Archive for the tag 'Reporting'

Analytical ACOs, the next Dot-com bubble… ?

In the mid to late 90’s, at the beginning of the Dot-com bubble, the World Wide Web was available to anyone as long as you had a computer and a dial-up connection.  If you had these, you had the necessary resources to get connected and were likely eagerly seeking new websites to explore.

Now, imagine you are providing healthcare services, and you have the following resources available to you to enhance your practice that you did not have 15 years ago:

With plenty of IT staff and government money, the next best step is to invest in a major analytical/data mining department. To be able to effectively use an ACO, there is a critical need for analytics or the use of “Big Data.” According to a report by IDC Health, advanced analytics is a top priority for participants in ACOs. The question I keep asking myself is; “Who is the first to the pie?” Insurers? Hospitals? Medicare?

When 40 hospitals and 30 health insurance companies, as well as interviews with industry experts and vendors were asked the different ways they were interested in using analytics:

  • 66% of survey respondents cited identifying at-risk patients;
  • 64% cited tracking clinical outcomes; and
  • 57% cited clinical decision-making at the point of care (Government Health IT, 3/15).

The difficult question that hospitals are faced with is how they can implement a sound, efficient analytics department. The first company to emerge that satisfies this need will benefit greatly from this opportunity. At this point, you may still be wondering what the Dot-com bubble has to do with analytical ACOs. The picture I’m trying to paint is the hospitals are the stockholders; the government is the venture capitalists, and the companies providing analytical tools are the web site companies. I think the ACO analytics market is very fragile right now because of immature or inexperienced buyers investing in a very green market. The lingering question out there is; where will you be when the bubble pops?

ACO bubble_Dollar

Allscripts Strategic Acquisitions

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post on the current trends in the EHR industry. I mentioned that users of Allscripts products have increasingly been switching away from Allscripts to other vendors. Either Paul Black at Allscripts is following this blog, or he looked at the Allscripts client list because he is looking to reverse that trend. On March 6th, Allscripts announced its acquisition of two companies dbMotion and Jardogs in an attempt to improve both their Allscripts product lines and to continue to enhance to the Allscripts community’s ability to share information openly. For those of you who may be worrying about Allscripts’s commitment to its own products, don’t fret! Concurrent with this acquisition, Allscripts has pledged over $500 million to improve its own product offerings. However, some of you may have never heard of either of these newly acquired companies, so I thought I would provide a brief overview of each acquisition.


Sold for $235 Million 

dbMotion was founded as an independent company in 2004 in Israel with a significant investment from the University of Pittsburgh which hoped that dbMotion could help solve some of its data interoperability needs. dbMotion lets healthcare companies take data from many different electronic records systems and normalize it to a common data structure That data normalization helps hospitals with business and clinical intelligence, and it lets patients access all their health data in one central location. Allscripts likely bought dbMotion because data analytics and open sharing of information is where the value and growth will be in healthcare now that most hospitals and physician groups have a core electronic record system in place.



Sold for undisclosed amount

Jardogsis a Springfield, IL based company that has seen use of its FollowMyHealth online health record grow to about 13,000 hospitals and other health-care providers nationwide. The cloud based FollowMyHealth solution, which Jardogs launched in January 2011, gives patients access to a single online portal in order to send and receive information to and from their doctors, hospitals and other health-care organizations. This means that patients can have immediate access to their medical records, including test results and doctors’ notes.  As a founding member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, Allscripts sees the Jardogs product line, specifically FollowMyHealth , as a promising opportunity for increased patient engagement which aligns with the Allscripts Open platform strategy.



Automatically Capture Charges from the Note


I am currently working with Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group to solve a unique problem. The group, which boasts national accreditation in many of its specialties, is looking to report on PCMH measures in innovative ways. So we started a conversation on how we could help them reach their PCMH goals. We discovered that their payers are reimbursing them for performing various clinical assessments. To do this, they have custom charge codes that are manually entered into the practice management system based on a medical coder’s review of each note. The medical billing staff spends hours every day sifting through these notes and entering the charges based on pre-configured flags in the note. With over 800 patient visits every day, this task is tedious and costs the practice a lot of money.

They asked us if there was a way that we could help them report on certain items in their notes. Unfortunately the note data is not discrete like medications and problems. It is actually a complex document stored in a format known as XML.While XML is a structured language, the document is first compressed then stored as one long string of text in the database. This means that if you wanted to search through the note in the database you would first have to decompress the note and then scan through the entire document for an identifier that is specific to that note. That is a nightmare for any type of reporting!

