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Tips for Converting Employed Physicians and Offices into Affiliated-Connected EHR Partners

Courtney Patterson - Thursday, February 22, 2018

by Dan Geffre

 

 

Inevitably, medical systems lose some providers who want to try their luck with private practice. Along with those providers, they lose patients too. Many patients would rather follow a provider they trust to a new clinic rather than form a relationship with a new physician.

 

A physician's departure presents challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining revenue during the transition. However, you can turn this into an opportunity to gain an EMR affiliate. A connected EMR affiliate program maintains technical revenue from labs, testing, admissions while allowing the provider their autonomy.

 

When speaking to your departing providers, focus on the benefits your affiliate program’s EMR presents over that of your competitors or independent EMR providers:

 

  • - Patient records are in your system in their original form with no chart abstraction activities necessary for the provider.
  • - The physician and their patients are accustomed to the workflows designed around the EMR they are currently using - there's no necessary cost for re-education.
  • - The provider's patients can continue to use your patient portal. They keep access to all of their health information and don’t have to switch to a new portal.
  • - As an affiliate, providers can customize features of their EMR that were previously standardized when they were part of the health system.

 

If you decide to place a departing physician or physician's office into a connected affiliate program, keep these lessons in mind to help maintain revenue:

  • - Retrain and customize workflows that drive hub system revenue, such as labs, imaging, and direct admissions
  • - Consider automated conversion wherever possible to reduce implementation costs associated with manual conversions
  • - If there will not be a gap in time between the provider‘s employment and implementation of their new practice, there will be careful security considerations as part of cutover for any affected users
    •          - Create a dual-function security setup for transition/conversion periods prior to go-live
    •          - Determine if the standard affiliate security setup will provide the office with all needed access              to their historical clinical data and reporting
  • - To reduce implementation costs and provide better service, be sure your affiliate team understands the differences between the previous health system workflows and the affiliate ones. Address any gaps with the practice to ensure they’re prepared for the

 

For help developing and selling an affiliate program, contact us.

Report Writing Process Improvement

Courtney Patterson - Wednesday, February 14, 2018


 

by: Melinda Cleaver

 

What one variable affects report writing more than any other? The requester.

 

Yes: the person requesting a report influences both the quality and the completion time more than any other factor.

 

Typical Report Request Process

 

When someone needs a report, they use either email or a help desk system to request it, providing a brief description and priority. Then, the report writer receives and reviews the request and generates a list of questions that the requester needs to answer before the work can be completed. Usually, the report writer will email these questions, and response times can vary from days to weeks. Meanwhile, other reports come into the queue and by the time a response arrives, the report writer must refresh their memory before resuming work.

 

This back-and-forth may take weeks. Even months may pass as refinement occurs.

 

Clearly, there’s room to streamline the process. We’ve seen good results adopting an enterprise-wide methodology that decreases turnaround time, increases quality, and most importantly, makes the process easier (provided both requesters and report writers commit to it).

 

Adopting a Better Report Request System

 

How can you improve the process?

 

To develop an effective request system, start by bringing together stakeholders from all divisions. Make sure end users know where to request reports and how to complete the requests, and that they understand what information the report writers need to complete their work. If your organization doesn’t have much experience filling out specification documents, you may need to provide one-on-one support requiring staff to fill out their own detailed request forms.

 

Next, determine expectations for the roles and time commitment to develop reports. For each request, the requester should be available to answer questions and receive status updates. Depending on the complexity and type of requests, additional resources such as technical or subject matter experts may be needed. It’s important to give these resources some notification about the project and that they may be pulled in if needed to help answers questions.

 

If you encounter push-back at requiring regular touch-bases request a trial period. Once they see quicker turnarounds and higher quality reports they will surely stick with the process.

 

The Reason? Efficiency and Satisfaction

 

Getting the right people involved early in development has critical benefits. Focusing on submitting a quality request decreases the transactional cost associated with moving from one request to another. It helps report writers work more efficiently than a system where their work is on hold for weeks or months at a time. A second advantage is that needs are less likely to shift during the course of development, so the business case for the report still applies and it requires fewer modifications.

 

Changing the request process may be difficult, but we have seen it make huge improvements in overall happiness of the end users. Both parties learn more about each other’s work and can communicate better as collaboration continues.


