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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.

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 Navigate a Transplant System Improvement Agreement Process Blog #6: Required CMS Deliverables

How to Navigate a Transplant System Improvement Agreement Process Blog #6: Required CMS Deliverables

Today, we will continue our discussion about the System Improvement Agreement (SIA) and the various deliverables that will be required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to emerge successfully. 

How to Navigate a Transplant System Improvement Agreement Process Blog #5: The IPRT Visit and Action Plan

How to Navigate a Transplant System Improvement Agreement Process Blog #5: The IPRT Visit and Action Plan

Today, we will discuss the Independent Peer Review Team (IPRT) and the action plan that will be developed and implemented following their visit. 

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!

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 perform an EMR data conversion without writing a query

How to perform an EMR data conversion without writing a query

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.

An ounce of prevention: Getting data into the EMR

An ounce of prevention: Getting data into the EMR

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or, reduce medical errors through better documentation. Which one of these expressions do we tend to remember? In healthcare we hear quite a bit of talk these days on reducing medical errors. Of course this is with good reason. When getting data into the EMR, errors such as inaccurate or delayed results, can negatively impact patient health and lead to extended hospital stays, unnecessary treatment or worse. As a matter of fact, many healthcare organizations are now striving to eliminate mistakes and streamline efficiency by adopting principles such as Six Sigma and other business practices which are designed to continuously evaluate and improve best practices. 

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.

Say yes to fewer transcription errors with intelligent clinical data capture

Say yes to fewer transcription errors with intelligent clinical data capture

In a recent Health Informatics Journal article reporting of “true integration” of electronic laboratory results, it was mentioned that transcription errors remain a bottleneck with comprehensive electronic health records. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who encounter paper labs every day in their daily workflow. For most hospitals, a significant number of records are interfaced. But if you are working with paper daily, you might think it debatable that manual data entry is insignificant.

Automating data capture safeguards against clinical data errors

Automating data capture safeguards against clinical data errors

Recently there was a new report that got the attention of my colleagues here at Extract Systems. The headline was “Urgent Change Needed to Improve Diagnosis in Health Care or Diagnostic Errors Will Likely Worsen.” According to this report issued by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, most people will experience at least one diagnostic error – or inaccurate or delayed diagnosis – in their lifetime. 

“If I live to be 90 years old, I’ll never have enough interfaces for our labs."

“If I live to be 90 years old, I’ll never have enough interfaces for our labs."

Will you ever have all the interfaces you need?

“If I live to be 90 years old, I’ll never have enough interfaces for our labs,” the lab director of a large healthcare organization recently commented. “And with the costs and ongoing maintenance, how can we afford them?”

Streamlining Pre-Transplant Data Extraction - deep thoughts while waiting for my morning cup of coffee

Streamlining Pre-Transplant Data Extraction - deep thoughts while waiting for my morning cup of coffee

As I’m standing in line at my favorite coffee shop, I’m thinking about how baristas have perfected workflow; and now have improved perfection by allowing me to eliminate the line entirely by ordering in advance with my smart phone. It always excites me when I see a sequence of steps refined for optimum efficiency. I know it's odd, but I'm really strange like that.

PHI in Medical Research

PHI in Medical Research

There’s been a lot of news lately about the 2015 NIH budget being flat, worrying researchers that the funding pinch will have a significant impact on current and future projects. Even Nobel prize winning researcher Craig Mello from the University of Massachusetts Medical School recently commented on the impact this could have on his ongoing work, noting that if he couldn’t get a grant he’s applied for he may have to reduce staff.

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.