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Editor's e-Note
As the nation attempts to stabilize against the forces of coronavirus, the health care industry has stepped up big time. Nowhere is that more evident than in the sacrifices being made by physicians, nurses, first responders, and others who come face to face with the disease on a daily basis.

In light of the situation, this month we’re highlighting a few of the health IT products that hope to make life a little bit easier for those looking for any kind of help.

In addition, we’re presenting timely information on “flattening the curve” from an RHIT perspective. Many thanks to the folks at ICD10monitor for allowing us to share that article.

Lee DeOrio, editor
Flattening the Curve
Understanding the Expectations for ‘Flattening the Curve’
By Susan Gatehouse, RHIT, CCS, CPC

Examining the Layers Supporting the Methodology Behind Social Distancing

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent population health research center at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. The IHME was recruited at a state and federal level to provide modeling in determining whether or when COVID-19 could overwhelm the national health care system’s ability to manage and treat patients.

On a national level, the IHME has done well thus far in predicting the daily COVID-19 deaths a week out. While predictions sound grim, the model, which provides insight over and above a simple warning, illustrates particulars for health care providers on what to anticipate, in order to decrease certain unknowns in a time when lack of predictability has become commonplace.

Statistical models tell us a bit about the timing of the approaching peak of coronavirus cases and deaths. Projections give detailed information to health care providers as to the number of beds needed to combat the virus, and the number of beds available on a state and national level, to include at a granular level the number of ICU beds and ventilators projected to be required vs the number of each on hand. These predictions are alarming, most significantly the number of deaths to be anticipated on a daily and weekly basis.

Full story »
Products & Services for COVID-19
AHDPG Online Training Program Helps Increase Patient Throughput
The American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group has announced the immediate availability of a new online training program, “The Art of the Chart, the Basics,” which is designed to help health care organizations prepare for the drastic increase in patients associated with the coronavirus. The program is designed to educate existing allied health professionals in translating patient-speak into medical language; fundamentals of the chief complaint; fundamentals of the history of present illness; elements of the review of systems/core elements; fundamentals of the patient medical, family, and social history; elements of the physical exam; elements of medical decision making; differential diagnoses; family practice scribe documentation; governmental critical care guidelines; hands-on charting; and more. Instructors are available to mentor, monitor, explain the curriculum, respond to questions, and provide feedback. The all-inclusive fee for the program is $495/candidate. To enroll, download and complete the corporate enrollment form and fax it to 508-519-8102 or scan and e-mail it to Learn more »

ZyDoc Offering No-Cost COVID-19 EHR Documentation Services
ZyDoc, a medical documentation company, is offering its services at no cost to all health care providers and hospitals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. ZyDoc recognizes the urgent need to work more efficiently to care for an increasing number of acutely ill patients. These records are not only necessary for patient care but also imperative to devise effective treatment paradigms. ZyDoc’s dictation-based services allow providers to create their medical records 61% faster than traditional data entry methods by using a smartphone, tablet, telephone, or digital recorder. Despite many hospitals having to double their capacity, ZyDoc has a HIPAA-compliant, scalable platform that requires no software installation, IT personnel, or extensive training. Start-up can be the same day, even in facilities that are set up as temporary hospitals, so doctors can start dictating immediately. The transcribed dictations are then automatically inserted into the appropriate sections of any cloud-based EHR. In this crisis, ZyDoc gives doctors the flexibility to dictate from anywhere. Learn more »

Provation Creates Free COVID-19 Resource for All Health Care Professionals
Provation announces the recent release of its free COVID-19 order set and care plan content for all health care professionals. This medical content gives health care professionals the ability to develop and administer accurate treatment specifically for patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis and/or symptoms based on the latest evidence and best practices. Complimentary PDFs of COVID-19 Provation Order Set and Care Plan are now available online to download. Provation’s dedicated medical content team will be continuously updating these COVID-19 order set and care plan PDFs as new evidence becomes available. COVID-19 Provation Order Set and Care Plan PDFs are designed to promote consistency of care with evidence-based content for patient evaluation and initial management specific to COVID-19. Provation Order Set Advisor and Care Plans software integrate and work with existing EHRs, including Epic and Cerner. Provation’s COVID-19 Order Set is for initial evaluation and management only. COVID-19 pneumonia can be complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, and the need for ICU admission and ventilator management, all of which are addressed in separate Provation Order Sets. Provation has also developed a COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility care plan to help monitor and manage residents to prevent/limit exposure and to prevent the spread of infection; it is also available for free to health care professionals. Learn more »

