Using Elation’s updated CQM dashboard to monitor new PBIP performance thresholds

With the first CPC+ performance period now well underway, Elation is excited to bring our users weekly updates to help you save time, get the most out of using Elation for CPC+, provide better care for your patients and ultimately succeed in this program. Learn more about Elation and CPC+ here.

Clinical quality measures (CQMs) are at the heart of meeting CPC+ requirements and staying on track with the program. But while CPC+ physicians might be familiar with CQMs themselves, how can physicians keep track of their progress toward fulfilling these measures? Having a CQM dashboard can help!

What is a CQM dashboard?

A CQM dashboard is a built feature that gives users a real time snapshot into current performance. CPC+ participants can utilize this dashboard to stay on top of the program.

In response to CPC+ lowering benchmarks for CQM requirements, Elation has updated our CQM dashboard to reflect the new 30% and 70% benchmarks.

How can you use Elation’s Updated CQM dashboard?

Within the reports section in Elation, users can select the CPC+ button to access the CPC+ CQM dashboard. This dashboard displays relevant CQMs and how a practice is performing against 30% and 70% benchmarks. Each CQM corresponds to a help center article that is accessible by just clicking on the CQM name.

The dashboard highlights completion once you hit a benchmark by displaying the CQM in orange (for the 30% benchmarks) or green (for the 70% benchmarks).

Elation’s dashboard also gives users a more detailed overview of patients that either meets criteria or does not meet criteria within the patient list by displaying details such as the patient’s last visit. From here you can click the patient’s name to document completion of a screening,  schedule the patient for a follow up visit, or take any other necessary actions.

How can you leverage a CQM dashboard for CPC+?

CPC+ requires its participants to meet 9 measures within the 30% benchmark and 6 measures within the 70% benchmark. By using Elation’s CQM dashboard, users can have greater visibility and check their CPC+ progress quickly and easily and zero in on areas to focus on when it comes to patient care.

The statements contained on this website are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained on this website.

 

Sam Peirce
October 2, 2017

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Staying on top of CPC+ screening measures within Elation

With the first CPC+ performance period now well underway, Elation is excited to bring our users weekly updates to help you save time, get the most out of using Elation for CPC+, provide better care for your patients and ultimately succeed in this program. Learn more about Elation and CPC+ here.

As part of CPC+, practices commonly chose to focus their quality improvement efforts toward the three Health Maintenance measures that CPC+ physicians can choose to report on. Elation gives you options on how to address and report these measures to make participating in CPC+ and caring for your patients a breeze.

Why are Health Maintenance measures important for CPC+?

To ensure physicians are providing the highest-quality preventative care the three following measures comprise one-third of the 9 total quality measures that practices should report on in the 2017 performance year.

How can I address these screening measures within Elation?

Elation gives physicians and staff multiple options to quickly reference patient screenings and address any outstanding tasks either within the visit note or outside the visit note as well. This gives users the flexibility to document whenever they want, however they want.

Within the visit note:

1. At the top of the visit note, users can address a screening by using the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) feature. When a patient is due for a screening, an alert will appear at the top of the visit note.

2. After finding the appropriate screening under CDS, users can document existing results or refer the patient to a specialist if needed.

Outside the visit note:

1. Within the Health Maintenance section at the bottom of a patient’s clinical profile, click on the name of the incomplete screening and add in information relevant to the screening to complete the measure.

2. You can also tag a report in the patient’s record with the appropriate document tag to meet the measure’s requirements.

What are the advantages of using Elation’s screening options for CPC+?

Independent practices participating in CPC+ have the opportunity to save time without sacrificing their flexibility by using Elation’s screening features to participate in CPC+. Whether they want to document at the point of care or after the point of care, Elation is designed to meet the needs of physicians. Ultimately, documenting completion of these screenings are critical for your practice to succeed in CPC+.  

The statements contained on this website are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained on this website.

Nick Dealtry
September 20, 2017

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Quickly identify and manage CPC+ clinical quality measures with Elation’s document tags

With the first CPC+ performance period now well underway, Elation is excited to bring our users weekly updates to help you save time, get the most out of using Elation for CPC+, provide better care for your patients and ultimately succeed in this program. Learn more about Elation and CPC+ here.