 

 

Multi-Hospital System Tackles Large Report Backlog After Go-Live

Courtney Patterson - Wednesday, February 14, 2018


 

by: April Truelove 

 

Go-lives, updates, and other EHR changes cause issues and report requests to spike. This often creates a backlog that leaves users feeling ignored and frustrated. What follows is an example of how Sagacious Consultants’ Report Writing Service (RWS) helped one healthcare organization expedite optimization by reducing the backlog.

 

Last year, for one client, Sagacious Consultants’ Report Writing Service (RWS) created 135 data assets across 15 applications and several data sources, with an agile team of five. This multi-hospital system in the Northeast needed a broad range of deliverables including large, complex extracts for a cost accounting system, clinical operations reports, and insights about the impact of regulatory changes on revenue.

 

Backlogs Loomed

 

Following the EHR go-live at the main hospital, the client faced an influx of data requests as new users began to understand the system's capabilities. Meanwhile, the client’s reporting team continued to roll out the new EHR to additional facilities within the organization, with rolling go-lives scheduled every few months throughout the year. This left the client’s reporting team trying to climb the EHR learning curve while managing ongoing implementations and an influx of requests.

 

If they didn’t close this capacity gap, the organization faced the possibility that a large buildup of requests would soon become unmanageable. The client proactively engaged with our team to prevent this issue.

 

Collaborating on a Solution

 

The client worked with us to establish a minimum availability to help bridge the capacity gap. We assigned a team that could flex to specific demands as various requests came in. Using this approach, we reduced the backlog, and kept it at a more manageable level throughout the year.

 

To provide transparency and clear communication channels throughout the engagement, both our team and the health system each assigned a lead to this relationship. In addition to ad hoc phone and email communication, the leads met weekly to review the request queue, escalate issues, and identify targets for the coming weeks.

 

The Sagacious team acted as an extension of the client’s reporting team. We assigned both a Sagacious owner and a client owner for each deliverable. Once the Sagacious owner completed development, they reviewed the specifications, documentation, and build with their counterparts. This hand-off marked the transition of ownership from Sagacious Consultants to the client. The RWS team also provided weekly status updates with detailed summaries and time tracking for each report.

 

Results

 

This engagement had lasting benefits for the client: they successfully managed their reporting backlog, and their report writers learned from working closely with several Sagacious reporting experts, who had an average of 12 years of industry experience.

 

Our RWS matured, as well, expanding our repertoire of workflows and tools. We grew our capacity by tackling several complex projects – including third party vendor extracts, a finance reporting suite, and dashboard optimizations – for which demand continues to increase. Our team also shares relevant skills and expertise with other clients and consultants.

 

Consultant Spotlight: Lonnie Friesen

Courtney Patterson - Monday, February 05, 2018


 

Lonnie Friesen is a North Carolina-based consultant on Sagacious Consultants' Report Writing Services team.

 

What brought you to Sagacious Consultants?

 

My first IT job was as a software developer back in 1992. Eventually I was hired away by Scott Consulting Corporation in Eagan MN to develop custom software for various industries.

 

In 2004, I took a position in Dallas at Parkland Hospital, developing custom software for Disease Management Clinics. This was my first exposure to healthcare. Eventually I transferred into the Internal Audit Department, where I wrote programs touching every conceivable application in the hospital. It was then I received Epic certifications in Health Information Management and Hospital Billing.

 

In 2011, I became an independent contractor. I worked at different hospitals every 6-12 months, and was exposed to different environments and coding skills.

 

Then in 2014, I came to Sagacious Consultants. To date, I have worked in over 15 hospitals, from the east to west coasts!

 

What projects have you focused on at Sagacious Consultants?

 

My primary job is to write reports. They come together quickly, so I don’t consider them projects. For me, a project is something that lasts for months and sometimes a year or better.

