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establish a road map that closes the gaps in their current data-collection and reporting processes, beginning by identi- fying and prioritizing data-improvement objectives. At the very least, these objec- tives should include minimizing manual data entry and eliminating redundant processes. Doing so will prevent bottle- necks and decrease the potential for error by HIM and quality staff who are typically charged with manually abstracting data and reformatting data elements for registry submission. Objectives should also enable the

capture of trustworthy and compre- hensive data that fl ows freely between systems and departments. T is includes critical quality data required by NCDR registries, such as pre-procedural, intra- procedural and post-procedure infor- mation, which are traditionally docu- mented and stored in multiple reports or systems. Identifying and communicating with key stakeholders is also critical to success. Unless leadership is engaged and sold on the process and technol- ogy changes necessary to achieve the desired state, it is unlikely that short- or long-term resources will be dedicated to improving data integrity.

The role of technology Despite dissatisfaction with the doc- umentation and reporting functionality of many cardiovascular information systems (CVIS), the right solutions can provide users with the tools they need to drive CDI and achieve organizational goals. Procedure-documentation and coding software capable of automat- ing previously manual processes, for instance, can signifi cantly improve data collection and reporting. By automating these processes, organizations can increase standard- ization and mitigate the risk of error. T at is because intuitive procedure- documentation software allows many of the required data points to be collected directly from procedure notes, lessening the need for manual intervention and

eliminating duplicate data entry. In addition, the best systems can gather information through the software’s interfaces and other IT systems to streamline registry reporting for numer- ous quality registries. T ese systems also enable resources to be focused on other core responsibili- ties, increasing productivity and poten- tially accelerating patient throughput. Finally, by improving documentation and quality data, cardiology depart- ments can take the steps necessary to improve processes and organizational decisions that may lead to better pa- tient care. In recognition of the growing em- phasis on quality metrics, a small number of vendors have also introduced reporting tools that integrate with procedure documentation and coding software to further enhance data integ- rity and streamline reporting processes. T e best solutions will also include

registry reporting modules that extract registry data for multiple reporting reg- istries. By guiding physicians through the process of capturing all required data elements, these tools allow data to be organized into specifi c formats that can be transmitted directly to the vari- ous registries, integrating data collection and reporting directly into the physician workfl ow. T e result is increased report- ing effi ciency and reduced human errors that can lead to incomplete documenta- tion and incorrect coding.

Making CDI work for you While cardiology providers can

certainly address increased reporting requirements by modifying current processes to capture data more ef- fi ciently and eff ectively within their department, the best strategies will also include the implementation of automated cardiology procedure documentation and coding software. Utilizing the correct system can drasti- cally increase ACC data integrity and improve data collection and submission across the organization.


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