Revamped processes, renewed accountability reduce documentation errors by 50%

The client

5 faith-based hospitals, clinics and associated medical groups in the Pacific Northwest with more than 1,000 staffed beds

The challenge

  • Consistently incurring approximately $60 million in Operating Room late charges
  • Delayed patient bills for clinical documentation reasons unrelated to finance
  • Unclear accountability for documentation processes, audits, follow-through and revenue capture

The approach

  • Completed an assessment to identify the type of errors occurring and their root causes
  • Tracked errors to the individual offenders looking for root causes
  • Facilitate education sessions for staff to understand which errors were consistently being made, reinforced software program requirements and improved the EMR to facilitate easier documentation for clinicians.
  • Groups of clinicians, finance staff and managers met in three work out session to determine how improvements to the EMR or documentation processes would lead to fewer errors
  • Clinical Leadership assumed the accountability for monitoring, providing ongoing education, performance counseling and process improvement for clinical documentation
  • Established a policy that patient bills would only be held for reconciliation for items categorized as implant or for other revenue capture infractions such as time, level charges, etc.

The results

  • 50% reduction in documentation errors
  • Charge errors log established

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