As many CPC+ physicians know, part of participating in CPC+ includes being able to balance meeting the measurements and providing exceptional care. Document tags within Elation’s Clinical First EHR make participating and caring for your patients more effortless

What are document tags?

Document tags are critical for logging the completion of eCQMs within Elation. You can tag reports and visit notes to not only categorize these items for future reference but also use them to track completion of screening and measure requirements.

We now make it easier for you to know which document tags qualify for measure completion by flagging the document tags with a gold “CPC+” flag! You’ll be able to distinguish which document tags are being used for quality programs from those used for internal tracking purposes.

How can you use Elation’s new CPC+ document tags?

Document tags can be added to a visit note by scrolling to the bottom and clicking on the +Tag link. Once the appropriate CPC+ – flagged tag is identified and added, the patient will then show as meeting the measure or qualifying for a measure exclusion.

You can also add document tags and flag completion of measures through the Health Maintenance section, or by adding document tags to reports.

A list of all of Elation’s document tags can be viewed here.

How can document tags help you succeed in CPC+?

Now that clinical quality measures are appropriately labeled within Elation, CPC+ physicians know exactly which tags count for meeting the program’s requirements. With greater visibility, physicians can address CPC+ measurements more readily and ultimately improve their performance!

The statements contained on this website are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained on this website.

Lucy Li
September 13, 2017

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Using Elation’s CQM dashboard to monitor CPC+ performance

With the first CPC+ performance period now well underway, Elation is excited to bring our users weekly updates to help you save time, get the most out of using Elation for CPC+, provide better care for your patients and ultimately succeed in this program. Learn more about Elation and CPC+ here.

Clinical quality measures (CQMs) are at the heart of meeting CPC+ requirements and staying on track with the program. But while CPC+ physicians might be familiar with CQMs themselves, how can physicians keep track of their progress toward fulfilling these measures? Having a CQM dashboard can help!

What is a CQM dashboard?

A CQM dashboard is a built feature that gives users a real time snapshot into current performance. CPC+ participants can utilize this dashboard to stay on top of the program.

How can you use Elation’s CQM dashboard?

Within the reports section in Elation, users can select the CPC+ button to access the CPC+ CQM dashboard. This dashboard displays relevant CQMs and how a practice is performing against 50% and 80% benchmarks. Each CQM corresponds to a help center article that is accessible by just clicking on the CQM name.

The dashboard highlights completion once you hit a benchmark by displaying the CQM in orange (for the 50% benchmarks) or green (for the 80% benchmarks).

Elation’s dashboard also gives users a more detailed overview of patients that either meets criteria or does not meet criteria within the patient list by displaying details such as the patient’s last visit. From here you can click the patient’s name to document completion of a screening,  schedule the patient for a follow up visit, or take any other necessary actions.

How can you leverage a CQM dashboard for CPC+?

CPC+ requires its participants to meet 9 measures within the 50% benchmark and 6 measures within the 80% benchmark. By using Elation’s CQM dashboard, users can check their CPC+ progress quickly and easily and zero in on areas to focus on when it comes to patient care.

The statements contained on this website are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained on this website.

Sam Peirce
September 6, 2017

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How CPC+ physicians can leverage Clinical Decision Support at the point of care within Elation

With the first CPC+ performance period now well underway, Elation is excited to bring our users weekly updates to help you save time, get the most out of using Elation for CPC+, provide better care for your patients and ultimately succeed in this program. Learn more about Elation and CPC+ here.

Primary care physicians and especially those participating in CPC+ understand the importance of having the most up-to-date information at their fingertips at any given moment when they deliver care.

Clinical electronic health records (EHRs) like Elation fulfill this need in part with Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools that can enhance decision-making throughout the clinical workflow.

Why CDS?

Clinical Decision Support has several benefits for independent primary care physicians, including:

  • Meet and exceed required clinical quality measurement goals with ease
  • Increase care quality and enhance patient care outcomes
  • Improve efficiency, financial savings, and provider-patient satisfaction

How exactly does CDS work in Elation?

During clinical encounters, Elation’s Clinical Decision Support reminders appear at the top of every visit note. This functionality automatically prompts users at the point of care so that problems can quickly and easily be addressed by a MA or physician.

Information is automatically pulled in based on information from a patient’s chart, problem lists, demographics, and historical items so that information is accurate, relevant, and specific to a patient’s needs.

