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6 issues radiology must address after COVID-19

A panel at the Association of University Radiologists(AUR) identified six themes that the radiology industry must address post COVID-19.

  1. Individual and organizational resilience.
  2. Patient care disparities and inequities.
  3. Telehealth and remote work functionality.
  4. Prioritizing innovations and technological advances.
  5. Determining societal responsibility of radiology practices and industry.
  6. Need for business models that support partnerships between academia and industry.

Read more about these issues in detail:

Here’s what radiologists should do after they’ve committed an error

The chair of the American College of Radiology’s Commission on Leadership and Practice Development, recently asked radiologists what they should do in case of an error.

After a mistake, calling the referring physician to ensure the patient is taken care of is top priority, in addition to documenting discussions, according to Jennifer C. Broder, MD, vice-chair of radiology quality and safety at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Massachusetts.

The next move depends on the type of error. Disclosing the mistake to patients is a must, and rads should consider seeking guidance from experts, including risk managers, to discuss the problem and next steps.

Read other solutions that radiologists gave to this question:

Saince announces the launch of tele-medicine feature within its clinical documentation solution

Doc-U-Scribe clinical documentation solution now comes integrated with tele-medicine workflow. Physicians and administrators can create tele-consultation sessions with patients seamlessly from within the application. This process eliminates the need for providers to use separate solutions – one for clinical documentation and another for video session.

The COVID-19 public health crisis has accelerated the use of tele-medicine solutions among healthcare provides across the nation. However, many small hospitals and physician offices do not have access to a single solution that takes care of all their needs. Physicians are forced to use multiple solutions to complete their tele-medicine workflow. They are often finding this process frustrating and cumbersome.

Doc-U-Scribe clinical documentation solution which is used by hundreds of hospitals and physician offices across the country provides an integrated and seamless workflow for clinical documentation as well as tele-medicine.   This new HIPAA compliant tele-medicine solution can cut costs, increase efficiency, and improve physician satisfaction significantly.

Saince announced that this new feature will be available to all their existing customers immediately. Saince also announced that with their plug and play model, any new hospital or physician office can be up and running with their tele-medicine program within 48 hours.

Study: Burnout is a Public Health Crisis, Support and Easing EHR Usability Should Be the Focus

Sooner or later, the consequences of physician burnout will hit everyone where it hurts, a new study highlights.

The report from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard Global Institute, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association examines the many burdens today’s doctors face, often in the absence of adequate support. Further underscoring burnout’s status as an urgent and growing public health crisis, the researchers focus much of their attention on electronic health records (EHRs)—particularly the onerous demands they often create.

Electronic Medical Records

As we’ve previously discussed, the amount of time physicians spend inputting data into EHRs continues to be an issue for hospital leaders, healthcare regulators and, most important, the doctors themselves. Multiple studies released last year pointed to EHRs as the leading cause of burnout, listing strategies—such as dictation and transcription services—for decreasing EHR’s demands on physicians’ time.

Rather than taking a deep dive on specific EHR solutions, the Harvard study seeks to drive home the urgency of the issue. And in acknowledging similar studies, the researchers seek to add their voices to the swelling chorus demanding action.

Among the research they cite is the 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians Practice Patterns and Perspectives conducted by Merritt Hawkins on behalf of the Physicians Foundation, in which an astounding 78 percent of physicians reported feeling burnout at least some of the time. As the researchers note, no stakeholder escapes harm.

Physician burnout impacts patient health and well-being by increasing medical errors and decreasing patient experience scores. Likewise, a separate crisis emerges for hospitals as physicians cut back their hours.

According to the study, “every one-point increase in burnout (on a seven-point scale) is associated with a 30–40 percent increase in the likelihood that physicians will reduce their work hours in the next two years.” Beyond reshuffling the workload, the cost of recruiting and replacing a physician can range from $500,000 to $1 million, according to a 2017 report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For their part, doctors continue to call for new strategies at every opportunity. As we quoted one surgeon last year, “Develop a better and more user-friendly EHR. It shouldn’t take 20 minutes to do something that dictation takes three minutes.”

For help understanding how a state-of-the-art dictation and transcription platform can deliver proven benefits to physician practices, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs) and medical transcription services organizations (MTSOs) of all sizes, as well as successfully integrate with leading EHR systems, read about Saince’s Doc-U-Scribe product or contact Saince.saince inc logo

When Pursuing CDI, Using Risk Adjustment Is Vital

As healthcare has moved away from fee-for-service reimbursement models toward a more value-based system, the idea of using risk adjustment to account for individual patient risk and chronic conditions has become far more important for providers seeking to maximize the quality of care.


