August 28, 2017
An accurate medical record is not only important for patients’ health but for hospital and provider performance as well. In the past, when information entered by a provider was missing or unclear, clinical documentation specialists contacted the provider but often found their queries went unanswered. Now, thanks to an app, Johns Hopkins providers can answer queries quickly.
Surgeon Peter Greene, chief medical information officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine, along with hospitalist Daniel Brotman and Technology Innovation Center staff members started working with outside company Artifact Health in 2014 to customize the Artifact app to meet a “wish list” for Johns Hopkins Medicine providers and integrate it into Epic.
The old workflow for answering a documentation specialist’s question was time consuming and cumbersome, requiring a provider to access the medical record via desktop. To make this process simpler, one of the items on the wish list was availability on mobile, tablet or desktop, so providers could answer questions on the go.
Information in medical records can affect the performance of physicians and hospitals, because a hospital’s ranking is based in part on metrics established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that assess observed patient outcomes against expected outcomes.
As an example, if a 77-year-old man enters the hospital in sicker condition than what is captured in the medical record, that patient’s outcomes are assessed as if he entered in better health than he did. This can make the hospital treating him appear less effective in delivering care.
Since the app’s rollout, which began at Howard County General Hospital in 2016, providers’ response rates have jumped, says Redonda Miller, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “We wanted to streamline the necessary querying process to make life easier for physicians, so they can spend more time pursuing their passion: caring for patients.”