A cardiovascular service line’s success depends on its ability to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as case volumes, complications rates, ventilation times, readmissions, and length of stay.
Previously a manual process that involved a lot of trial and error, generating these reports has historically been very time-consuming and not always reliable, according to Kathy Kane, Senior Clinical Documentation Specialist at the WakeMed Heart & Vascular Center in Raleigh, NC.
But since implementing the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Adult Cardiac Content Pack, WakeMed—a LUMEDX registry software and cardiovascular information system (CVIS) customer since 2002—is doing things a little differently.
Kane, who was trained on the HealthView Analytics (HVA) platform in August 2019, says that she spends at least 20 percent less time setting up queries for the analytic reports on KPIs that the service line leaders need. It’s freed her up to create reports that will drive even more quality initiatives and result in even better outcomes, making it that much more meaningful.
“It helps me become more of a quality analyst versus a data entry specialist,” she said. “It also has a trickle-down effect—it saves time for the whole department, not just me in my specific little world.”
Not only is it faster, the reports that come out of it are also more trustworthy—in part because it shows you right away if something is missing.
“If there’s something wonky with the report, I know right away versus, ‘Gee, I wonder if I have all the tables pulled in?’ It’s a good backup, an excellent first-line tool,” Kane says. “And if I’ve got a surgeon on the phone with a simple question, I can give him a simple answer while he’s on the phone. I don’t have to say, ‘I’ll get it to you next week.’
“People are reaching out for whatever tools they can get,” Kane says, citing the myth that electronic medical records (EMRs) make data extraction easier. “It’s really hard to get any reports in this data-mandatory universe we live in.
“You think, ‘Well, everything’s in, so I should be able to get everything out.’ Of course, you know that’s not the case because people don’t document what they’re supposed to,” she added, “so you get a ‘garbage in, garbage out’ situation.”
The fact that the reports from the Adult Cardiac content pack are tied to the STS means their credibility is already established.
“HVA makes things a lot easier and better,” Kane says. “I have no complaints.”
“If I’ve got a surgeon on the phone with a simple question, I can give him a simple answer while he’s on the phone. I don’t have to say, ‘I’ll get it to you next week.’”
WakeMed Health and Hospitals is a 919-bed healthcare system with multiple facilities around the metropolitan Raleigh, NC, area. WakeMed serves multiple counties throughout the state and specializes in a variety of services including cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, orthopedics, high-risk pregnancy, children’s care, trauma, physical rehabilitation, and critical care transport.