Archive for the tag 'Reporting'

You converted to a new EHR mid-year….now what?


 A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Healthcare Analytics Summit hosted by Health Catalyst. As a data nerd, I attended out of interest for what is going on in the industry, specifically what initiatives health care systems around the country are currently involved in, and the challenges they are facing.

For the past few years at Galen, I’ve been performing data conversions for clients from one Electronic Health Record (EHR) to another. A recurring issue that I heard a few times during the Summit is that sometimes health systems need to perform mid-year data conversions from one system to a new system, which made year end reporting for quality initiative programs from the legacy system challenging. Some systems with their own Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) were able to incorporate the legacy data into their existing EDW, saving them hundreds of man hours of physically going through the records to find patients that meet the criteria.

But some of you don’t have the luxury of a fully functional EDW. And many of you are acquiring practices left and right. Incorporating the data from these legacy systems into your new or existing EHR is an exhaustive process in itself. Testing the data imports, managing timelines, training staff on a new system. It can be daunting.


Last year Galen performed many data conversions from a variety of source systems. The data that we extract as part of the conversion process is reportable and can be used for a number of reporting initiatives. Although they aren’t technically part of your hospital system, your conversion tech and conversion analysts know your data very well by the end of a conversion. We often work with staff in your hospital to understand workflows. We understand that specialty practices have different types of data and different types of needs than primary care practices. We work so closely with your data for months at a time that it sometimes feels as if we are actually employees of your health care organization.

The thought struck me during the Summit – why not utilize the data that was extracted for the conversion in order to assist in your reporting needs for your quality initiatives? Like I stated above, by the end of the conversion, your tech is going to understand your data really well, and most importantly, have access to it. For conversions, some of the most commonly extracted items include problems, medications, allergies, appointments, smoking history, vital signs, lab and imaging results, visit notes, health maintenance history and immunizations. On top of these items, we can also extract any items that you might need for quality initiative reporting at the same time that we are performing the extraction for the data conversion. For example, in the demographic extract, we can extract race, which might not necessarily be part of the conversion efforts, but something simple for us to add into the extract that will go a long way in helping you report for Meaningful Use.

We can help you. If you are one of our current or past conversion clients, contact us to see how we can work with you. Galen also offers archival solutions, de-migration and conversion services as well as a variety of reporting offerings to meet your quality initiative reporting measures as well as your own internal needs.

MEDITECH Data Repository Database


As the emphasis in the healthcare IT industry shifts from data capture to improved results, the ability to understand EHR databases, extract data, and meaningfully employ it towards targeted outcomes becomes increasingly important.  The fee-for-service model is shrinking, and CMS has already made a push to mandate once voluntary pay-for-performance (P4P) programs, vaulting the need for accurate and nimble reporting capabilities near the top of many organizations’ priority lists.  In the past, we’ve used custom reporting to drive measurable workflow optimization in Allscripts TouchWorksTM through notes, tasks, and referral orders.  The Galen Note Form Reporting tool, which extracts structured and unstructed note data into discrete, normalized SQL tables, has helped many organizations achieve reports for incentive programs requirements (such as PCMHs and ACOs).

We’re excited to extend our database and reporting expertise to one of our newer forays, the MEDITECH acute care modules and ambulatory suite.  To learn more about the MEDITECH Data Repository (DR) Database, join us Wednesday, September 2, for a free webcast with Galen’s MEDITECH reporting experts, where we’ll delve into the fundamentals necessary to harvest data, build reports, and extract value from the database.

Healthcare Wiki Collaboration – It’s the Galen Way


A “Wiki” is a web application “which allows collaborative modification, extension, or deletion of its content and structure,” but to Galen it is much more than that. One of our core tenets is to “Perpetually Learn and Share,” and there is no better platform than the wiki to share our knowledge with the HIT community.

We have always encouraged our wiki visitors to contribute their insights as well, making the repository of information you find not only very robust, but also containing many varying experiences and perspectives. The wiki’s foundation was originally built upon our Allscripts TouchWorksTM EHR expertise, but over the past few years it has expanded to include other systems and healthcare topics. Our most recent addition is the new MEDITECH wiki, which will be your go-to place for all things regarding MEDITECH.

Just a few examples of helpful information you can find throughout our wiki:

Allscripts TouchWorksTM EHR


In June of this year Galen launched its new MEDITECH wiki page! It hosts a myriad of information containing interesting MEDITECH articles, educational materials, and case studies. Some of the categories include:

  • Data conversions – Galen has extensive experience in migrating data to and from MEDITECH EHRs. Our MEDITECH wiki includes details on this process.
  • Reporting – Capturing important data from an EHR is imperative with Meaningful Use, pay-for-performance incentives, and new value-based reimbursement models. You will find some interesting MEDITECH reporting subjects on our wiki.
  • Interfaces – This section includes helpful information on MEDITECH interface specifications and interface resources
  • Optimization – Our Optimization section contains frequently asked questions and specific information on optimizing your Mobile Health applications

Feel free to utilize our MEDITECH wiki information and add your own interesting tidbits!
We thank all of our clients and visitors who have helped grow this repository of knowledge and invite all of you reading this to join in the collaboration. If you feel that you have knowledge to share, please contact us and we will get you started on your way, the Galen way!

