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Editor's e-Note
Instead of ending the year on a sour note, this month’s E-News Exclusive takes a sunshiny look at the various ways health information exchange can power improved patient care.

The best part? Patients play a central role.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Health Information Exchange Promises Optimal Patient Care and Outcomes
By Anil Patil

Health care professionals have experienced a myriad of challenges as a result of the unavailability of sufficient patient health information. It has made it difficult to draw a complete and accurate picture of a patient’s health status and hence negatively impacts the quality of care. Furthermore, it has led to a lack of coordination and continuity and transition of care and makes medication reconciliations and management difficult.

Health care professionals underutilize the EHR and health analytics tools due to the lack of comprehensive and quality health data. Due to these challenges, there is a need to digitize and exchange patient health information to facilitate care coordination and patient management at any point of care.

Health information exchange (HIE) is a new paradigm shift in health care that is being embraced by patients, providers, and health care organizations with a great deal of positivity about its advantages going forward.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
New Decision Support Tool Improves Discharge Outcomes

In an effort to lessen readmission risk after discharge and achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, hospital-based clinicians are more intentionally planning discharge of those who require postacute care (PAC). Yet, although hospital clinicians strive to effectively refer patients who require PAC, their discharge-planning processes often vary greatly and typically are not evidence based.

To optimize PAC decision-making, a team led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing developed, validated, and tested a two-step clinical decision support (CDS) algorithm called Discharge Referral Expert System for Care Transitions (DIRECT). The DIRECT CDS helps clinicians identify patients most in need of PAC and suggests whether skilled home care or facility-level care is best. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) explains how the DIRECT CDS was evaluated in two hospitals and its promising effects on PAC referrals and improved patient outcomes.

Read more »
Products & Services
Nuance Introduces New Clinical Documentation Suite
Nuance Communications, Inc recently introduced Nuance CDE One, a cloud-based workflow management, collaboration, and insight system designed for clinical documentation improvement teams. CDE One’s artificial intelligence–powered capabilities enable smarter workflows and enhanced care team collaboration, satisfaction, and efficiency. Additionally, CDE One’s analytics provide health system executives with key insights into staff, physician, and program performance. Because of its cloud-based deployment, CDE One also reduces health system resources spent on technical support and overall maintenance. Nuance clinical documentation excellence solutions are hosted on Microsoft Azure, a HITRUST Common Security Framework–certified hosting infrastructure, to assist the customer with privacy, security, and compliance. CDE One is designed to work seamlessly with CDE Triage, Nuance’s cloud-based solution for automated encounter prioritization. CDE Triage prioritizes cases that require the clinical documentation improvement team’s focused attention and documentation management. Learn more »

Ciox Expands Capabilities to Accelerate Clinical Data Insights
Ciox announces the expansion of its clinical data solution set with the launch of Smart Chart, an offering available to organizations in need of faster access to structured clinical data. Smart Chart is powered by HealthSource, Ciox’s platform that facilitates efficient and transparent exchange and aggregation of clinical data across multiple use cases. Smart Chart uses artificial intelligence and a highly trained natural language processing engine to extract clinical data elements from disparate unstructured sources to facilitate the creation of a structured and longitudinal data foundation that can be leveraged for a wide range of insights and analytics. As part of Ciox’s coding services for health care payers, Smart Chart facilitates a more accurate and efficient hierarchical condition category coding process, reducing coding time and producing superior outcomes compared with a 100% human review. Payers can leverage the technology for primary and secondary coding, as well as for coding reviews that are intended to obtain the highest level of risk adjustment accuracy. Learn more »

AMA Announces Playbook to Successfully Adopt Digital Health
The American Medical Association has created a new resource to help physicians extend care beyond the exam room with technologies that are fundamentally changing the way patients interact with health care. The Digital Health Implementation Playbook offers a guide to the most efficient path for applying digital health solutions including key steps, best practices, and resources to accelerate and achieve digital health adoption. The playbook, which is designed for care teams and administrators in medical practices of all sizes and areas of specialty, is a living document that will be updated to include new content over time. It will provide a 12-steps process to guide the implementation of a variety of digital health solutions. The first six steps are fundamental to the implementation of any digital health solution; the subsequent six steps focus on specific digital health solutions and the unique considerations relevant to that specific technology. Currently, the playbook provides resources for the implementation of remote patient monitoring using devices, trackers, and sensors to capture and record patient-generated health data outside of the traditional clinical environment. Learn more »
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
DRG Mismatches
When discrepancies occur, the ensuing reconciliation process serves as a prime opportunity to educate clinical documentation improvement and coding staffs. Read more »

Harnessing Data
Three case studies illustrate the versatility of data analytics. Read more »

EHRs Still Burden Physicians
The findings of a recent study continue the trend of doctors expressing displeasure with the technology's effect on practice management. Read more »

Time to Shake Up PEPPER?
The longstanding report still serves a purpose, but industry experts believe it could use updating to better fit the current health care climate. Read more »
Other News
Hackers Increasingly Able to Breach Cloud Services
Researchers found that organizations aren’t using best practices to protect their clouds, and hackers are increasingly able to take advantage of vulnerabilities, The Hill reports.

Can Law Enforcement Access Patient Information? Sometimes
There are some situations where hospitals can disclose information to law enforcement without patient consent, according to MassLive.
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