OrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. This guest post comes from Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS.
Selecting and/or changing your electronic health record (EHR) system is an investment of time, money, and training. There should be a thorough vetting process in place so you can select the right technology for your practice. One of the many questions you should ask when evaluating an EHR for your practice is the system’s ability to capture and display data. Data capture and analysis are critical for many reasons, one of which is reporting for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
The Value of Structured/Discrete Data
You want an EHR system that can capture structured, actionable data and automate patient and regulatory compliance documentation in near real-time. It is crucial to focus specifically on what is known as “discrete” or “structured” data. The opposite of narrative data, discrete/structured data captures specifics from each patient encounter.
Structured data matters so much because it is mineable—that is, it can be uniquely identified retrospectively. Structured data is crucial for group analytics, research, and the imminent obligations, such as MIPS, that the government and payers are placing on orthopaedic groups.
To maximize financial success, your EHR system should automatically capture all the data you need at the point of care to build and report your composite MIPS score. Once you have this data, you need tools that can help you visualize and analyze it.
The Importance of Visible Analytics
Analytics tools in your EHR system should:
1) Comparatively benchmark your near real-time quality and cost data to those of your peers
2) Visibly illustrate financial information to improve your bottom line and operations.
It is essential for everyone at a practice to have access to this real-time comparative benchmarking of both quality and cost data to succeed under MIPS. The analytics tools should not only show individual clinician performance and practice performance, but also where you stand when compared to other orthopedic surgeons and practices.
Making your financials visible can aid in improving your bottom line and operations far beyond a MIPS score. Having peer-to-peer comparisons in real-time will give you the chance to make operational changes, if necessary, to improve your practice.
From patient check-in to discharge, your analytics tool should enable you to identify and track key clinical, financial and operational processes to uncover insights to help optimize your practice. For example, orthopaedists would undoubtedly benefit from analytics on the prescribing of high-risk medications such as narcotics, blood thinners, and NSAIDs. Ultimately, robust analytics capabilities can help you measure and enhance your performance by making high-quality medical decisions for your patients and keeping costs down.
Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS is the Medical Director of Orthopedics at Modernizing Medicine.