 

  • 1.ICD10 Project where I had to convert all ICD 9 reports to ICD10. 
  • 2.StrataJazz Project involved extracting large quantities of data (58 SQL scripts in all) from Clarity and then create an SSIS Package that automated the pulls and sent the data to a directory that was uploaded to an FTP site every 2 hours. 
  • 3.HEDIS Project involved the writing of two dozen measures involving both standard and nonstandard data, which was then placed into an SSIS package and scheduled to send the data to Emblem. 
  • 4.Portfolio Project in which I was asked to document hundreds of reports and to basically reverse engineer the report to create specifications for them. This was used so the client could have a way of understanding what reports they have in their inventory and what they did. 

 

What project are you especially proud of?

 

HEDIS exposed me to the various ways a provider might go about recording data. In other words, I had to search notes as well as smart sets and flowsheets and a dozen other disparate locations.

 

I understand you enjoy mentoring clients. What has been your most satisfying mentorship and why?

 

My most rewarding experience was working with a Practice Administrator on the Strata Jazz project. As I was writing the code, it became a best practice for us to screen share so she could look over my shoulder as I wrote code or validated data. I organize my code differently than nearly every other programmer I’ve met. As a result, it makes my code extremely easy for me to explain to a novice what’s happening and how it’s laid out. So, in this case, I was mentoring the client not only on Epic and Clarity, but also on coding technique.

 

How have you seen the EHR reporting space change during your years of working with EHR systems?

 

I remember the days when a doctor or hospital wouldn’t give you a copy of your own medical record without a court order. Now, a patient can see what a doctor is writing on their medical record, and can challenge the findings.

 

The government has always been involved in healthcare reporting, but back in the day those charts could be 4-5 inches thick for one patient. Now, they can be sent electronically and CMS is able to process vast amounts of data much faster; looking for abuse, neglect and fraud.

 

Healthcare is always the last to upgrade technology, because it is so expensive. But now that EHR is required by the government, larger hospitals are upgrading and smaller hospitals are being acquired by larger hospitals or insurance companies.

 

What would be your biggest piece of advice to share from your years of working in the industry?

 

Zig Ziglar once said, “Help enough other people get what they want, and you’ll automatically get what you want.” My wife tells me, “People are more important than things.” I am not the sum of one good idea. Never be afraid to share your knowledge. The more you read, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you want to share. The more you share, the more you grow. Read everything, even if it pushes you outside your comfort zone.

 

What was your most challenging feat in the last two years, and how did you overcome it?

 

The HEDIS Project was the most challenging. The specifications were extremely detailed. The codes changed every year, so hard coding them meant every year the source code would have to change. There were literally ten thousand codes! I had to come up with the most efficient way possible to write the code.

 

My solution, was to create a table within the database that held all these codes and defined them according to their purpose, such as sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, drugs, cancer, diabetes, etc. What this meant is that my code didn’t have to hard code one value. I simply queried the table for the specific value set (like sexual abuse), and then pulled the specific group within that value set. Now, when new codes come out next year, the client has to import them into the table and the code will simply use the updated codes as appropriate.

 

Any big goals for 2018?

 

Professionally, to focus on more certifications or training in: Caboodle, SSIS, Tableau or Qlik. I won’t be able to get all of those done, but if I could get one per year, I’d feel good about that.

 

Personally, to enjoy each day with my wife as we celebrate our 36th anniversary this April. To exercise more and take care of my health so I can enjoy old age and retirement someday. I recently built a woodshop, so I’d like to learn how to build things. I need to build a road on my land, and I’d like to put a bathroom in my workshop.

 

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?

 

In the winter, if it’s below freezing, I light the fireplace and share a bottle of wine with my wife as we watch a movie. That is the most precious time.

 

My wife and I have started a little farm with chickens, greenhouse, raised gardens and an orchard with 50 fruit trees that’ll be bearing fruit in another year or so. We have 3 cherry, 1 persimmon, 3 apricot, 6 peach, 4 nectarine, 5 plum, 5 pear and 20 apple trees with 6 varieties.

 

I’m going to build a pavilion and use it as a farmers market, to sell fruit on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer. Anything that doesn’t sell, we’ll take what we want and can it, and the rest I plan to donate to homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, food banks or anyone in need. The land was never about money, but about how can I help the most people possible with what I’ve been given. When I retire in 8 years, it won’t be to the golf course. I’ll be going into the orchard.

