Holzer Health Systems is a group of hospitals and clinics located in Ohio. The organization struggled to produce timely patient-care-quality reports because it relied on manual, labor-intensive processes. Now it is implementing Microsoft® data management technologies to automate patient data collection and reduce report-processing time by half. Better patient data will also help Holzer compete with other regional healthcare providers.
Holzer Health Systems, headquartered in Gallipolis, Ohio, is a healthcare organization serving the needs of patients in southeastern Ohio, northern West Virginia, and northeastern Kentucky.
||We are going from a very reactive environment to a proactive environment, and we will be able to provide more timely patient data to both CMS and to our physicians.
Interim Director of Quality Management
Holzer Health Systems
Holzer, like most medical organizations in the United States, is faced with the challenge of providing comprehensive quarterly reports to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Holzer is required to provide these reports, which measure the quality of patient care, in a timely fashion to avoid a two percent penalty on Medicare payments. Additionally, CMS recently enacted a pay-for-performance incentive for hospitals, which means that hospitals can receive a 1.5 percent bonus for reporting quality care measurements that are at the top end of the quality measurement scale. “We are talking about millions of dollars at stake, whether in penalties or incentives,” says April McLain, Interim Director of Quality Management, Holzer Health Systems.
In 2009, CMS also began to require hospitals to report more comprehensively on their outpatient care. Altogether, CMS is increasing the number of quarterly reports it requires from 29 to 72.
Such requirements could potentially overwhelm Holzer, which has been relying on manual, time-consuming processes to prepare its reports for CMS.
For example, Holzer employees have had to gather lists of patients based on discharge diagnosis, and then submit these lists to an outside agency for review. This list is then returned to Holzer, where two fulltime staff members review patient medical records and manually enter the data required for CMS reporting. This process can take up to three months, at which point the data is no longer current.
“We needed to find a way to automate the reporting process so it would not take so much time,” says McLain. “Plus, we wanted to give our physicians the ability to make real-time diagnostic decisions based on current patient data.”
In late 2008, Holzer met with Technology Medical Partners, a Microsoft® Certified Partner based in Covington, Kentucky, that develops Microsoft-based healthcare solutions. “The CFO of Holzer at that time was interested in finding an automated solution that involved Microsoft products,” says Jim Dixon, Managing Partner and Health Care Practice Manager, Technology Medical Partners.
Holzer decided to implement CMS Quality Manager, a new product from Technology Medical Partners that integrates Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 with Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 data management software and K2 blackpoint software for workflow and process automation.
The solution extracts patient data from the organization’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) application and organizes it into a SQL Server 2005 database. It then applies business rules to the data to determine which patients should be reported to CMS and in what form. The data is then automatically delivered to employees through Web-enabled Microsoft Office InfoPath® forms or Microsoft Office Word documents using the K2 blackpoint workflow engine. Employees can access all of this through an Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal from their computers or laptops. The solution also provides rules and alerts for missing data and core measures that have not yet been met, and employees can make real-time adjustments for those measures as needed.
Holzer expects to roll out CMS Quality Manager in late September 2009.
With it new, automated reporting solution, Holzer expects to cut in half the amount of time it takes to produce CMS reports. Plus, by giving doctors and administrators access to real-time patient data, Holzer can better compete with other regional healthcare facilities.
Reduces Report Processing Time by 50 Percent
Because CMS Quality Manager automatically collects patient data and inserts it into report documents that can be accessed in Office SharePoint Server 2007, Holzer expects to halve the time it takes to produce and deliver reports to CMS. “With this solution in place, we will reduce our report processing time by at least 50 percent,” McLain states. “Instead of spending time filling out forms and reports, we can concentrate on analyzing the data we have, and we will be more prepared for increasingly complex CMS reporting requirements.”
Provides Access to Real-Time Patient Data
The new reporting solution automates patient data collection, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Once the solution is implemented, Holzer employees can quickly, easily manage patient reports, and can take advantage of an interactive process that gives them the ability to pause, modify, and restart a report. “We will finally have a real-time quality-monitoring system,” says McLain. “We are going from a very reactive environment to a proactive environment, and we will be able to provide more timely patient data to both CMS and to our physicians.”
Helps Make the Organization More Competitive
Because Holzer will be able to provide reports to CMS faster and more accurately, it will potentially be eligible for millions of dollars in annual bonuses. “Our CEO has made it one of the hospital’s top four strategic initiatives to improve overall patient care measures,” says McLain. “This solution will help us get there.”
Additionally, CMS currently publishes quality-measure data online. “This means that a consumer can compare different hospitals to see which one has lower levels of surgical infection, for example,” says Dixon. “Holzer now has the opportunity to compete more directly with other regional hospitals.”
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Document published August 2009