• Mar 13

    Versio Staff

    Is Your Health Record Accurate?

    by  Versio Staff

    March 2nd marked the beginning of the National Patient Safety Foundation’s (NPSF’s) “Patient Safety Awareness Week.” In September 2013, the Journal of Patient Safety reported that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death. This makes medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. Additionally, the ECRI Institute reports the top 10 health technology hazards each year. EHRs and other healthcare IT systems have been listed due to “data Integrity failures.” We find this completely unacceptable.

    Having spent the last 14 years dedicating ourselves to quality clinical documentation, the team at Versio is bristling at this news. We work with healthcare organizations daily to migrate legacy patient data into their new EHR. Clearly, not all data migration services are created equal if there are that many “data integrity failures.” In addition, the following statistics were revealed in a post-HiMSS article by e-Patient Dave1:

    “18 months ago I spoke at the Veterans eHealth University, a virtual university for people who work in the VA (veterans’ administration) health system. They asked me to submit some interactive audience response questions.

    • One was to ask the audience if they had checked their own record. Results: 50 / 66 (76%) said no, they’d never looked. (Have you?)
    • Of the 16 who had looked: (31%) weren’t sure whether there were errors.
    • Of the 11 who were sure: 7 found mistakes (64%)
    • 4 found the record was perfect (36%)

    So, roughly: of those who had checked, about 2/3 found mistakes: missing allergies, wrong medications, wrong diagnoses, etc.

    Since then, depending on the audience, I’ve asked this of other audiences. Every time of those who’ve checked, about 2/3 found errors. Every time.”

    How can this be? These data sets (particularly allergies and medications) are absolutely critical for quality patient care! Yet, industry standards indicate that a data migration project is considered successful if 80% of the data makes its way into the new EHR correctly. To put this in simple terms, if a patient has 10 allergies (some of them deadly i.e. penicillin), it is possible that only 8 allergies will show in the new EHR and the patient is at high risk of being exposed to a life-threatening event. And, when the clinician opens up the patient record for the first time in the new EHR, there is no way to tell what information is missing.

    We know that standard practice is for the clinician to review the critical data sets with the patient, but many patients will not remember all of their allergies, medications, and especially not all of their immunizations. What if the patient is in the Emergency Room and is not conscious? How many patients will be harmed before there is an outcry for change?

    What is the answer? Automated conversion processes alone are no match for the scrutiny of trained eyes on the patient record during data migration. There is no software substitute for an experienced individual who can spot discrepancies in a medical record and make the correction prior to import into the new system. Patient records are documented by human beings, and humans make mistakes. At Versio, we have experienced many instances of the same medication being listed in both the medication field and the allergy field. We have experienced instances where a medication type or dosage is incorrectly entered with potentially lethal consequences.

    Versio has developed a solution for maintaining and improving the data integrity of health records during a migration project. Our medical data translators verify each data point, one patient at a time, resolving exceptions and inaccuracies, resulting in nearly perfect records. If the data is inconsistent or incorrect in the source system, our migrators are trained to flag the record in question for resolution. On our recent trip to HiMSS14, we were unable to find any other data migration service provider that can match our results.

    The bottom line: Everyone deserves an accurate health record and we encourage you to consider a short conversation and a demonstration of our unique process. This will be time well spent and ultimately a huge benefit to your staff, your physicians, and the patients you serve. Contact us: sales@myversio.com or 253-277-0505.

    For additional information regarding our service lines, visit www.myVersio.com

    1http://www.epatientdave.com/2014/02/23/do-you-know-whats-in-your-health-wallet/

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