 

Using your EHR to Automate Charges

Courtney Patterson - Friday, December 08, 2017

 

 

by Teri Tsutsui

 

Many organizations know they want to automate charging to whatever extent they can in their electronic health records (EHRs), but may not know which processes to automate. Here, we review a few ways you can configure your EHR so that a clinician’s workflow automatically enters the appropriate charges – all for the right patient at the right time, of course.

 

Updating EHR build to include automatic charging functionality can take a lot of staff time, which might discourage some organizations from making these updates during optimization or upgrades. So, why bother? Automatic charging can improve accuracy, consistency, and timeliness. The more charges you can automate, the more consistent charge entry will be. Work with your organizations’ certified coders to ensure that you link the correct charges to procedures. Charges that are automatically triggered from the appropriate clinical documentation help minimize delays.

 

You can configure your EHR to trigger charges based on several actions, including order completion, note completion, and documentation in flowsheets or procedure logs. Following are some more detailed examples of workflow options for charging automation:

  •  
  • Medication administration: To charge for the medication patients receive, you can set the EHR to charge when the pharmacy dispenses it, or when the nurse documents administering it.
  •  
  • Nursing or therapy flowsheet documentation: You can configure charges to file with the documentation when users enter a certain activity, quantity (of exercises, for example), or time range (such as for oxygen).
  •  
  • Order completion (or procedure completion): Providers enter orders electronically, and when they are marked as completed, a charge can automatically file for the order or procedure performed (such as placing an IV).
  •  
  • Note completion: Because procedures require documentation, it’s possible to configure the EHR to complete the order and file charges when a provider signs their procedure note. Providers can also document using notes with discrete data, which can enter charges based on the options selected in those discrete data elements.
  •  
  • OR documentation completion: Charges for supplies and equipment used during a procedure can file based on documentation completed during the procedure.
  •  

These automated charge methods will help boost charging efficiency at healthcare organizations. Sagacious Consultants can provide services to evaluate and implement these workflows and methods. For more examples of charging success projects, read about our work at a major healthcare organization in the northeast or browse our case studies.

 

Managing Mayhem: A Healthcare Consultant's Frustrations as a Patient

Courtney Patterson - Thursday, November 16, 2017

 

by George Evans

 

Over the course of my 30+ years working in healthcare IT, I have participated in hundreds of improvement initiatives as a provider CIO and now as a consultant. I, along with my team, have reduced expenses, streamlined workflows, improved quality metrics, increased cash flow and more—all to take better care of patients in the most cost-effective, high-quality manner possible. Every now and then the tables get turned and I find myself a patient rather than a supplier. At those times, I intensely observe what I’m experiencing with an eye toward making healthcare better.

 

I recently had an emergency room visit and minor surgery in two separate encounters at the same organization. In both cases I was registered and seen promptly, cared for by pleasant staff, and pleased with the outcome. If I had received a patient satisfaction survey upon discharge I would have given my provider top scores.

 

But my attitude soon changed. I received my first bill. And another bill. And another. And then three more. The six bills came from five different companies, only one of which was the provider that had performed the services. Every bill contained at least one error or unintelligible description of charges requiring a call to their customer service line. I waited on hold an average of 15 minutes, and several items took more than one call to resolve. 

 

How can things go so well for most of the encounter and wind up unraveling right at the finish line? Billing and collections ought to be the easiest part of the whole process. As an insider, I understand how scenarios such as the above occur, but that doesn’t make them any more acceptable. To the average person the lack of coordination is baffling.

 

Several factors can contribute to the dysfunction:

 

Set and forget outsourcing – Out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind. Don’t hide behind the vendor. Outsourcing is a great option but you still own the process from the patient’s perspective. All outsourcing vendors should be held accountable through mandated performance metrics and service level agreements. Make sure patients know how to get in contact with you if they have issues.

 

Perpendicular structure – Most organizations are organized vertically (registration, surgery, imaging, etc.), but patients interact with the organization horizontally. Coordination across functional units is critical to ensure optimal patient outcomes and experience. Governance that includes representation from all areas and cross-functional teams supports an integrated process and timely reaction to any hiccups.

 

Compartmentalized colleagues – No one owns the entire encounter (although in the patient’s mind the hospital does). In many organizations, anesthesia, emergency room physicians, radiologists and others each bill for their own services. The involvement of multiple, separate parties makes it difficult to provide a patient with an accurate estimate of total charges. A unified bill, whether accomplished by employing all the providers or via a web-based user interface (e.g. patient portal), can make you stand out from the crowd.

