• Jun 17

    Versio Staff

    Dr. Smith wants to know where his data is: 14 Questions for the IT Team

    by  Versio Staff

    Healthcare organizations outsource the setup and training for their new EHR. It makes sense to turn to the experts. The internal Information Technology (IT) team works side-by-side with these industry experts during installation. Once the EHR has been configured, the rest of the implementation is often handed off for the IT team to complete. Populating the new EHR with the clinical data that is so critical for quality patient care is often not addressed until later in the project when someone (usually a doctor) asks, “So how is my patient’s health data going to get into the new system?” Sometimes this question isn’t asked until AFTER go-live. It could get ugly in the CIO’s office.

    By definition, a hospital IT department is a collection of experts regarding electronic communications of all kinds. In addition to understanding what forms of electronic data, visual, and audio communication are available, the IT department is able to evaluate available services and determine which services and vendors can provide the best equipment and service support. Along with all of these responsibilities, the IT department also oversees the day to day functions of all electronic devices within the hospital.

    At Versio, we have been working with hospital IT departments for EHR implementation over the last several years. Working with IT during these projects has given us a unique perspective: With all of their knowledge and experience regarding technology, the IT team is not generally qualified to completely manage an EHR implementation. This is particularly true when it comes to handling the patient data that resides in older paper or electronic charts.

    The doctor’s concern about his patients’ data causes some angst for the IT team as they now have a whole set of decisions to make to get to the right solution:

    1. What data is important for patient care?
    2. We have multiple clinics and legacy systems, how do we create a unified record for each patient?
    3. How do we determine which patient records should be migrated and which should be simply warehoused?
    4. Will we use a preprogrammed tool or hand-key the information into the charts?
    5. Will we perform this function before go-live or as the patients are being seen?

    In the vast majority of cases, the IT team has never dealt with data migration. As skilled as they are, a non-clinical technology team doesn’t have all of the information needed to answer the following questions:

    1. What is the best, most efficient and cost-effective method to move the clinical data?
    2. What should happen with data that does not convert during an automated process?
    3. How are records kept up to date during the migration?
    4. Has the complete record been captured for each patient?
    5. Will the IT team know how to interpret conflicting doctor’s notes?
    6. How will exceptions be handled?

    According to an IBM study*, only 40% of IT projects meet schedule, budget and quality goals. Most data migration projects are considered successful if 80% of the data is captured. This leads to more questions:

    1. What if only 8 out of 10 allergies show up in a patient record?
    2. How will clinicians know what’s missing? Many patients with multiple medications have trouble remembering the names and dosage of their complete med list (i.e. “It’s a yellow pill”).
    3. Worse, what if a patient presents in the ER and cannot respond to inquiries about allergies or current medications?

    Data entry errors not caught by the system, data entered into wrong fields, misreading or misinterpreting displayed information, and providers incorrectly accepting default values when entering orders are among the problems that occur within a medical record on a daily basis.

    With all of these extremely important questions (and patient lives) hanging in the balance, it makes sense to outsource clinical data migration to a company with the experience and processes to capture all of the data, overcome exceptions, and translate the true meaning of the original medical record.

    Medical data are full of inconsistencies that make it nearly impossible for conventional technology to convert it accurately. The Versio program utilizes a suite of proprietary technologies and processes, combined with detailed human review in the form of knowledgeable and experienced medical data translation specialists. This hybrid approach forms an extra layer of quality control, providing clients with results that are unmatched in the industry. The process can also be applied to paper medical records.

    Please consider a short conversation and a demonstration of our 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

    * http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/pdf/gbe03100-usen-03-making-change-work.pdf

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