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All Things HIT

Aug 24 2012   4:41PM GMT

Core measure #13, giving patients unmeasurable value

Posted by: AllinHIT
EHR, EpicCare, Meaningful use, Patient Satisfaction

Whether you are in customer service, customer support, or delivering care to patients, it’s a great feeling to know you had a quick impact on someone’s life.  This is one of the primary reasons I enjoy doing go-lives, for the immediate reward of helping both physician and patient.  Since the implementation of meaningful use, I must say the rewards have been mounting fast, a snowball effect I’m certain CMS expected.  The Health IT industry is full of commentary on meaningful use. Experts have reviewed, discussed, and appropriately, recommended changes to core measures!  Although much attention has been drawn to implementing measures like CPOE, e-prescribing, and reporting clinical quality measures, the actual use of these measures is providing real patient value.  Measure # 13 ( providing clinical summaries for patients), is the one I most recently witnessed provide true value.

I was assisting a cardiologist with printing an after-visit summary (an “AVS” in EpicSpeak).  As I was providing support to rectified the printing issue, the physician wisely talks to the patient and explains the new Epic system provides this “AVS”, which summarizes their office visit showing useful information on their vitals, medication list, and other clinical information. Afterwards, I solved the problem and left the room.      Five (5) minutes later, as I was leaving, I ran into the patient by the parking lot.  The patient explained to me the doctor talked about putting the patient on Coumadin during the visit and gave a prescription for it.  However, upon the patient reviewing the AVS, they went back to the office and talked with the doctor. The patient, noticed the word “Warfarin” was in parentheses alongside Coumadin, and realized it was the same drug. Already on “Warfarin”, the patient avoided an overdose, just by reviewing the AVS.  Hence, the patient thanked me for assisting the physician with printing the document, and told me they now understand the importance of reviewing this information!

As we discuss, dissect, and influence meaningful use, (by the time this blog is finished we will be reviewing final stage 2 reqs) let’s remember the impact these measures have on patient care. I think sometimes we can get lost addressing corresponding changes to workflow, integration issues, reporting requirements, data governance, data breaches, PHI security, and I could go on.  With the patient thanking me in the aforementioned scenario, I was reminded why I love what I do and I saw the epitome of meaningful use, preventing errors and increasing patient satisfaction!

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