 

In their 2017 Digital Health Technology Vision, Accenture notes that “healthcare enterprises are increasingly integrating their core business functionalities with third parties & their platforms. [Healthcare organizations] have begun to realize that healthcare should be organized around the patient, not the enterprise.”

 

Many healthcare organizations prioritize initiatives such as expense reduction, regulatory compliance, operations improvement and quality. While these are all worthy pursuits, you can never lose sight of who you’re there for: the patient. Take the time to look at the entire care process from their perspective.

 

 


 

About the Author

As the son of a physician, George Evans has been in and around healthcare his entire life. He has over 30 years of experience in healthcare IT, over 20 of them as a Chief Information Officer. He’s now a Senior Manager with Sagacious Consultants, part of Accenture.

 

A Consultant’s Journey: From EHR to Blockchain in Healthcare

Courtney Patterson - Thursday, November 09, 2017

by: Noah Lincoff

 


 

When Sagacious Consultants became part of Accenture, employees gained numerous perks – one of the greatest of these was the immense career advancement opportunities available in a large and well-positioned firm. As a 425,000-employee company, Accenture has a presence in nearly every industry in the world. And for a company of this size and reach, what is truly remarkable is its open nature towards employees and encouragement to move into fields of interest.

 

For me personally, these opportunities have manifested in a few different ways. For the past three years, I’ve worked with Sagacious Consultants’ Hospital Billing team on implementation, augmentation, and maintenance. This year I branched out into exciting new areas; I have been able to take on a leadership role within our North America Health & Public Service blockchain team, work with Accenture Ventures in varied tasks and external partnerships, plan innovation conferences and events, and work with Accenture Europe on a client project in Copenhagen (and potentially emerging healthcare tech within Europe, such as blockchain).

 

To successfully network my way into these new areas, I found that I needed to be proactive, persistent, patient, and willing to take on whatever tasks would help establish my presence within a group. When I got involved with blockchain, for example, I made connections with the team by reaching out to a couple Managing Directors, who I had seen quoted in a Business Insider article. Once they learned of my EMR background, they put me in touch with the head of the blockchain in healthcare team. From there, I was invited to their weekly go-to-market meeting, where I signed up for any and everything that needed to be done and to have one-on-one introductions with whomever would meet with me. Gradually, I started to take on tasks of higher and higher responsibility, which has led to many great experiences and to me taking on ongoing leadership roles in an area that highly interests me.

 

My involvement with Accenture Europe began through their work with a client in Denmark. They needed an Epic Hospital Billing resource in Copenhagen. While working in an HB analyst role wasn’t necessarily my goal for my next role, I could not pass up a phenomenal opportunity to gain international healthcare experience, as well as to network with Accenture Europe.

 

From here in Copenhagen, I have been employing a similar networking technique to get involved with our presence in European blockchain in healthcare. There is a keen interest in blockchain in healthcare in Europe, which I discovered from a blockchain conference in Nashville I attended a couple months ago, as well as from discussions with a few of our managing directors in Europe. My aim is to help build our presence and business in Europe much in the same way I have done in the US, while building my network within the firm.

 

My career is still evolving at Sagacious Consultants, and new opportunities continue to present themselves through Accenture. I’m excited to see where the path will lead.

 

Curious where Sagacious Consultants can take your career? Contact careers@sagaciousconsultants.com.

 

Using the Pod Model to Improve EHR Reporting

Courtney Patterson - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

By Anthony Marzorati, Business Delivery Manager and Scrum Master

 

With over 25 Epic go-lives under my belt, I have seen many clients struggle with ticket management during post live stabilization and optimization. One effective way to alleviate these issues is with Agile methodologies, specifically using a Pod model that can expedite and simplify your ticket management process.

 

A Quick Response to Reporting Backlogs

 

Here’s a typical example of where I see the struggle: The Director of Accounting asks for a report on remark codes by payor. She wants to see how many denials are occurring by payor and which payor has the most occurrences in a given timeframe. I put the director in contact with an at-the-elbow claims analyst who shows her a few reports she can review.The director has additional questions about the data and requests a new report.