Quality Incentive Programs Reporting – Which Opportunities Are Right For You?


PQRS, ACO, MSSP, PCMH. These acronyms, and many more like them, are quality incentive programs indicative of the shift in the current healthcare landscape. While pay-for-performance is not a new concept, the breadth and depth of today’s EHR data provide organizations with new opportunities to participate in value-based payment programs. Many of these plans target chronic diseases in specific patient populations, placing an emphasis on improving patient care through proactive monitoring, while ultimately reducing expenses for all parties involved. As adoption grows and more of these programs are implemented, those who delay may miss out on significant opportunities.

Do you know how your group is performing? If not, it might be time to take a step back and look at your patient population across the continuum of care. What you find might surprise you! Simple things such as documenting patient immunizations, ensuring blood pressure and other vital signs are taken at each encounter, and regularly scheduling screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies will not only help with monitoring your patient’s health, but also further engage your patient and ultimately improve quality scores.

If you’re interested in learning more about quality reporting, especially how it can help expose opportunities for improvement through workflow and gap analyses, please join us for a free webcast on Wednesday, June 10th.

Custom Reporting

“Allscripts TouchWorks is a great EHR, but is lacking in reporting.”  This sentiment has been expressed over and over by the people who use it daily. There are a thousand and one reports needed to deal with the wide variety of measures, and the differences between the reports can be subtle enough that a single canned report won’t cover many scenarios.

When it comes down to it, the EHR is meant to assist in the delivery of care; reporting, while useful, is a secondary consideration. That’s not to say that reports shouldn’t be included in the EHR, because a lot of value can be derived from them. They are useful in a multitude of ways, from simple reports such as problem-based patient populations, to reports on scheduled appointments or charges. Still, reporting often requires a finer level of detail than a canned product can provide, and even input parameters may not allow for that necessary level of control. Often, small differences in workflows cause data to be found in different fields, making out-of-the-box reports less practical. As requirements evolve, the complexity of even a simple report can multiply, and the reporting logic should have the adaptability to accommodate these changes.

In today’s data-centric environment, custom reports are incredibly useful in tracking progress on both external measures, such as HEDIS or PQRS, and internal organizational initiatives. There have been many variations of referral reports, such as the one Acton Medical Associates uses to analyze their internal vs. external referrals. Sunny Herguth, the Clinical Director at Acton, had this to say about their report:

The referral tracking report is used all the time to track referral trends and to use to see who we do not receive reports back from once a patients sees a specialist.

This is a great example of a custom report used for internal purposes. Knowing where referrals are going, and from which providers, can give an organization insight into areas that might be improved.

Another example, from OrthoVirginia, addressed the issue of providers not signing notes. Rhonda Coor, COO, explains how they use the report:

When my group decided to more closely monitor the signing of notes, I turned to Galen to write a custom report so I could track my physicians’ compliance.  The report is the only way I can stay on top on how the physicians are timely dictating and signing their notes.

This particular report was used to guide providers to complete their charting, though other reports have been used as a carrot rather than a stick incentive.

Custom reporting also contributed to the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) Measure Up/Pressure Down program, an initiative to improve hypertension patient care and the general health of this patient population. Rather than a regularly run EHR report, this report was designed to pull percentages of patients who met certain blood pressure criteria. Baptist Medical Group collaborated with Galen on the necessary parameters for the patient groups, and Galen developed several queries to extract and compile this data. The AMGA and Baptist leveraged the data to deliver better care to their hypertension patients, with the end goal of building a healthier patient population and reducing healthcare costs for the organization.

I’d like to conclude with an anecdote from Tom Goodwin, manager of Clinical Systems and Clinical Data Quality at MIT Medical:

In this electronic age it is hard to tell an exciting story about a printed sheet of paper. But if the sheet of paper serves as many purposes as I am about to describe I think you would agree that it is at least worth a smile.

In order to provide a high level of service, MIT Medical, like every other healthcare organization, needs to collect a tremendous amount of information from our patients. This information feeds billing, supports Meaningful Use and Joint Commission initiatives, ensures patient safety, and most importantly helps to improve the patient clinician relationship.

The MIT Medication Worksheet is unique to the presenting patient and can be printed from the schedule in a batch for the day or on the fly from a number of spots within the chart. Based on information we already have in our electronic health record, the patient is asked to verify standard demographic information, to support Meaningful Use they are asked to verify race, ethnicity, preferred language, their smoking status, and if they would like a clinical summary. For Joint Commission they are asked about special needs. For safety they are asked to verify existing allergies, the medication list as displayed in the electronic health record, and they are asked to write down any medications prescribed by an outside clinicians as well as over the counter or herbal medications that are taken on a regular basis.

Using this worksheet gives our patients a sense of how well we know them. They are more active participants in the care they receive and they aren’t frustrated by being asked to newly produce the same information at each visit.

Our friends at Galen Healthcare helped to make this and many other enhancements to our electronic health system possible. We truly value our partnership with Galen.

Custom reports can provide tremendous value. They can expose workflow deficiencies, assist in clinical and administrative decision making, and provide necessary data to third parties for patient care or financial reimbursement. Let Galen help your organization make better use of your EHR data. For further information, please check out a sampling of custom reports on our website or contact

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