EBSCO Information Services Launches COVID-19 Health Care Information Portal
A team of health care professionals and evidence-based medical experts at EBSCO Information Services has launched a COVID-19 portal that aggregates real-time information updates from authoritative sources to provide information on all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 portal provides researchers and health care professionals with consolidated access to real-time, credible information. Librarians and information professionals are also called upon to suggest resources that should be added to the site. The portal is an evolving platform that aims to include all trusted resources to best meet the needs of the online research community. The COVID-19 portal is one of several ways that EBSCO has made health care information accessible during the pandemic. DynaMed, EBSCO’s clinical decision support tool, has made its COVID-19 clinical topic open, offering easy access to evidence-based information related to treatment, which is updated daily. EBSCO has also developed a Healthcare Resource Center to provide open access to the content it provides to medical, nursing, and allied health professionals. Learn more »

Read more »
e-News Exclusive
How Analytics-Powered Insights Help Physician Groups Stay Out of the Red
By Matt Seefeld

For medical practices struggling to maintain steady cash flow, leveraging data is the only way to maximize financial performance and combat declining reimbursements.

On the plus side, advances in revenue cycle management (RCM) technologies have given us rich, detailed insight into key performance indicators. Powerful analytics can now dig into our data and display our performance in dashboard-ready context. In doing so, these analytics can help practices understand what is driving poor, or below-average, metrics. Such high-level visibility, coupled with insights from RCM machine learning tools, can trigger positive changes in operations.

To truly understand the importance of analytics in RCM, we need to actually see how a single practice’s performance data, benchmarked against those of similar practices, can enlighten us. Here, we look at three common physician practice RCM scenarios, and how data are the game changers.

Full story »
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Diving Deeper Into Denials
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Documentation’s Effect on Readmission Rates
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The Untold MPI Story: How ‘Dirty Data’ Affect a Value-Based Revenue Cycle
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Other News
COVID-19 Puts New Demands on EHR Systems
From deploying EHRs in alternate care locations to updating health care providers’ access, EHR systems are having to adapt because of the outbreak, according to Computerworld.

Mayo Clinic Develops COVID-19 Tracking Tool for Staff
A new tool uses Mayo Clinic’s EHRs to quickly notify staff members who may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, reports KTTC.
Industry Insight
IU Health Develops App to Help ED Physicians Search Patient Data

Doctors at Indiana University (IU) Health hospitals now have faster, easier access to information about the patients they are treating in the emergency department. The app, created in a partnership among Regenstrief Institute, Indiana Health Information Exchange, IU Health, and IU School of Medicine, provides clinicians with only the most relevant information from a patient’s medical history related to the complaint that brought them to the hospital.

“There is an incredible amount of information available for most patients, but sifting through all of it to find the most crucial data can be very time consuming,” says Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD, a Regenstrief research scientist and professor of biomedical informatics at IU School of Medicine. “Clinicians could spend three to five minutes searching for data in a patient’s records. This tool cuts that time to less than 10 seconds, freeing up more time to interact with the patient.”

The app covers several conditions: chest pain, abdominal pain, headache, weakness and dizziness, back pain, pregnancy, heartbeat irregularities, and trouble breathing. These conditions account for about 40% of all visits to the emergency department at IU Health.

The decision support tool has been in use in the emergency department at IU Health Methodist for about two years. Over the course of the development, the team has improved functionality and added features, including support for multiple conditions.

Its use has now expanded to include emergency departments at IU Health West, IU Health North, and IU Health Saxony. The app will be rolled out to the remaining emergency departments in the IU Health system over the next nine months.

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