Successful Adoption and Meaningful Use of EHR Tools and Processes

A non-profit organization was awarded a grant in 2011 to support eligible providers working in the Southwest region meeting Meaningful Use. One facility that deployed the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) EHR recognized that while they successfully implemented deploying the EHR it tended to magnify certain manual practices that were not optimized prior to EHR go live. As a result Divurgent was asked to provide a solution that would involve a two phased approach. The first phase would be to perform a current-state workflow analysis of the ambulatory departments of Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Pharmacy, and Physical Therapy. The second phase was focused on providing support for the successful implementation of the phase one recommendations.

The first phase involved interviewing a broad range of providers and staff from the perspective of the entire processes from registration / scheduling, to clinic patient encounters, then the business office and medical records. The goal was to show differences between each department and to identify areas of potential improved opportunities. These opportunities were than illustrated in each workflow by yellow call outs. These opportunities were validated, prioritized, and further categorized as observations, recommendations, and goals for the organization.

The second phase is to take the recommendations and develop teams to implement each of the recommendations. A tool was developed to assist this process that identified key project components such as goals, objectives, team members, key performance indicators, challenges, and go-live dates. A sample of these goals and objectives were: 1) improve accuracy of clinical and financial patient information throughout the entire patient intake to discharge process by 25%; 2) develop detailed strategy for the elimination of the paper chart by mid – 2013; and 3) perform detailed workflow analysis for optimized performance of clinical and business office staff to optimize revenue recognition and further preparation for ICD-10 roll out.

Brian Fitzgerald has been leading this effort on behalf of Divurgent, traveling to the Southwest region from his home in Greensboro, NC. So not only is it highly interesting work but also an adventure in travel, including roaming animals! Thank you to Brian for all of his hard work in helping ensure a successful adoption and meaningful use of EHR tools and processes!

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