In today’s healthcare environment, providers are often required to fight simultaneous battles on several fronts. For those pursuing clinical documentation improvement (CDI), they must balance sometimes-conflicting regulatory demands, workflow needs, etc. Further exacerbating the problem is the persistent shift of care provided to the ambulatory setting and the increasing demands it places on provider organizations.


As we have discussed in previous blog posts, outpatient CDI efforts face a number of unique challenges, such as decidedly larger case volumes than most inpatient settings and far shorter clinical visits. These shorter visits produce less usable patient data and offer a condensed window during which multiple team members must work in synchrony—accurately and efficiently—to gather that data. Outpatient providers must also go further, factoring in risk adjustment for each individual in their larger patient populations as well.


Often, problems with risk adjustment appear when inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis coding slips through the documentation workflow. For instance, failure to capture patients’ Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs)—and recapture year-over-year—can greatly skew risk scores for individual patients and potentially the overall population. Such mistakes can filter downstream to errors in patient care and increasing claim denials and, potentially, wreak havoc on pay-for-performance reimbursements.


This dynamic puts increased pressure on physicians to capture correct documentation at the point of care—getting it right the first time without a great deal of revision. Many have addressed the issue through Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD), which provides a number of CDI features. CAPD improves accuracy and lessens physicians’ burdensome workflow by precluding the need to rehash previously captured documentation.


The goal of these products is to allow physicians to complete patient care documentation faster and spend more time with their patients. Unfortunately, many traditional products, which were designed for inpatient settings, lack effective integration of risk adjustment. As a result, many providers are prevented from seeing the most accurate picture of the population they serve—and value-based care programs are not as successful as they could be.

Power Speak - Speech Recognition and Reporting Software

To learn about PowerSpeak+RAPID—a CAPD solution that combines powerful speech recognition technology (PowerSpeak) with real-time risk adjustment using HCCs (RAPID), please contact Saince.


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Getting CDI Compliance Right From the Start

For decades, countless market observers have warned of turmoil in the healthcare space. The upheaval and endless changes have created a cacophony of compliance requirements that leave healthcare providers—both new players and those pursuing improvements—scratching their heads about where to begin.


Organizations focusing on clinical documentation improvement (CDI) must foster an environment of effective compliance from the outset. If they hope to improve outcomes while also increasing revenues and reducing costs, those organizations must evolve CDI practices in support of shifting trends in reimbursement and its documentation requirements.


Get the Workflow Right, and Quality Will Follow


Outpatient CDI efforts are designed to address a variety of needs, including Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) capture, quality improvement, risk adjustment and more. Without thoughtful attention to the development of an efficient and effective workflow, however, these goals will compete as varied teams within the organization focus on different aspects.


For instance, what may appear to be an issue with quality may actually be an issue with documentation, or vice versa. Aligning staff around common goals—ensuring not only that they’re tracking the same metrics, but also prioritizing them in the same order—will help teams more quickly identify operational issues and their true causes.


Understand How CDI Efforts Affect Reimbursement


Whether through HCC capture, risk adjustment or other areas, CDI efforts are helping providers better adjust as the healthcare landscape shifts away from fee-for-service and increasingly toward value-based, alternative reimbursement models. But as noted above, leveraging these capabilities requires that teams align around these metrics and how coding and CDI work synergistically to achieve these ends.


clinical documentation improvement


Although fee-for-service remains the norm in many settings, even those once-reliable revenue streams are increasingly in jeopardy as a result of penalties surrounding poor quality or, conversely, failure on the part of organizations to properly code and capture reimbursement incentives. Capturing HCCs, in particular, is becoming a vitally important CDI task as the high-value diagnoses play a central role in risk adjustment—requiring ongoing, accurate documentation to reflect patient and population health risk.


Under this new payment paradigm, teams need to understand the relationship of day-to-day compliance, accuracy and the longitudinal effects they have on reimbursement and organizational efficacy.

Understand How Outpatient CDI Affects Population

If your organization has decided to address outpatient CDI, then many of the above strategies become even more vital. Streamlining workflows and organizational compliance is more challenging in the outpatient setting, which places a greater emphasis on effective intra-team cooperation and communication.


On the upside, however, by implementing effective outpatient CDI efforts as part of an overall CDI strategy, healthcare organizations can capture opportunities for medical necessity documentation as well as reduce error-driven medical necessity denials for patients.

For more tips on Outpatient CDI efforts, see our previous blog post. For help designing your organization’s CDI efforts or to learn about  PracticePerfect, a platform to help you address outpatient CDI, and Doc-U-Aide, a revolutionary platform for inpatient CDI, contact Saince.



