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Editor's e-Note
Placing a concept in a real-life situation gives it context and enables easier comprehension. The hope is this month’s E-News Exclusive hits on both marks as it explains how a Mississippi medical center handled a long-standing problem with incomplete medication histories.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Machine Learning and NLP Improve Medication Reconciliation, Patient Safety
By Joe Farr, RN, and David Sellars

To improve patient safety, create efficiencies, and streamline the medication reconciliation process, King’s Daughters Medical Center automated the transcription of sig data into the EHR, improving clinical satisfaction and reducing 30-day readmissions by more than 11%.

Fully three-fourths of hospital executives worry that their patients’ medication history data are incomplete and/or inaccurate, according to a survey by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The news was especially disappointing coming after years of investment in improving the medication reconciliation process. Many hospital leaders likely wondered what more could be done to ensure accurate medication data were available to help ensure patient safety and positive outcomes.

That was also a concern for leaders at King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC), a 99-bed community hospital in Brookhaven, Mississippi, 60 miles south of the state capital in Jackson. At the time, virtually all patient records at KDMC had incomplete medication histories, requiring manual—and therefore error-prone—data entry in the EHR by nurses at the point of care. In late 2018, KDMC sought to improve patient safety and streamline the medication reconciliation process by automating the transcription of critical medication data into the EHR.

The solution they came up with has contributed to increased patient safety and better health outcomes, as well as higher nurse productivity.

Full story »
Products & Services
EHNAC Launches Consulting and Advisory Services
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a nonprofit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange health care data, has added new Consulting and Advisory Services. The new offerings provide health care stakeholders with guidance on conducting organizational risk assessments, remediating compliance gaps, and meeting third-party assurance requirements.

Through the new Consulting and Advisory Services, EHNAC consultants will advise, recommend, and guide health care organizations as they prepare for industry compliance certification, readiness assessments, potential audits, and EHNAC accreditations so that all essential requirements for privacy, security, cybersecurity, and health information exchange are met. These services help health care stakeholders identify existing gaps in their organizational infrastructure and provide remediation solutions and documented instruction on best practices, as well as practical tips on mitigation.

The new service offerings also provide support for all stages of privacy and security compliance—whether for cybersecurity, HIPAA (privacy and security), HITECH (breach handling and mitigation), or NIST (security best practices), or to obtain EHNAC accreditation, HITRUST certification, or other related standards. Learn more »

TrustHCS Partners With Clinithink to Add AI to Their Revenue Cycle Offerings
Powered by Clinithink’s ENRICH platform and TrustHCS’ reputation in clinical documentation improvement (CDI) and HIM, the combined offering enables TrustHCS to significantly reduce the costs associated with second-line CDI review and denial appeals by using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and clinical natural language processing (CNLP).

The current rise in clinical denials is creating a demand for better technology and expertise to handle the surging resource cost and accounts receivable impact. Until now, models of computer-aided coding and CDI have been unable to bridge this gap, but ENRICH, Clinithink’s AI/CNLP platform, accurately reads and understands deep clinical concepts that traditional NLPs have been unable to attribute meaning to.

Customized Clinical Communications App Introduced
Vocera Communications has released Vocera Vina, a customizable communication app that presents prioritized patient-centric calls, secure messages, and alerts in a unified inbox. Vina delivers relevant context about clinical events, patient status, and clinician availability.

Vina presents incoming communication in order of importance, along with context that provides a meaningful picture of the patient situation. Contextual patient information, eg, vital signs, fall risk scores, lab values, nurse-call information, and critical data such as sepsis risk indicators can be automatically attached to a message or incoming call notification. The entire care team can see the full history of calls, messages, alerts, and alarms pertaining to a patient or event within a single conversational thread, and clinicians can easily see when others are busy or unavailable and should not be interrupted. They also can reach colleagues simply by saying a name, role, or group. Learn more »

App Designed for Android Phones Enables Record Sharing
Cornell Tech, the University of California San Francisco, Sage Bionetworks, Open mHealth, and The Commons Project are collaborating to develop CommonHealth, an open-source, nonprofit public service designed to make it easy and secure for people to collect their EHR data and share them with health apps and partners that have demonstrated their trustworthiness.

CommonHealth will leverage data interoperability standards, including HL7 FHIR, to offer functionality analogous to Apple Health to users of Android phones. The personal health data aggregated through CommonHealth may also be used to improve digital therapeutics and diagnostics, biomedical research, and patient care.

To ensure patient privacy and promote trust, the CommonHealth partners are implementing a robust governance model that will review and approve all apps and partners connecting to CommonHealth. Learn more »
Gift Shop
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In this e-Newsletter
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How C-Suite It Is
A 20-year HIM veteran chronicles her journey to becoming the interim CEO at a 47-bed Louisiana medical center. Read more »

OpenNotes — What We’ve Learned So Far
Take a peek inside the OpenNotes project to learn how its implementation has affected workflow, documentation, and coding. Read more »

Delayed Test Results Impact Continuity of Care
Shoring up communication gaps can help alleviate patient safety concerns associated with tests pending at discharge. Read more »

Overcoming Obstacles to Obtaining Medical Records
For better patient care and experience, it’s time the health care industry stopped sharing medical images via CD. Read more »
Other News
Reduce Health Costs by Nurturing the Sickest? A Much-Touted Idea Disappoints
A study found that frequently hospitalized patients who received extra support from nurses and social workers were just as likely to return to the hospital within 180 days as those who didn’t receive that help, reports Kaiser Health News.

First-Year Students Test-Drive EMR System
A new training program is giving first-year medical students their first hands-on experience using an EMR, preparing them ahead of time for third-year clinical rotations, reports the University at Buffalo.
Industry Insight
More Than One-Half of Consumers Want to Use Voice Assistants for Health Care

Based on a survey of 1,004 US adults, a recent Orbita report on the subject of voice assistant adoption in health care includes the following key highlights:

• 7.5% of US consumers have used voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant for health care as of September 2019.

• Nearly 52% would like to use voice assistants for health care use cases in the future.

• 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to have used a voice assistant for health care–related services, but 45- to 60-year-olds are the most bullish on the technology.

“This report is the first comprehensive analysis that considers how consumers are using voice assistants today for health care–related needs, explores features they’d like to see in the future, and highlights how provider and technology organizations have responded to the opportunity thus far,” says Orbita President Nathan Treloar.

Read more »
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