2015 was an exciting year for the QPID Health team. We released new products, were recognized by a leading industry analyst for our innovative and impactful solutions, and launched a new website. Most important, our solutions were selected by some of the most renowned healthcare systems in the country to help them meet their quality goals.
As we gear up for 2016 we thought it would be fun to look back and share some of our proudest moments of 2015. Here goes:
Hey, look Ma, we’re Cool! – We were named a “Cool Vendor” for Healthcare Providers by Gartner, the global IT research giant. Their healthcare analysts, who talk with 100s of customers and vendors each year, singled out QPID Health as a “vendor that presents unique solutions under the broad realm of transformation and change.”
On the Podium with Partners – QPID Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Zalis co-presented at HIMSS 15 with Dr. Creagh Milford, associate medical director for Population Health Management at Massachusetts’ largest IDN, Partners Healthcare. They reviewed the success that Partners has had using QPID software to assure 100% medical necessity for high volume, high cost procedures. The solution is now being rolled out across the 10-hospital system.
Coast-to-coast Go Lives, including…
Providence Health & Services is deploying our Registry Submission solution. First mover Everett Regional Medical Center will be able to double its clinical data registry participation, without increasing staff.
Holyoke Medical Center is using QPID to help identify behavioral health patients at risk for emergency visits and readmission, under a grant from the Massachusetts Health Policy CHART Investment Program.
Sharp HealthCare is using QPID Health to streamline reporting to CMS under the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The Quality Reporting solution is being used to report 2015 data for its 500-physician Rees-Stealy Medical Group.
Our Quality Reporting and Registry Submission products hit the market with a revolutionary new approach to reporting. Because the software automates the time-consuming location of relevant facts in the EHR, abstractors and analysts can work more quickly and efficiently. Best of all, they can focus their clinical know-how where it’s needed.
We have launched a content subscription service for Epic users. QPID Groupers for Epic links diseases with their meds and labs to enhance the clinical value of information displayed in various Epic functions such as the Problem List. The service was developed in collaboration with Epic to fill a gap in their offering and help our mutual clients reduce in-house development. Details here.
We are proud to have partnered with renowned author, physician leader and QPID Health Advisory Board member Dr. Robert Wachter in a unique conversation-style Webinar highlighting themes from his best seller “The Digital Doctor.” The event drew a big crowd, but if you weren’t among them you still have a chance to hear this dynamic speaker. Listen Now!
Julie McDonald, Director, Clinical Analytics, Providence Regional Healthcare Center, was guest speaker in another popular Webinar. She shared her expertise around clinical data registries and offered organizational and technological strategies to meet the growing demand for participation. Listen Now!
QPID Health President and CEO Mike Doyle’s article “Why the CFO should care about health IT as much as the CIO” was featured in the leading healthcare publication Becker’s Hospital Review. Want to know why? Read on.
Garry Choy, MD, assistant medical information officer at Massachusetts General Hospital, was interviewed by Health IT Outcomes. A long-time user of QPID software, he explains how QPID “thinks like a physician” to find information and how it can “enable better analytics to be performed on the data stored within the EHR.” Read the interview.
Well, maybe it’s not “thought leadership” but I just can’t resist including Mike Doyle’s Trump-style tirade captured in this 1-minute video for the More Disruption Please conference. Disclaimer: Posted in the spirit of “humor is good for your health”!
Finally, we updated our website. It was designed to help visitors get a high level understanding of our solutions and to explain why Clinical Reasoning software, more than just Natural Language Processing, is needed for applications that require clinical knowledge. Have a look around.Did we achieve our goal?
We hope that everyone has a great 2016 and look forward to sharing more good news in the months to come!
When one considers the confluence of regulatory change, digital technology, and capital forces affecting medical professionals today, it’s safe to say there has been no other time in healthcare quite like the period we are entering now.
Healthcare executives have the opportunity to lead the way to success in this time of increasing financial risk and performance-based reimbursement. Although only 42% of hospitals reported that 10% or more of their revenue is tied to value-based contracts, momentum towards taking on risk for lowering costs and improving outcomes is building. Risk is being shifted to providers from payers under programs such as Medicare Shared Savings on the public side, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) on the commercial side. Under these arrangements, payment is for quality, not volume.
Why does health IT matter so much? Clinical analytics to learn what works best is critical to improving care and bending the cost curve. But the challenge is not only achieving better outcomes, but documenting and reporting on those outcomes. Reimbursement under value-based models is directly linked to the ability to report on quality measures. If your reports don’t match the quality of the care you deliver, you are simply out of luck. If your reporting requires highly trained clinical personnel to spend time populating fields and reading records manually, that’s wasting resources.
