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Cover Story: Roundup Narrative documentation key to meaningful use

Don Fallati, senior VP, marketing, M*Modal

A cornerstone of meeting meaningful-use objectives is producing consistently high-quality documentation – regardless of the source. Many healthcare organizations are grappling with two related facts: First, from up-to-date, problem- list maintenance to status tracking to clinical decision support, considerable

amounts of information needed to meet meaningful- use criteria are captured in voice-driven narrative documents rather than entered directly in the EMR. Second, physician resistance remains high to the constraints of structured documentation imposed by EHRs: workfl ow disruptions and limited ability to

capture the collaborative intelligence that doctors prize as a meaningful supplement to the basic clinical data elements. A bottleneck results on the road to meaningful use and broad EHR adoption. Organizations are turning to “structured narrative” to bridge this gap between narrative dictation and structured data entry. When tightly coupled, the advanced technologies of speech recognition and natural language processing understand the meaning as well as the words of physician dictation and transform them into information that is computer accessible, structured and encoded using standard medical terminologies. This approach goes well beyond today’s simple accommodation of speech into EMR systems, producing higher-quality documentation not only to satisfy Stage 1 meaningful use but also to drive effective clinical actions and create the foundation for meeting Stage 2 and Stage 3 criteria.

Workforce management solutions help deliver quality care

Brian Graves global

Brian Graves, global practice leader, healthcare, Kronos

Hospitals and healthcare systems across the country are facing an array of challenges in pursuit of meaningful use to deliver higher-quality care and avoid Medicare penalties, which begin in 2015. While many organizations focus on the implementation of electronic health records to improve outcomes and

maintain revenues, workforce management is also an integral part of any organization’s clinical and financial strategy. Optimizing the workforce is a critical part of operational initiatives that can support the delivery of quality care, which can simultaneously reduce the cost to deliver it. In a 2010 CHIME survey (“Report: Meaningful Use

Criteria = Health IT Staff Gaps,”, Aug. 24, 2010), staff levels/capabilities was one of the top three concerns of 49.1 percent of respondents. With a comprehensive workforce management solution, organizations can gain visibility to information that supports the best decisions to hire and staff effectively to deliver high-quality care. It can also provide insight into productivity and distribution of labor to workload that allows managers and executives to flex staff up or down to better meet patient demand while maintaining reasonable costs to deliver care, typically saving even small organizations millions of dollars. Ultimately, in a healthcare environment people

care for people. While meaningful use has taken the spotlight, and rightly so, many smart healthcare organizations are also optimizing the workforce – their largest controllable expense – as well as their biggest asset to achieve the delivery of high-quality care.


16 April 2011


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