especially true for specialty departments that provide continued care for patients from far-flung locales, such as the transplant program. One transplant department receives thousands of these reports over a single patient's lifetime, and often hundreds of these documents for its patient population each day by fax.

Specialty clinics still using paper? Get that data into your EMR!

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.

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?

Lab Data Requirements and Health Data Capture

Lab Data Requirements and Health Data Capture

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulates laboratory testing performed on humans in the U.S. through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to ensure quality laboratory testing. CLIA sets high standards for quality control, validation of data and tests, equipment calibration, proper training and certification of users and clear end result reporting that meets proper lab data requirements.

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 Eval # 5: QAPI, Tracking Data in Transplant Care Software

Transplant Eval # 5: QAPI, Tracking Data in Transplant Care Software

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.

Reduce errors when getting data into the EHR from non-interfaced sources

Reduce errors when getting data into the EHR from non-interfaced sources

A common concern expressed about automated clinical data extraction is “How can we be sure that the data going into the EHR is correct?"

We still hear from some hospitals that they are not performing manual data entry because the risk of error is too great.

EMR lab results interoperability series: part six of seven

EMR lab results interoperability series: part six of seven

In this post, I’ll clear up confusion about the differences between intelligent clinical data extraction software and scanning software integrated with an EMR.

Matching external lab orders with results in the EHR

Matching external lab orders with results in the EHR

Reconciling lab results with orders is an important patient safety measure that ensures results are received for each test that is ordered. If lab results are sent from your own internal lab, the test data is likely integrated with the EMR and matching the results to every order is automated.

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

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

In my previous post, the fourth in a series of seven blog posts that discuss some of the misconceptions about lab interfaces and intelligent clinical data extraction software, I addressed the belief that if a hospital has an in-house laboratory, all test results will be integrated with the patient record in the EMR.

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.