Hospitals will no longer stay in business if they persist in old ways of operating: essentially, throwing expensive clinical labor at problems.
Smart technology is the only way to survive in this time of change. So the CFO should care about health IT as much as the CIO.
We were pleased to host Julie McDonald, Director, Clinical Analytics, Providence Regional Healthcare Center, on a webinar on Nov. 19. She covered the escalating demand for participation in clinical data registries, and organizational and technological strategies to meet that demand. (Listen in at your convenience to this 30 minute On Demand Webinar.)
Here are a few of her observations:
With 20+ years of experience in data capture and analysis, she has seen the many changes wrought by the implementation of electronic health records. But when it comes to collecting the data for submission to registries, the workflow is largely the same as it was using paper charts!
This situation is clearly not sustainable given the cost of clinical labor and the increasing demand for insights that registries can contribute. Quality improvement initiatives, certification requirements, and risk-sharing with payers all need the kind of real-world data that registries provide.
At Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, the number of registries is expected to double in the next 15 months. And system-wide, Providence Health and Services is faced with hiring 100 more people if they don’t take steps to automate.
I think we can all agree on the value of registries. The question is, can we afford them?
The answer is “Yes!”, but only if we apply technology that can eliminate the 75% of the process that is wasted in simply finding the information required.
(To solve this problem, Julie’s team at Providence is using QPID Health’s Registry Submission solution, which locates and synthesizes information, and helps populate complex registry forms.)
Clinical registries provide timely real-world data on outcomes for health interventions. Unlike clinical trials, which by design are exclusionary, registries document the experience of a broad group of patients and produce real world evidence.
Although the benefits of participation are clear – the ACS NSQIP surgical registry reports savings of on average $3 million per year per facility – the costs are high. Case forms can have over 150 questions that require the clinical knowledge of highly skilled clinical nurse reviewers and data abstractors.
Whether you are looking for cost savings, complying with mandates under meaningful use, supporting surgical or other quality improvement initiatives, or getting certified to deliver specialty care, clinical data registries are demanding your data.
How will you scale?
Join Julie McDonald, BSN, RN, CPHQ, Director, Clinical Analytics at Providence Everett on Nov. 19 at 12 noon EST for a free webinar. Grab your lunch or a cup of coffee and get expert advice in just 30 minutes. She will discuss:
The benefits of participating in clinical data registries
Organizational strategies to meet the demand
How innovative technology boosts capacity
Hope you can join us!
“Meeting the Challenges of Clinical Registries”
Speaker: Julie McDonald, Director, Clinical Analytics, Providence Everett
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm ET
The LeapFrog Group came out with its Hospital Safety Score rankings for over 2500 hospitals last week. They assigned grades of A-F based on a composite of 28 measures in use by quality measurement programs run by the CDC and CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Per the report, the state with the most A-rated hospitals is Maine. Our home state of Massachusetts is #2. And only 5% of US hospitals (133) earned an A grade.
Health Grades, which provides online resources to help consumers select a healthcare provider, assigned 1 to 5 stars to hospitals based on how they they performed on common surgeries and procedures. A key takeaway is that 1 out of 6 patients received their care at hospitals with only a 1-star rating.
But the big news is that when it comes to hospital ratings, we consumers should take note!
Patients who research the appropriate hospital for their condition or surgery have a 71 percent lower risk of dying and 65 percent lower risk of a complication during their stay
So we decided to help you do some research on your own. Since a hospital that does well in one type of surgery is not necessary making the grade in others, Healthgrades lets you search by category:
Becker’s Hospital Review published a “listicle” this week featuring physicians sharing their frustration with EHRs, which distract from patient care, and add hours to the work day for data entry and searching for information.
But we wanted to call out a few quotes that get to the heart of our mission as a company: to make better use of information collected in the workflow, without increasing the burden on clinicians, so they can focus on patient care.
On a daily basis I can’t find the information, particularly nurses’ notes and things like that that are really valuable to me. In a sense it’s turned us into data entry clerks. Communication with patients is not only suffering, but communication with nursing and others, as well.
As a solo, rural family physician practicing for 34 years, I tried EMR two years ago and spent an additional 2-3 hours per day entering data.
As opposed to looking at the patient, thinking about what’s important with this patient, asking the relevant questions, then proceeding to take care of this patient, there’s this huge fountain of collection of data, then you’ve got to go wading through it hoping you can find the relevant piece of information. It’s a totally backwards approach.