How can CDS help you during CPC+?

By leveraging Elation’s Clinical Decision Support reminders, Elation users participating in CPC+ can satisfy program requirements at the point of care. CPC+ clinical quality measures are embedded within Elation’s CDS reminders, meaning physicians can more efficiently provide care for their patients and spend less time looking for information on a patient’s chart.

Overall, Elation’s Clinical Decision Support reminders are a sophisticated set of features that can help you create a clinical workflow that is geared toward improving documentation and clinical efficiency. Having a system that supports CDS can enable your independent practice to stay on top of patient care throughout CPC+.

The statements contained on this website are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained on this website.

Manisha Goud
August 30, 2017

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Using EHRs in clinical research and trials

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance in May 2016 on the use of electronic health records (EHRs) in clinical trials and research. In its “Guidance for Industry,” Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations, the FDA recognizes the widespread use of EHRs as well as the benefits of optimizing the technology tool in clinical research.

The introduction to the guidance documentation states that “in an effort to modernize and streamline clinical investigations, the goals of this guidance are as follows:

  • Facilitate the use of EHR data in clinical investigations
  • Promote the interoperability of EHRs and electronic systems supporting the clinical investigation”

The FDA recognizes that “there are opportunities to improve patient safety, data accuracy, and clinical trial efficiency when data from these systems are used in clinical investigations” while also providing guidance and recommendations on the use of EHRs in research and trials.

Interoperability between systems is seen as being a helpful tool in transmitting vital information and “may simplify data collection for a clinical investigation by enabling clinical investigators and study personnel to capture source data at the time of a subject’s point-of-care visit.” The FDA guidance adds that the “interoperability and automated electronic exchange of information between the EHR and the sponsor’s electronic system supporting the clinical investigation, such as an electronic data capture (EDC) system, may benefit the clinical investigation and patients and other health care providers.”

The security of patient data is a concern when EHRs are used in clinical investigation. Researchers and trial sponsors must adhere to HIPAA requirements for patient privacy and safety when accessing and transferring data. They must also conform to any regulations and requirements for data integrity that may be put in place by their own institutions.

The FDA guidelines advise that, when used properly, “EHRs may enable clinical investigators and study personnel to more easily combine, aggregate, and analyze data from many different sources.”

Tyler Comstock
August 22, 2017

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How the states rank on EHR usage

The use of health information technology has increased over the past several years, in some states more than others. One of the tools seeing such an increase is the electronic health record (EHR). The Center for Data Innovation recently conducted a study that included the measure of the EHR adoption rate by physicians and healthcare facilities in the US. The result, The Best States for Data Innovation, published in July 2017, provides some interesting insight into the state-by-state rankings.

The top-ranked state for EHR usage in 2015 was Massachusetts, followed by Wyoming, Washington, Minnesota, and Indiana. Many factors contributed to these states being ranked in the top five for data innovation and EHR use.

The report explains that Massachusetts, as well as a number of other states that ranked near the top, “participated in a multistate working group on EHR interoperability, which promoted interoperability among state vendors.” In addition, in Wyoming “the Department of Health began offering a fully certified EHR platform to Medicaid providers at no cost in May 2012.”

At the bottom of the list are Vermont, Hawaii, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and finally, New Jersey. Only 75% of hospitals and 62% of physicians in New Jersey adopted EHRs.

Why do these rankings matter? What benefits do EHRs provide to physicians and healthcare facilities? The report ranks states by their innovation efforts, particularly by their adoption of EHRs, because “these technologies help ensure that a patient’s medical information is available at the point of care, and allow physicians to use decision-support systems to help reduce mistakes and improve quality of care.”

The Center for Data Innovation explains that their scoring “indicator is a composite score of two variables: the percent of all office-based physicians who have adopted a certified EHR and the percent of nonfederal acute care hospitals that have adopted basic electronic health record systems. The values for this variable are extracted directly from the source and then standardized. The standardized scores are weighted equally, then summed for a final score.”

Tyler Comstock
August 21, 2017

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First steps after you’ve gotten a new EHR system

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to purchase an electronic health record (EHR) system for your independent practice. Now what?

Getting the most of your new EHR system means that you will need to set it up and use it as quickly as possible. Writing in Physicians Practice, Alex Tate recommends several steps to take to make that happen. The first step is to contact your vendor to get assistance and training.

