document classification

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. 

If you're going to Phoenix, remember to pack your labs

If you're going to Phoenix, remember to pack your labs

So, you're thinking of migrating to Epic's solid organ transplant module Phoenix? Or did you recently switch? The Phoenix product has come a long way since its initial release around 10 years ago. It is a great way to effectively manage your transplant population within the fully-integrated Epic suite of products. I helped to support the first 40 or so Phoenix go-lives during my Epic tenure and take great pride in the application.

How can healthcare benefit from OCR?

How can healthcare benefit from OCR?

Can you benefit from OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is powerful software that transforms images such as faxes and scanned documents into human readable text. Access to this text is very powerful and can be used for many purposes. The questions below will help you determine whether or not you could benefit from an OCR solution.

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.”

“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?”

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.

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.

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

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

There are several misconceptions about interfaces and intelligent clinical data extraction software and lab results interoperability in general that I’ll attempt to clear up in a series of seven blog posts.

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. 

Outreach Workshop Part 3: Establishing your own brick and mortar facility

Outreach Workshop Part 3: Establishing your own brick and mortar facility

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.

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 3

Justify Before you Buy: Automated Capture for Clinical Data - Part 3

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.

Transplant is Joining the Jet Age. Will test results be able to keep up? (yes, with intelligent data capture)

Transplant is Joining the Jet Age. Will test results be able to keep up? (yes, with intelligent data capture)

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.

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.

Outreach Workshop Part 2: Setting up Remote Facilities

Outreach Workshop Part 2: Setting up Remote Facilities

As we discussed in our first outreach blog, step one is to establish a relationship with a provider or a network of providers through education or other interactions.  Once you’ve created this relationship, you will want to capitalize on the potential additional volume for your program and institution, as well as be able to continue to provide the outstanding service your program is known for.  In order to do this, you must be able to make working with you seamless and easy, without increasing the actual or perceived burden to the organization’s patients. 

Assessing Risk of Clinical Data Capture Workflows

Assessing Risk of Clinical Data Capture Workflows

The HITECH Act and Meaningful Use requirements have ushered in a new era of health information management that promises to deliver better care quality, greater efficiency and at a lower cost.  It’s also putting more pressure on staff to get clinical data into the EHR data fields.  As a result, already strained resources are being strained even more.  The health data integration dilemma is especially acute when dealing with external data sources, such as clinical labs that often arrive by fax or are made available via portals.

What is your staff really doing?

What is your staff really doing?

When asked to evaluate workflow processes in transplant programs, we often here from hospital administrators that their transplant program is over-resourced and they do not understand why work-up time is so long, why patients complain that it takes so long to get a phone call returned or why the physicians always ask for more staff. " Do you know what your transplant staff is truly doing?", is usually the next question we ask. Not to our surprise, the answer is "of course".

Tracking Data is a Key Component of QAPI Programs

Tracking Data is a Key Component of QAPI Programs

Tracking Data is a Key Component of QAPI Programs, not only for CMS but also now with UNOS 

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. There are many factors that contribute to these projects but one thing in common is that they are all data-driven.

Incorporating Continuation of Care Documents into your EHR

Incorporating Continuation of Care Documents into your EHR

When you hear people talk about a Continuity of Care Document (CCD), funny enough, it’s actually usually a “document”. In reality, the specification for a CCD, according to Wikipedia, is “an XML-based markup standard intended to specify the encoding, structure, and semantics of a patient summary clinical document for exchange.” CCDs are important to patient’s treatment, but its original intention of being a way for pertinent patient information to be transferred one system to another has not yet been realized. So, when patients are referred to another physician or if CCDs are trying to be used to convert massive amounts of data from one EHR to a new EHR, the exchange of information is often not seamless.

Does your new EHR mean more data entry?

Does your new EHR mean more data entry?

Transplant care teams have enough challenges managing patient information arriving from outside their institution. It's already a full workload entering primary data from the transplant evaluation process. It's a never ending process of data entry for solid organ programs. EHR adoption is adding to that already heavy workload and is creating the need to enter more discrete data. Ask yourself: isn't it enough that your solid organ transplant teams sift through a large number of non-electronic patient details from their originating healthcare institution?

Automated and Standardized Data Entry: How is this achieved?

Automated and Standardized Data Entry: How is this achieved?

If you had electronic tools to automate data entry, capture the valuable data that is currently coming to you in electronic and paper documents, and use it immediately to make essential clinical decisions, would you ever go back to the entering data the old way?