As these comments demonstrate, physicians are tired of dealing with technology that takes the joy out of their profession and essentially turns them into data-entry specialists. By developing software that uses clinical reasoning (NLP and clinical logic) to deliver the patient story directly to clinicians and administrators, we are doing our part to stem the tide of frustration and early retirement.
Patient satisfaction surveys (HCAHPS) are one of the quality measurement tools used by Medicare to calculate payment to hospitals. Score poorly and you can be docked up to 1.5% of your Medicare revenues. And with Yelp reviews of hospitals launched, patient satisfaction should be top of mind.
The equation seems simple: Happy Patients = Great Ratings. In response some hospitals are focused on spas, five-star dining and resort-style amenities.
According to a recent article in Quartz this is the wrong focus. Since nurses spend more time with patients than anyone else, the equation is really: Happy Nurses = Happy Patients.
This makes sense to us.
Hospitals don’t have to be as fancy as a 5-star hotel, but they should create a culture that provides healthcare professionals with the resources necessary to focus their full attention on providing quality care.
At QPID Health, we supply doctors, nurses, and hospitals administrators with intuitive tools that take away administrative burdens related to finding and using information in the EHR. Our team is dedicated to making sure that they are focused on what matters most: the patient. It’s not as glamorous as a lobster dinner, but patients will remember the nurse and doctor who spent the extra time to talk to them, rather than how the cafeteria food tasted.
First, measures have to be defined – and CMS has focused much effort on this, with some 1700 measures across all quality programs floating out there. (Did you know that? Test your knowledge in the “Quality by the Numbers” quiz in our recent blog post.)
Next, each healthcare organization must use what the author calls its “big data” systems to generate information for those reports. According to National Quality Forum President and CEO Christine Cassel, MD, this is problematic since the industry is maintaining systems that are saddled with “poor usability, disappointing data integrity, siloed information, and conflicting standards.”
In our view the root of the problem is the individual patient record itself. Each record is a microcosm of “big data” – shall we call it “little data”? – that is growing in volume at 80 MB per year. Each record is made up of multiple data types (labs, meds, diagnoses codes, images) and up to 80% unstructured, narrative text found in discharge, admit, surgical and other notes.
Jennifer Bresnick, the author of the Health IT Analytics article, notes that:
In healthcare’s new big data world, patient records may be stuffed full of results, statistics, notes, and codes that convey no clear, immediate meaning to a treating physician, producing frustration instead of illumination when it comes to what the patient really requires.
More relevant to quality reporting than the “treating physician” is the clinical data abstractor. It is this person that is responsible for making sense of the record in order to report on quality and is often left frustrated instead of illuminated. Instead of making quality improvements that lead to real value-based care, a highly qualified nurse clinician will spend hours locating relevant patient facts. We’ve seen a recent study that studied two full-time infection control specialists and found that they spent five out of their eight-hour day on reporting alone. This is typical for those responsible for quality reporting. And they are frustrated!
Technology from QPID Health is aimed squarely at reducing that administrative burden and freeing quality resources for quality improvement. We do this by locating and synthesizing the relevant information from the record, and bringing it directly to the nurse abstractor. More here.
As an engineer turned physician who returned to engineering as a QPID clinical content engineer (yes, it’s confusing!), I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from friends and family about the exciting problems our startup is tackling. Here is one way of understanding what we do.
As we know, we all have DNA stored within our cells. DNA is the basic building block of life, encoding our genes that determine a large part of our biology – height, weight, gender, and health. This is what nature has given each one of us as a starting point in life.
What we may not realize is that we all also have an extraordinary amount of “digital DNA” that is stored in our healthcare record. This digital DNA also encodes our biology and determines our health. Every time a doctor writes a note, reports a lab result, interprets an x-ray, she is encoding a digital gene that is stored away in the medical record.
DNA is, at its core, a long string of letters that on the outside makes no sense to humans. However, over the past few decades, scientists have made great strides sequencing our DNA and extracting information about our genome to predict and improve health. Just like biologic DNA, our healthcare records contain thousands of documents that often start to blend into a seemingly meaningless long string of letters.
This is where QPID comes in. QPID sequences the digital DNA stored in your entire healthcare record to derive insights for doctors, nurses, case managers and quality personnel. QPID understands these digital genes, making it possible to decipher, predict and ultimately prevent diseases and avoid risks (such as hospital acquired conditions) for individuals and entire populations.
This is how QPID helps clinicians make us healthier and the reason I decided to join the QPID family!