As the Vice President of Client Solutions, I work with our Account Executives, Client Service Managers, and our Channel Sales Executive to deliver people and solutions to our clients.  Our clients include providers across all practice settings as well as consulting and technology companies that are supporting providers, payers, and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

Providers are facing multiple challenges in an unprecedented transition. Navigating the shift to a value-based care environment while still operating in a fee for service reality requires more education, innovation, and better data.

Empowering clients in challenges 

The impact these initiatives will have on our clinicians during this transition is just as or even more important than the execution itself. According to a study conducted by The Advisory Board, the top 2 reasons for physician burnout are:

  1. conducting too many bureaucratic tasks
  2. spending too many hours at work

group of doctors in hospital

It’s difficult to imagine a change this significant requiring less from those delivering high quality care.

Managing this shift also requires an understanding of care across large patient populations. New business intelligence platforms are creating opportunities for providers to take structured and unstructured data from various fragmented systems and combine them into usable frameworks.

This revolution is accelerating as software like Tableau and Power BI adoption rates increase nationally.  Now all we must do is ensure that the data we are able to combine is accurate, specific, and complete.

Maximizing the use of data 

Most of the data driving value-based decisions is obtained through historical claims. Those claims are based in large part to physician documentation and the final codes associated with the encounter. In short, we need physicians to document correctly to use the power of data. That means, the very thing driving physician burnout will be even more important in the future.

So how does the industry motivate our talented clinicians to get better at documenting their work while simultaneously freeing them of the administrative tasks that bog down their day? It’s a multi-billion dollar question without an easy answer.

There are different challenges within each clinical setting when it comes to physician documentation.  For instance:

  • physicians perform point of patient care coding in many practices
  • internal clinical documentation improvement teams aid documentation in hospital settings, as they perform concurrent reviews of each case and/or through retrospective queries from the coding team

patient data

It could be argued that those support structures add to physician burnout/frustration despite industry information that confirms their benefit. Based on feedback from our clients and consultants, the quality of the information being presented to our physicians is the primary definer of how they view the associated task.

At Harmony, we have the privilege of supporting our clients’ clinicians within inpatient and outpatient documentation improvement settings. Our talented consultants provide in-person education and work diligently to inspire behavior that is in the best interest of the organizations and people we serve.

We recruit experts with robust clinical backgrounds and experience in a variety of health care settings. The difference between average performance and excellent performance of clinical documentation specialists is exponentially more valuable than the output of accepted industry metrics.

Navigating a complex environment 

On an average week, our CDI consultants will send over 1,500 clarifications to physicians. Those requests are made with the end in mind. We advocate a physician-centric approach with the understanding that each second we take away from patient interaction must add value.

Our goal at Harmony is to provide clinicians with feedback and knowledge to document their care correctly the first time. There will always need to be a second set of eyes considering the complex rules around healthcare reimbursement. We should not expect physicians to know those intricate details; however, we must implore documentation best practices.

The value of proper documentation ensures that compliance and quality measures are met today while safeguarding the value of the data that will be used in the future. If done correctly through knowledge transfer, we can give back the most valuable commodity our physicians are asking for: time with patients, not paperwork.

 

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