For those following our blog series you should be getting the hang of streamlining your QI Program by now. This week we will tackle the dreaded clinical correlation! Wait… before you cringe and close out this blog let me share some good news! IAC recently changed the correlation requirements for many of the modalities.
With the clinical correlation measure now having such minimal requirements, this task is not as daunting as it used to be!
It still amazes me to see how many clients are still relying on paper systems to figure out which patient has had multiple tests performed on them. Use technology to help! Every test is associated with a procedure billing code. Your billing department can run a report on all patients that have been billed any combination of billing codes. Talk to your billing department and talk to your I.T. department and see how to create a report with a list of patients that have received certain tests.
We use this method to create lists of patients that have received an Echo and a Cardiac Cath for example; or a Carotid Ultrasound and an Angiogram. Just work with the billing department to find out the billing codes for the specific tests you are looking for and see the best way to generate this list. The I.T. Departments can sometimes create these reports within your EMR (like Epic for example).
Don’t be like George on Jerry Seinfeld and double dip!!
For those of you that need to rely on a paper system; be sure to make the best use of your time by not double dipping in and out of medical records. Whenever you are reviewing a patient’s chart (while checking the order and patient history prior to performing their exam) print out ANY other recent abnormal test results that you could correlate with the study you are about to do. Just place them to the side in a tray.
Not a problem, just tackle the task backwards! Keep records of every abnormal study you complete and then see how to hunt down any additional testing.
There are a couple of different ways to keep track of your abnormal studies. The best way for you to do this is to implement the least amount of change as possible! Just find little ways to tweak your day that helps track abnormal studies. Here is a list of some ideas labs around the nation are using to keep track of their abnormal studies. Which best fits into your daily routine?
You are now armed with your list of abnormal findings, now what?? The good news is that by narrowing down your list of patients to just those with abnormal findings you have greatly increased the possibility of findings additional testing results. We know this is not fun or particularly easy but our goal is to focus on saving you time. Remember the clinical correlation requirements have been greatly reduced with echo and vascular now having these as annual measures so there is no rush to complete this every quarter as long as you have them by the end of the year. Start implementing these best practices into your facility and they will pay off over time.
How do you increase your chance of success when on the hunt for clinical correlation results? By being a proactive hunter! Here are some tips we implemented in labs across the nation that did not have the ability to use technology to make their life easier.
Again, if you can rely on technology and create a report then please make your life easy and use Hack #1 – Use Technology! For all the paper pushers; remember the best option for you is Hack #2 – Don’t Double Dip. This is the easiest and most efficient way to speed up the success rate of finding clinical correlation studies as you will identify additional testing before you have even began your test! For those of you that don’t have access to this method or would like to find additional ways to find clinical correlation we suggested Hack #3 – Keep Track of your Abnormal Studies. Narrowing down your list of patients to just those with abnormal findings greatly increases the possibility that they have received additional testing. Finally use all the tips under Hack #4 – Be a Proactive Hunter to successfully hunt down your clinical correlation results.
Remember the staff at the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission are awesome so feel free to reach out to them with questions and check out their website for useful resources. Also, don’t be shy about reaching out to us here at CardioServ. As accreditation consultants we are here to help all labs, small and large, achieve accreditation. There is no question that is too silly to ask. Give us a call if you need help and follow us on social media to stay current with the latest accreditation news.