How one health system solved quality metric data entry

As expectations for quality measures increase, physician practices often struggle with the growing burden of data entry. The big question becomes: How do we get the data in a way that is reportable, without driving clinicians crazy in the process?

One of our clients – a large, multi-region health system – has well-established workflows, documentation and training, but recognized that the complexity of quality metric requirements and the size of the organization created too much variability in data entry. To achieve better Medicare Shared Saving Program (MSSP) quality metric scores and improve clinician satisfaction, this organization designed a project to decrease the data entry burden.

It reached out to PatientLink, a partner of Allscripts that provides online and point-of-service solutions to automate patient data collection. PatientLink developed a custom form that pulls discrete data into Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR with a combination of patient- and user-facing interfaces. Together with custom note forms, flowsheets and order groups, the new tools reduced the number of steps necessary to automate 70 data points that satisfy approximately 11 measures.

The health system changed its workflow. Before introducing the new PatientLink form, nurses would room the patient then gather and enter data. This gives nurses more time to spend on clinical duties instead of patient interrogation.

One of the biggest selling points for physicians is the population of the note and creation of orders. And because the information is in the system before physicians enter the exam room, they aren’t juggling paper screening forms and laptops, which enables clinicians to focus more time on patient care.

The results: Clinicians save significant time on data entry

With the right governance structure, robust EHR and IT solutions, the health system achieved significant time savings and efficiencies, including:

  • Reduced time spent on data entry by 67% - The time required to complete the data collection and entry dropped from 30 minutes to 10 minutes per patient. 
  • Improved workflow efficiencies by 67% - Prior to adoption, the workflow was 135 steps. The revised solution set and processes reduced the number of steps to 44.

It’s a great example of refining a process that improves the clinician user experience. By reducing the time spent on data entry and improving workflow efficiency, it means clinicians can spend more time with patients. It demonstrates how to reduce physician burnout and improve provider wellness. We, as an industry, must continue to find ways to address the user experience.


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