As CMS leads the transition to a value based system of care that links payment to health outcomes, it becomes increasingly important for healthcare organizations to focus on enhanced systems of care delivery that can empower doctors with data driven insights into a patient’s medical history.
An electronic health record (EHR) contains medical information on a patient and is used by doctors at the point of care. But due to the information overload in an EHR, it becomes overwhelming at times, for doctors to gain insights and drive value from this data. This phenomenon of information overload has been observed in several care settings, from outpatient clinics and primary care, to hospital admissions, and the emergency room. In a recent nonpartisan study, it was found that doctors spend 50 % of their time in the notes section of the EHR and 25% of their time on the Laboratory results, wherein they try to find some evidence for the observations mentioned in the notes section. This creates a need for a patient record summarization system that can extract and summarize content from the patient notes and present the key clinical information to the doctor. Such a system would provide doctors with clinical decision support at the point of care, which will enable them to better engage with their patients and improve care outcomes.
While it is important for organizations to invest in clinical decision support systems for doctors, it is equally important for doctors to embrace a culture of analytics and drive their organizational change initiatives. If we try to look at the challenges from a doctor’s perspective, we will find that with all the different initiatives like ICD-10, meaningful use, accountable care organizations (ACO) and pay-for-performance, doctors are inundated with so much information that they often find it difficult to make sense of it all.
This is where the organizations need to step up and create real-time solutions for doctors that are integrated into their existing workflows so that they don’t need to log into 10 different things to meet their administrative requirements, but focus on how to provide the best possible care to their patients. Since CMS uses the administrative data for evaluating performance, to which it ties its pay-for-performance initiatives, it becomes all the more important for organizations to engage their doctors so that they accurately document the complete clinical and administrative information.
The development and implementation of such clinical standards and strategies for doctor engagement will help improve operational, clinical and financial outcomes.