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Editor's e-Note
Health care organizations willing to take a long view of data analytics can prosper in terms of both patient care and the bottom line. Part of that equation should include natural language processing (NLP), according to this month’s E-News Exclusive.

By coupling NLP with other technologies, hospitals can make good use of its unstructured data, revealing valuable patient information that may otherwise be lost in the shuffle.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Realizing the Value of Unstructured Data: Five Ways to Leverage NLP to Boost Outcomes and the Bottom Line
By Brian Levy, MD

There is a lot of industry discussion underway about the promise of natural language processing (NLP). Increasingly recognized as a powerful tool for unlocking vital clinical data, NLP turns unstructured documentation into shareable data that can be analyzed and acted upon.

The reality is that a wealth of patient information currently resides in free text that could significantly improve the completeness and accuracy of quality improvement initiatives. However, much of these data are missing from present-day analytics strategies because infrastructures lack the capabilities needed to extract key information from free text. This missing link is problematic for quality improvement since, by some industry estimates, unstructured data account for as much as 80% of clinical documentation.

The industry has made notable inroads with structured data exchange through the introduction of standards such as HL7, SNOMED CT, LOINC, and RxNorm, as well as advances with ICD-10. The good news is that advances in NLP can now help round out these efforts by enabling the retrieval and sharing of critical unstructured patient information.

In truth, NLP has broad application. For many industry stakeholders, the question is, “How can I leverage NLP from a practical standpoint to impact outcomes and the bottom line?”

Full Story »
AHDI 2017 Conference Summary
By Sheila Guston, CHDS, AHDI-F

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) held its annual Healthcare Documentation Integrity Conference at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio in San Antonio from July 13–15. More than 130 members took advantage of this opportunity to combine education and networking with the beauty of the San Antonio River Walk and the history of the Alamo.

The National Leadership Board welcomed the following newly elected directors effective September 1: Mary Reeves, CHDS; Carol Waddell, CMT, AHDI-F; and LeeAnn Wilmot, CHDS, CHTS-CP, AHDI-F. Officers for next year were also elected, with Jay Vance, CMT, CHP, AHDI-F, as president elect; Judy Lichtenberger, RHIT, CHDS, AHDI-F, CHTS-TR, as treasurer; and Kirk Calabrese, CMT, MA, as secretary working with Leigh Anne Frame, CHDS, AHDI-F, as president and the author as past president.

Sherry Martin, CMT, AHDI-F; Joyce Smith, AHDI-F; and Diane Warth, CHDS, RHIT, CPC, AHDI-F, were recognized and thanked for their years of dedication and service to the National Leadership Board as their terms come to an end.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
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How HIPAA Affects Research Efforts
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A Skills Evolution
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Other News
Georgia Elementary Schools
to Offer Telemedicine

Starting this school year, students in Guyton and Springfield elementary schools will be able to see a doctor via live camera, reports SavannahNow.

Big Pharma Is Tapping EMRs
to Sell Their Drugs

An electronic voucher feature in an EMR software update redirects physicians’ prescriptions of generic drugs to brand name drugs, according to the Toronto Star.
Featured Jobs
The nation's top employers and recruiters of HIM talent advertise in For The Record magazine and post their job openings on Check out the most recent opportunities that have been submitted by employers across the country!
Industry Insight
University of Texas Facilities Share Big Data Tools in Fight Against Cancer, Infectious Diseases

University of Texas (UT) Southwestern scientists who created a powerful analytic weapon in the fight against cancer and infectious diseases are making that tool available for free via a web-based portal.

The open-source VDJServer provides a data management framework and suite of analytic tools to study the genetic makeup of the disease-fighting receptors located on the surface of a class of white blood cells called lymphocytes. In order to recognize disease-causing pathogens, a well-functioning adaptive immune system creates millions of different proteins for use as cell surface receptors. That protein library is called the immune repertoire.

The new analytic tools—accessible via a web portal—run on high-performance computers at UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), says Lindsay Cowell, PhD, an associate professor of clinical sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center and leader of the team that developed the software at the core of project.

Read more »
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Tech & Tools
Find-A-Code Announces New HCC-Coder Product
HCC-Coder will make Find-A-Code the first encoder in the market to include a full drug dictionary, as well as other tools and resources for HCC coding. It will provide the ability to search by the name of the drug and link to related diagnoses (with corresponding ICD-10-CM codes), as well as the ability to search individual ICD-10-CM codes and see corresponding drugs. HCC-Coder’s features include icon indicators to clearly distinguish chronic vs acute conditions, link directly from ICD-10-CM codes to related HCC measures (and see which HCC group takes precedence in each case), as well as enter a full list of ICD-10-CM codes, click a button, and see all corresponding HCC measures in a table. Learn more »

Patient-Centered Cancer Care Planning Technology Integrated With PowerChart EHR
Cerner will integrate Carevive’s patient care planning software in its PowerChart Oncology solution. Carevive’s cancer care planning tools enable care teams to personalize treatment decision making and standardize symptom assessment and management guidance while on active treatment and in the survivorship period based on relevant clinical, patient-reported health data and clinical evidence. The cloud-based technology is designed to interface with the patient’s EHR. Carevive’s tools integrated into PowerChart Oncology will help optimize the care team’s workflow by putting patient-reported data in front of the clinicians and help streamline coordination of care. Learn more »