After talking with the staff at Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group we realized that this entire process could be automated! Using Note Form Reporting, I have developed a way to identify the appropriate check-boxes in the note and automatically submit the charges to the EHR. If the level of service charge has already been processed, then the charge is automatically submitted to the practice management system; if the encounter level charge has not been submitted then the provider will see it in the Allscripts Enterprise application just like any other charge waiting to be submitted. Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group will no longer have to waste time and money searching these notes for charges, the possibility of human error will be reduced, and the charges will now appear in both in the practice management system and the EHR.



Show Me The Money

For quite some time now all the attention in our industry has been on MU (Meaningful Use) money and the MU reporting needed to get that money.  However, that is certainly not the only reporting that ties back to the money.  There is and will always be a significant need to report against the Allscripts Enterprise Practice Management system; in particular the need to report against the financial data that is maintained in the PM system.  Some organizations manage to make use of the delivered reports in the PM system, but suffice to say many organizations have requirements that reach beyond the abilities of the delivered reports.

In the case of those clients that have requirements that reach beyond those delivered reports, Galen has other little known service offerings to help close the gap.  One of these services specifically is our Allscripts Enterprise PM Database Training.  This training can significantly reduce the learning curve that comes with learning the intricacies of the Allscripts PM database.

The two day training starts out by introducing the students to registration and scheduling data on day one.  We then build on what is learned in day one with a full second day focusing on the financial data, including vouchers, services, and payments.  The training incorporates workshops throughout that give the class the opportunity to bring real world reporting challenges into the class.  The end goal of the training is to leave the training class feeling comfortable with the core data sets that make up the PM database and the tools to take their level of knowledge to the next level after we leave.  The training will include an extensive set of database diagrams and details about some key columns that will be encountered in the database tables.

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Don’t Let Your EHR Data Collect Dust on the Shelf – Unlocking the Potential of Your Data

You likely have spent a lot of time and resources training your providers and your staff to ensure that your health care data gets into the EHR efficiently and accurately.  Proper documentation can help ensure high quality patient care, validate clinical research, and can support billing information that ties to your hospital’s reimbursement rates.  Each data field in the EHR is a valuable piece of information that tells a story of your patient and quality of your practice.  You may not know, however, that the EHR is not a black hole of patient information, and it is possible to get meaningful data back out of your EHR in an organized manner.

At Galen, we have a technical services team that can help you get the most of your data.  Our reporting analysts can assist you in getting the information you need, whether it’s a specific data set for a patient population, or a custom report in your EHR that you can modify with different input parameters (such as date range, provider, etc).

To give an example, I recently customized a Referrals Report for a client that wanted to see information about how their providers are referring patients and keep track of the internal vs. external referring practices.  This report is a printable document deployed in the Custom Reports section of the EHR that gives the client the ability to pull this data at any time to see referral data based on dates, providers, sites and referral type.  An interesting blog post on the importance of referral data was recently posted on Galen’s blog here.

Another type of report I recently built was a report for a client that wanted to see medication data for a specified population of home health care patients.  In this instance, the client wanted to see new and discontinued medications on a month to month basis including the medication name, dose, route, refill information and prescribing physician.  This client wanted a report that they can export to Microsoft Excel for their own data analysis.

These are just two examples of reports that our reporting analysts can customize for your organization. With over 1,000 tables in the Allscripts Enterprise EHR, there are numerous opportunities for data mining and analysis. We will also deploy the reports into your EHR during off-peak business hours to ensure a smooth transition and no disruptions to patient care.

Galen’s Solutions Store offers reports that have been developed for clients and built in the Allscripts Enterprise EHR that are available to purchase and can also be customized.  You can view samples of these reports here.

Having good quality data in your EHR is not only vital for patient safety, but it can also help you make business decisions that can impact staffing levels, inventory, budgeting and even assist in finding avenues for marketing new populations of patients.  If there is any information you think could be helpful to you and your organization, contact Galen to discuss how we can help you get the information you need.  You can also visit our public wiki for more information about reporting here. If you are wondering about how we can help you extract reportable structured note data, here is a link to a blog post referring to Galen’s solution to dealing with this type of data.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts about specific data reporting projects that have been built and customized by Galen’s Reporting Analysts.

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