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4 ways to make better use of clinical data

The Pediatric Clinic (Opelika, Alabama, U.S.A.), a physician-owned medical clinic, is increasing efficiency and optimizing reimbursements through cleaner, more accurate data.

“We’d been looking for a solution that would help us take care of children and do all the things we need to do, but not slow us down,” Pediatrician Lisa Young, MD, FAAP, said.

The clinic selected Allscripts Professional EHR™, Allscripts Practice Management® and Allscripts Payerpath® in 2010. Flexible, data-driven solutions enable the best possible patient care, meet regulatory requirements and improve efficiencies.

Here are four ways the clinic uses Professional EHR and terminology solutions from IMO to make better use of their clinical data:

1. Improving vaccines for children

There is no busier season than back to school, but the clinic’s constant backlogs made it hard to see every child before the deadline. The clinic now uses data from Professional EHR reports to make better clinical and operational decisions.

“By running that report early in the year, we can get kids to come out all throughout the summer and reduce wait times,” Practice Manager Jerry Haynes said. Vaccine compliance improved now that the clinic can run reports to identify patients who haven’t gotten required vaccines.

2. Pulling specific data to debunk myths

The clinic uses data to check long-held assumptions, such as the belief that most walk-in patients arrived in the 30 minutes prior to closing. According to Haynes, data from Professional EHR shows that’s not true: 80% of patients show up in the first hour. “It’s enabled us to better schedule resources so we can take care of those patients,” he said.

3. Capturing the correct codes with clinician-friendly terms

Data plays a central role in making patient-centered decisions and demonstrating performance for value-based programs, such as MACRA and MIPS.

It is a challenge for data-driven organizations to make sure that terms are clinician friendly, they are easy to search, and there is consistency and clarity in how they map to SNOMED CT® and ICD-10 codes. Now that the clinic captures codes accurately, they have no problem using risk-adjusted billing for reimbursements.

To improve this process and make it seamless, the clinic uses IMO Clean Up Your Data (CUYD) service, which maps user-created clinical content to the appropriate standards and corrects inappropriately mapped content to the right codes.

“It helps teach people how to keep our data clean,” Dr. Young said. “Our billers really like the IMO solutions. It’s been a lot less work for the coders and fewer calls to clinicians on the back end.”

4. Getting a better feel for patient conditions

Another benefit of IMO solutions is the capability to sort problem lists and clean up charts by merging duplicates. Unlike typical problem lists organized alphabetically, IMO Clinical Categories creates a customized problem list, based on the priorities of users, to view them in the most useful and efficient way. With one click, clinicians can sort the problem list by clinical relevance, as well as group duplicate diagnoses in the same category.

“Our physicians probably don’t realize they are using IMO’s terminology tools, but they would know if they were gone,” Dr. Young said. “We rely on them every day.”

To learn more about the Pediatric Clinic’s efforts to make more efficient use of clinical data, read a recent case study.

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