Smartsourcing Clinical Data Abstraction Improves Quality, Reduces Costs, and Optimizes Team Member Engagement

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bad debtHealth Catalyst smartsourced two of its clients’ clinical chart abstraction efforts to significantly reduce costs, improve value, and optimize team member engagement. Banner Health and Community Health Network (CHNw) were collectively spending more than $10 million annually to manually abstract clinical measures for submission to CMS, NSQIP, tumor registries, and more than a dozen cardiovascular registries. The smartsourced relationship, leveraging the Health Catalyst® Data Operating System™ platform and a robust suite of analytics applications and improvement services has reduced costs, enhanced data quality, and improved the team member experience for these organizations.

HIGH COST OF REPORTING QUALITY MEASURES

Reporting quality measurement in healthcare comes with a substantial financial burden, with organizations in the U.S. spending more than $15.4 billion annually on reporting quality measures.1 A portion of those costs is for manual data abstraction from the EMR. While clinical chart abstraction costs are already excessive, the number of state registries requiring data abstraction continues to increase, registries continue to intensify data collection requirements, and the time required to abstract health record data for various registries continues to grow.2

MANUAL CLINICAL CHART ABSTRACTION, COSTLY AND INEFFICIENT

Health Catalyst recognized that many of its clients were expending some of their limited resources on inefficient, manual clinical chart abstraction. Variation in clinical chart abstraction processes decreased efficiencies, and delays in obtaining data back from various registries limited the ability of teams to use the data as a strategic asset. As is common for many provider organizations, these data, which were rich with insights, rarely made their way back into the systems’ quality improvement initiatives. The team members responsible for abstracting this data were not empowered to operate at the top of their licensure to influence and improve the clinical processes from which the data are derived, contributions that they were eager to make. Health Catalyst determined that several of its clients could lower costs, increase efficiency, improve data quality, improve team member satisfaction, and maximize technology investments by outsourcing clinical chart abstraction services, including automation of clinical chart abstraction using analytics.

PARTNERSHIP WITH HEALTH CATALYST

Banner Health and CHNw partnered with Health Catalyst to outsource clinical chart abstraction. Health Catalyst assumed ownership for these functions as well as accountability to lower costs and increase value for each organization—while also creating a positive work experience for team members. This way of outsourcing is called smartsourcing.

Health Catalyst provides Banner Health and CHNw comprehensive services and is responsible for clinical data abstraction, population of the data into the destination format, and submission to governing agencies. Health Catalyst leverages the Data Operating System (DOS™) platform and a robust suite of analytics applications to automate elements of clinical chart abstraction, providing clients the opportunity to achieve immediate cost savings while simultaneously improving data quality.

Organizations can identify variations and trends in labor costs, quality, and productivity, prioritizing key opportunities for improvement to realize efficiencies and boost capabilities. Rather than using the abstracted data only to meet various reporting requirements, Banner Health and CHNw can use the data to identify new opportunities for improvement. For example, at Banner Health, teams were able to leverage the data abstracted for the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program to generate new insights about performance, accelerating Banner Health’s clinical improvement work.

Each organization formed shared governance committees to ensure alignment, and to develop and implement a measurement framework to help continuously assess value. Health Catalyst monitors and manages performance at each organization to ensure the value proposition is realized and that arrangements continue to align with each client’s strategic direction.

RESULTS

Leveraging DOS to automate the extraction of the required information has improved efficiency and data quality—enhancing the effectiveness of clinical chart abstraction, yielding cost savings and an improve team member experience, including:

  • 49 percent relative improvement in clinical chart abstraction efficiency at Banner Health.
  • Reduced labor costs for clinical chart abstraction at CHNw by 15 percent.
  • 30 percent relative improvement in team member engagement.

“Entering into this outsourced relationship with Health Catalyst, we wanted to avoid any potential negative impacts on the team member experience. I have been pleased to witness the great care Health Catalyst has taken to ensure these team members stay highly engaged and enthusiastic about their work. Automating many of their tasks with Health Catalyst technology has allowed us to engage these team members in new and exciting ways to improve the care underlying the data they collect.”

– LeAnne Horn, Network VP, Quality & Risk, Community Health Network

WHAT’S NEXT

Health Catalyst will continue to optimize clinical chart abstraction services, enabling significant savings and efficiencies, optimizing the technology investment, and elevating data as a strategic asset—thereby maximizing the return on investment.

REFERENCES

  1. Casalino, L. P., Gans, D., Weber, R., Cea, M., Tuchovsky, A., Bishop, T. F., Miranda, Y., Frankel, B. A., Ziehler, K. B., Wong, M. M., & Evenson, T. B. (2016). US physician practices spend more than $15.4 billion annually to report quality measures. Health Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1258
  2. Bryant, M. (2019). About 1 in 5 healthcare payments is tied to value-based model. Healthcare Dive. https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/about-1-in-5-healthcare-payments-is-tied-to-value-based-model/545816/

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