 

Typically, this goes into a report request backlog until it is triaged, prioritized, and assigned to a report developer. The developer then tries to get in contact with the requester once they begin working on the request. A lot of time can pass while the requester and report writer wait on one another to work through the iterations of development. Eventually, maybe months later, a report will be published that meets the specifications outlined by the requester, and since it may not be optimized for enterprise use, that report may only be used by that particular director. Sound familiar? In this instance, the Pod model could help increase utilization and efficiently tackle issue backlogs.

 

Applying the Agile Pod model to EHR Reporting Teams

 

Agile Management is a set of guiding principles to efficiently and iteratively design, build, and deploy solutions. Originally used in software development, the Agile method has also been used successfully in other business areas, such as ongoing ticket management. The flexibility of the Agile method means that months spent designing, building and testing can be compressed into shorter sprints while also optimizing deliverable quality. The Pod model builds on the Agile methodology, creating an integrated team who can leverage their complementary skills and work to complete delivery in a specific business area. These Pods are designed to focus on clearly prioritized ‘use cases’ within a given area, bringing together all invested parties.

 

The roles within the Pod aim to provide a clear line of communication between the business and technical resources. Inside the Pod, a Scrum Master facilitates the model and manages the process of exchanging information. Business analysts, data visualizers, business domain experts, developers, and database administrators also play an important role within the Pod. These users contribute their expertise to facilitate discovery and support a flexible development process. This ensures that solutions provide the greatest value to end users.

 

The Agile Pod utilizes Sprints to provide flexible and efficient delivery by combining Agile methodologies such as “Scrum” with the Pod model. The Scrum Master leads the review of use cases in the backlog, leveraging Pod input to create a Sprint priority. The Pod works closely to develop, test, and optimize the solution to be deployed at Sprint completion.

 

Applying the Pod model to our example above, the Director’s request would be quickly addressed and prioritized in a triage meeting. The correct billing representative would coordinate with the Claims report developer to verify that a report doesn’t already exist in the current enterprise warehouse. If a new solution is needed, the Pod members would work in concert to develop, test, and optimize the solution. This would not only ensure delivery in a timely manner to the director, but also account for enterprise usability.

 

Keys to Success with the Agile Pod

 

In order to implement a successful Agile Pod, you must ensure that your teams and approach are clearly defined. It is also essential that stakeholders from all impacted parties are included early and often. Clear communication pathways within the Pod, particularly between the business and development stakeholders, need to be defined. Leveraging the Scrum Master to reinforce the approach and facilitate communication throughout the process is key to success within the Agile Pod framework.

 

Sagacious Consultants has experience tailoring this model to an organization’s specific needs, with prior successes that include leveraging the Agile methodology for efficient workflow and EHR build validation sessions with increased stakeholder engagement, and using the Agile Pod to conquer post-live ticket backlogs efficiently. Contact us for more information.

Don't Get Carried Away with EHR Customization

Courtney Patterson - Friday, October 06, 2017


 

by: Michael Perretta

 

 

Simplicity is valuable in today’s healthcare information ecosystem, where complexity is inescapable. In a philosophical sense, EHR systems attempt to distill order from the relative chaos of paper documentation.

 

In pursuit of efficiency, organizations often attempt to customize EHRs to reflect their special business requirements, unique quirks, and niche workflows. While configurability is an attractive bet, there are several disadvantages to going overboard with customization.

 

Support: Customization creates technical overhead and increases costs. It requires additional staff time to develop custom workflows, build, and training materials. Because institutional memory suffers with turnover, unique workflows can present special challenges – when employees leave, they take knowledge of custom functionality with them. Onboarding new employees takes time and disrupts project momentum.

 

Regression: Introducing functionality B sometimes has the unfortunate side effect of “breaking” functionality A. For example, Charge Router, Cost Center Assignment, and Expected Reimbursement Contracts are particular areas of concern from a Hospital Billing perspective. Unexpected consequences arise when analysts weave new layers of Charge Router tasks and actions. Standardizing workflows, therefore, helps minimize long-term errors.

