Health systems often piece together risk, quality, and safety systems using multiple software packages that don’t work together or share data. This leads to hospital staff spending extra time and effort on data entry and reporting. Since information is locked in silos, staff can also miss opportunities for quality improvement and insights that can drive better patient outcomes.
Here are six reasons that many risk reporting systems fail healthcare staff and patients:
1. Too many vendors
Health systems frequently use multiple disconnected products and vendors, and this includes risk and quality systems. It is common to need numerous add-on modules to get complete functionality. Quality data analytics and peer review occur in separate user interfaces with little or no information sharing between them and separate logins. A more effective approach is a single vendor with a platform that shares data across quality, risk, safety, benchmarking and analytics, peer review, and provider practice evaluation.
2. Limited visibility into quality outcomes
With risk event reporting systems, your visibility on quality outcomes may be limited to what your staff enters into the system, limiting the opportunity to drive improvement. A full data analysis may require additional products from additional vendors. Can you drill down into EHR data to look at specific patient encounters? A more integrated platform can track thousands of metrics on patient care sourced from event capture, robust EHR integration, and other systems and information sources.
3. Missing insights, no analytics
Risk event systems can lack quality insights or bundle them with a separate package from an additional vendor. If you have a separate data package, does it lack real-time patient data and the ability to deep-dive into the information? Are there predictive analytics to help you anticipate and avoid problems like readmissions? Examples of insights that propel improvement include predicting future outcomes and their impact on Medicare reimbursement, such as readmissions, hospital-acquired conditions, and value-based purchasing measures. Identify the number of lives, days, and readmissions that could be saved with performance improvement. It also helps to view data in aggregate and then drill down to patient or provider level when necessary. Ideally, an integrated quality system helps you easily collect, aggregate, monitor, and report on core measures.
4. Incomplete EHR integration
Some risk tracking software integrates with the EHR, but the integration is limited to non-clinical data like patient demographics. Others have no integration with the EHR at all. In these cases, your staff must perform redundant data extraction and manually enter data into the risk system. Data normalization is not practical. It is important for a quality system to have robust integration with EHRs and other source systems to ingest not only patient demographic information but encounter data in real time.
A fully integrated system helps staff focus on patient care instead of consuming valuable time entering redundant data in multiple systems. If it includes an analytic engine, it can normalize data from multiple EHR types, allowing apples-to-apples comparison. This is especially useful when the acute and ambulatory EHRs are different, or when a health system has multiple EHRs across hospitals due to acquisitions.
5. Rigid reports
Risk event systems can make reports difficult to manipulate and customize. Users often cannot obtain the specific information and insights they need beyond what the risk software includes in standard reports. Can you customize modules to investigate and track issues that are uniquely important to your organization? Health systems vary, so they need flexible reporting of quality, risk, and safety data. A fully integrated quality platform can provide reports that are highly customizable and easy for users to define. Ideally, these help you dive deep into any area for investigation. The symplr Quality Suite includes a completely customizable Focus Study module that lets you capture and report on data that is unique to your situation. Input fields, workflows, and reports are totally customizable.
6. Not designed for all care settings
Some risk software is only designed for the hospital inpatient setting. In that case, you must apply significant modifications and workarounds to make it work for other care settings. Risk and quality management should span all care settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and behavioral health. It should also facilitate longitudinal care planning and transitions of care.
Quality improvement takes more than risk event tracking. Risk, quality, and safety workflows, quality analytics, benchmarking, and practice evaluation with full integration can enable your staff to be more effective at improving quality with less staff time and effort.