Elation works with our clients to make sure their EHR solution works for them. We migrate patient data for our clients for free and we offer training and 24/7 support. Elation’s cloud-based EHR is intuitive and generally takes less an hour to learn, so you can start using it for your practice right away.

Additionally, Tate recommends:

  • Use shortcuts when you can. Setting up templates and triggers can help reduce the amount of repetitive information that you will enter into the EHR, based on the typical types of illnesses and procedures your practice manages for patients.
  • Integrate a portal. Patient engagement is critical for the quality of patients’ healthcare as well as for meeting certain Medicare requirements. The patient portal enables communication to flow more seamlessly between patient and providers as well as between providers.
  • Investigate all of your EHR’s features. Explore the many opportunities to improve your practice and to provide quality healthcare to your patients using the EHR’s features. Set up practice management tasks for handling administrative tasks to help your practice run smoother.
  • Consider other add-ons. Coordinating additional technology tools with your EHR system can further improve your practice’s efficiency.
  • Stay current. Review the vendor’s information for updates and additional guidance on using your EHR to its fullest. Elation’s blog posts and resource center are designed to provide you with up-to-date news and assistance.
  • Get the entire team involved. Engage your staff in learning and using the EHR system for patient and practice management tasks.

Parker Nieves
August 18, 2017

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Clinical First EHR features: Cockpit View

Managing a patient’s records during a visit can be cumbersome. Particularly if those records are kept on paper in a file folder, the physician may spend a great deal of time simply trying to find the right visit note or lab result. Even with the use of some electronic health records (EHRs), physicians find that they have to flip between screens to access the information they need. That can be time-consuming and frustrating for the provider as well as the patient.

An article on physician’s concerns in HealthAffairs summarized the challenges: “Patients, providers, payers, and vendors all have an interest in improving the usability of EHRs and integrating them into clinical workflows that produce better, more efficient care.” Wasted time and records that are difficult to access can actually impact the quality of care the physician is able to provide the patient.

Elation’s Clinical First EHR resolves all of those issues with its Cockpit View. While most EHRs rely on a linear workflow which forces back-and-forth screen toggling and extra clicks, Elation’s Cockpit View surfaces everything the independent physician needs in a unique three-pane console, providing more flexibility. Having immediate access to the patient’s information significantly reduces the amount of time the physician spends looking up records and can increase the amount of time actually spent with the patient.

The Cockpit View is built with the busy physician in mind. There are only two screens to become familiar with, providing all the information needed. The windows can be ordered and reorganized based on the provider’s preference regarding specific practice workflow.

We recognize that each physician’s workstyle is different, whether working online or organizing papers on a desk. With a Clinical First EHR, the provider can document visit notes, order lab tests, e-prescribe, and write referrals in any order, making the process efficient as well as effective.

Tyler Comstock
August 15, 2017

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What are the clinical tools independent physicians need for value-based care?

The transition from fee-for-service to value-based care requires physicians to be prepared with the right tools. A survey conducted in mid-2016 showed that “only 29 percent of polled physicians stated that they have the tools necessary to function effectively in the world of value-based care payments.” Primarily, these tools consist of the right technology needed to manage patient information and to coordinate care with other providers.

Primary care physicians need information at their fingertips, to gauge the quality of their patient care and to be able to report results. The electronic health record (EHR) is an important tool for physicians to have and to use correctly. To be truly effective, EHR systems must be interoperable. They must talk to each other for true coordination of care to occur. Patients with chronic or complex conditions, in particular, may see multiple physicians, so the primary care provider must have immediate and accurate access to those patients’ medical information to provide quality, value-based care.

A tool such as Elation’s Collaborative Health Records (CHR) is designed to provide physicians with on-demand access to patient information from any provider in their network. CHR gives providers visibility into their patient’s complete care record for more accurate reporting on clinical quality measures and compliance for value-based reimbursement.

Physicians do not necessarily need more data; rather, they need access to the data that will impact them and their patients. They need tools that will help them communicate with their patients and with other providers. And, they need to see the patient’s medical information, including visit notes, diagnoses, and medications, in one click, rather than spending time combing through paperwork or waiting on requested information. Current and accurate data can make all the difference in a patient’s care and in a physician’s ability to provide value-based care.

David Burke
August 8, 2017

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