How one hospital uses EHR data to track core measures

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The following is an excerpt from an article published in the FierceEMR eBook "Making Data Meaningful." Download the eBook here to read more.

Now in its second stage, the Meaningful Use incentive program has no doubt increased the number of hospitals and physicians who are using electronic health record systems. Still, some say there is a danger that Meaningful Use program participants will simply "check the boxes" to get their incentive payments.

But there is so much more organizations can do with the data.

A more "holistic" approach to data mining includes clinical data from electronic health records combined with financial and administrative information to provide a more well-rounded view of the quality and efficiency of patient care--and then using that information to make strategic decisions, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

"At Broward Health we don't really think of Meaningful Use as Meaningful Use. We were doing Meaningful Use before there was such a thing," says Doris Crane, senior vice president and CIO of the eight-hospital system in South Florida. "It was the right thing to do for patients, the community, for the physicians and really for the IT staff," she says.

Although most organizations do use data from their EHR systems, not all of them do so well. It's not enough to just run reports on that data. You have to use it to improve healthcare quality and delivery, Crain says.

"We're more focused on using the data that's being generated in managing some of the core measures for the Joint Commission," Crain says. "It's driven by the nurses. Their assessment route generates a plan that our predictive modeling tool uses to mine the data and remind them to do things like administering aspirin. It even predicts the people who may be at risk for falls. It also helps us with value-based purchasing, because one of the things that, as a public facility, we're very concerned about is more money being taken away. So we are using [data as a] tool to get our arms around quality improvement."

To read the rest of this and other articles, download FierceHealthIT's free eBook,"Making Data Meaningful."