 

Go-live: Although Epic implementations are highly structured, customization can prolong testing, go-live, and issue resolution. For example, specialized interface workflows create situations where errors signal issues that are both less obvious and more convoluted. Despite sufficient IT budgets, customization may hinder focus and work output, prolong implementation time, and derail overall project success.

 

While organizations continue to pursue advancements in healthcare technology, operational leaders must evaluate potential trade-offs between altering existing workflows and increasing levels of system customization.

 

National Health IT Week 2017 – Demonstrating the Value of Health IT

Courtney Patterson - Monday, October 02, 2017

 

 

Sagacious Consultants is pleased to join organizations across the country in celebrating National Health IT Week. We see the impact healthcare IT makes each day at the clients we serve. This year we have gathered a few of our employees to tell their stories on how health information technology has impacted their lives in personal and professional ways.

 

“I have cystic fibrosis (CF), which is a genetic, chronic disease that primarily affects the respiratory system. I see my care team numerous times throughout the year and am in communication with my CF Nurse Coordinator almost weekly. I have found MyChart, as well as the ability to communicate with my nurse via email, to be extremely helpful in managing my health. MyChart provides me with a comprehensive view of my medical record, including test results, current health issues, current medications, and more. I can look back at my test results history to view trends that may be developing, for instance, if my lung function is declining.

 

Having instant access to my healthcare records is invaluable when self-managing a chronic illness. It gives me the ability to monitor my own health without having to rely 100% on my care team to monitor and manage the progression of my CF. This tool gives me peace of mind knowing that if my nurse misses something, it won’t go untreated since she has backup – me!”

 

-Morgan Barrett, Recruiter

 

 

“I knew I wanted to make a difference in healthcare, but medical school wasn't my route. I've been able to find my niche in health IT, where I make a positive impact on patients' lives through the laboratory software I help to implement. I know that improvements I help bring to organizations in their laboratory software lead to more accurate testing outcomes and better care delivery - even if I’m not meeting a patient face to face.” 

 

- Chelsea Sallstrom, Managing Consultant


 

“We often talk about continuity of care as being a long-term relationship between the physician and the patient, the nature of which improves health outcomes thanks to a shared history. As someone who has moved every couple of years since age 4, continuity of care means that every new PCP has access to the sum of all knowledge from his or her predecessors. With the ubiquity of EMRs and inter-practice communication, I find myself worrying a lot less when it comes to whether a new medication will exacerbate a condition an internist noted years ago.” 

 

- Stephen Gac, Senior Consultant

 

 

“I didn’t always believe I would be in healthcare, but the big reason I decided to stay when other options were available is my mom. She was struggling with her health, and her doctors were not able to effectively coordinate her care outside of an acute setting. This made it a challenge for her to return to her normal standards of living. It would not have been so difficult if the proper tools had been used to make communication and coordination of services more effective. This helped me realize what a great opportunity we have with technology to better address patient needs.”

 

-Andrew Hecker, Associate Director - Strategic Services

 

 

“Although I have been in the healthcare industry for a decade, I didn’t see how care was coordinated until my father got diagnosed with cancer last year. My father saw countless specialists and had endless appointments. Thanks to the EHR, transitioning from doctor to doctor was relatively seamless.  Seeing firsthand with my dad how technology impacts healthcare has only increased my excitement for the future of health IT.”

 

- Adrian Calderon, Associate Manager of Business Development

 

 

“Growing up with a physician father and nurse mother, and working as a former EMT and Respiratory Therapist, I have been exposed to care delivery from a lot of angles, including as a consumer. Working now with Sagacious Consultants, I see ways every day that I can make the experience better for individual patients, and for the industry as a whole. That sense of being able to make a difference drives my passion for the work that I do - from streamlining registration and billing to improving care through expanded data integration and analytics.”

 

- George Evans, Principal Consultant

 

 

“I have been working in IT for over 20 years, with the last two spent in healthcare IT. I can easily say that the last two years have been the most fulfilling and eye-opening. Now when I go to my PCP or urgent care, I can see how technology improves the service I receive while I’m there and after I leave. From shorter waits to having access to my records literally at my fingertips, it’s incredible! And, the future of healthcare with added technology and greater interoperability will be even better!”

 

-Phil Pauls, Senior IT Analyst

 

 

 


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