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In this Business Profile, Paul Weygandt, MD, JD, vice president of physician services, talks about the importance of integrating clinical documentation improvement (CDI) with patient care in real time, and how Nuance is turning the EHR into a tool valued by physicians.
Nuance is the market leader in creating clinical understanding solutions that drive smart, efficient decisions across health care. More than 500,000 clinicians and 10,000 healthcare facilities worldwide leverage Nuance’s award-winning, voice-enabled clinical documentation and analytics programs to support any clinical workflow on any device.
Nuance’s healthcare division is reinventing the healthcare experience. Through our voice, language, and CDI powered by J.A. Thomas & Associates (JATA) offerings, we create a more human conversation with many systems, devices, electronics, apps, and services. That translates to more satisfied physicians, healthier patients, and a better bottom line.
Engaging physicians to support appropriate reimbursement remains one of the toughest challenges. CDI offers an opportunity to enhance both reimbursement and patient care through better coordination and real-time access to data. However, surveys show that disruption of physician workflow is the biggest barrier to CDI, followed closely by difficulty working with EHRs and other technologies. Historically, the EHR has been data-rich but information-poor, as far as many caregivers are concerned.
We are now at the tipping point, where the EHR begins to make physicians more efficient in both information entry and information extraction—if organizations can engage physicians to use these solutions. The best way to garner this engagement is to integrate CDI with clinical quality and let physicians lead the way.
Real-time identification of clinical patterns—at the point of care—allows physicians to improve clinical documentation from the start, rather than through the traditional retrospective system where physicians are asked to clarify a diagnosis for billing purposes alone. Physicians are trained to dictate their clinical impressions in their own words, and natural language processing allows those words to be instantly converted into structured text.
The next big step is then making that text readily available to others as actionable information and applying intelligent systems to that information.
Nuance uniquely supports clinical workflow and physician-patient interaction while enhancing the quality of information entered into the EHR, which we believe is the key to future success.
The clinical language understanding (CLU) technology developed by Nuance allows physicians to express the subtleties of a clinical opinion—perhaps the most essential component of a physician’s professionalism—easily within their natural workflow and within a patient’s record. This opinion can then be instantly analyzed and its content used to support clinical care at the time of service.
By seamlessly integrating essential clinical processes that used to be sequentially addressed, Nuance brings together capture of the physician’s clinical impression with all the downstream uses of that information that are vital to the success of healthcare organizations and meeting regulatory compliance. Real-time, computer-assisted physician documentation at the point of care naturally integrates elements of CDI, coding, quality monitoring, and analytics, offloading extensive rework from clinicians. The impact on physician workflow and professional satisfaction is profound, allowing physicians more time with patients and providing accurate clinical information in a manner long expected by the profession.
Specifically, CLU converts the patient care narrative from text (which physicians need to describe clinical conditions that vary from patient to patient) into discrete data elements that can be measured and mapped—something that back-end users need for conducting epidemiology, clinical research, coding, compliance, analytics, and billing—thus, bringing together two disparate worlds.
The ideal vendor should:
Focus on clinical care, not just the revenue cycle. You want a vendor that understands clinical quality, physician workflow, and how to engage physicians in a collaborative process to improve patient care. This perspective becomes particularly important as we move toward accountable care.
Have a long history of engaging physician leadership and practicing physicians in accurate documentation and CDI. This unique capability provides far greater impact, because it breaks down the traditional barriers between the clinical and revenue cycle functions.
Introduce CDI programs to physicians not as part of revenue cycle improvement, but as part of patient care and outcomes-oriented solutions. One great example: Physicians judged on quality are often very concerned that outcomes are severity adjusted. How do you do that? By accurately documenting acuity in the medical record.
Bring physicians in early in the process, to identify their needs and help them make the connection between proper terminology and better patient care. Nuance—through its clinically focused Dragon Medical 360 documentation solutions and more than 20 years of clinical documentation expertise from Nuance’s JATA—not only gains support of physicians but also typically spurs 4 to 8 percent improvement in one key revenue cycle metric: case-mix index.
Selecting CDI or coding solutions should always begin with a high-level discussion of desired clinical outcomes and workflow considerations, with a focus on ultimate benefit to patients.
Visitors to our website can download two HFMA reports, HFMA’s Executive Survey: Clinical Documentation Meets Financial Performance and HFMA’s Educational Update: Navigating Today’s CDI Landscape: 10 Strategies for Success, that speak directly to the importance of CDI and its vital links to both clinical quality and revenue cycle enhancement. Go to www.nuance.com/go/hfmareport.
Publication Date: Sunday, June 01, 2014
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
Scott Schmidt, vice president, Cerner RevWorks, LLC, shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnership.
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