4 Factors to Consider for Optimizing CDI Workflows and Reporting

In recent years, the evolution of healthcare regulations has driven care away from the inpatient setting, while simultaneously increasing administrative and clinical documentation burdens for providers. As a result, many healthcare organizations have started expanding their clinical documentation improvement (CDI) efforts to outpatient settings by finding opportunities for increased reimbursement, enhanced quality, and improved patient satisfaction. However, this process also brings with it new challenges, far different from those faced with inpatient CDI.

Among the most explicit challenges that organizations face when pursuing outpatient CDI efforts are larger case volumes and markedly shorter clinical visits, which in turn generate far less usable data per patient. Additionally, that data is often collected by multiple team members during a narrow window, increasing the opportunity for costly errors. This dynamic underscores the need for efficient workflows that enable accurate, timely and comprehensive documentation.











As organizations explore optimizing outpatient CDI efforts, here are four factors to consider:

  1. Timely collaboration is crucial. Outpatient CDI efforts require a higher level of physician engagement, as well as an increased emphasis on workflow efficiency to ensure that accurate documentation is produced concurrently with the provision of care.


Fostering collaboration between providers, coding and other administrative staff is vital to any CDI effort’s success. These team members must understand how their roles align in order to support, create and sustain a culture of operational efficacy.


  1. Improved quality, care, and reimbursement go hand-in-hand. Streamlining organizational compliance from the point of care to the submission of a claim allows outpatient clinics and physician groups to optimize efforts with diagnosis coding and Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) capture. It also helps them improve the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) scoring and reduce error-driven medical necessity denials for patients.


  1. It’s critical to analyze and agree on goals and targets. A central component of fostering collaboration and improving metrics is first understanding specific organizational needs and identifying areas that need the most improvement. By focusing on collaborative resources in these areas, outpatient CDI efforts can be organized to ensure desired outcomes.


  1. Every organization’s needs will be unique. Key areas of improvement will vary from one organization to the next. Operational needs—from staffing to education to technology—will likewise be unique.


Designing your organization’s outpatient CDI efforts is a significant undertaking. To learn more about PracticePerfect, a platform to help you address outpatient and ER CDI, contact Saince.




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Saince Will Be Exhibiting Several of Its Clinical Documentation Solutions at This Year’s Convention in Los Angeles, CA – October 7-11

Alpharetta, GA, October 2, 2017– In the ever-changing world of value based healthcare, hospitals and health systems are scrambling to keep up with the rapid shift from predominantly inpatient revenues to outpatient revenues. In today’s healthcare system, the ability to track patient risk pools across care settings (outpatient, inpatient, and ER) is crucial for hospitals to maximize their reimbursements, increase their quality scores, and improve patient outcomes. In this climate, the quality of clinical documentation is paramount. The challenge many care providers are faced with is how to efficiently and seamlessly expand their current inpatient CDI programs into outpatient settings, and ensure that physicians in outpatient settings are appropriately and adequately documenting the care provided to patients.


Saince, Inc. will be participating in the 89th annual American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) Convention and Exhibit demonstrating several of its revolutionary clinical documentation improvement solutions specifically designed to effectively manage and improve hospital workflows and productivity in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Among the programs being demonstrated, Saince will also reveal the newest version of PracticePerfect, Saince’s groundbreaking outpatient CDI technology.  Convention participants can visit Saince at booth number 905 to learn about the clinical documentation and integrity solutions that are helping hospitals across the country to improve their case mix index and protect reimbursements.


PracticePerfect™- The industry’s first and most advanced outpatient CDI solution — fast, easy, and efficient.


Doc-U-Aide – The most advanced clinical documentation improvement technology available on the market today, designed by CDI specialists for CDI specialists.


Additionally, Saince invites everyone who will be attending the AHIMA convention to participate in their Twitter scavenger hunt which will take place in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Participants are eligible to win prizes and the winner will be gifted the grand prize of a Google Home at the end of the convention on Wednesday!  Play and follow along by following @Saince_inc on Twitter and using hashtag #Saince2017.


This year’s convention will run from October 7-12 in at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.


About Saince: Saince is a 15-year-old, award winning clinical documentation solutions and services company based in Atlanta, GA. Saince is well recognized for its innovative solutions that help healthcare providers navigate and thrive in the fast, changing healthcare industry landscape. Saince helps hospitals of all sizes and specialties – from critical access hospitals to large health systems- in saving costs, improving reimbursements, and enhancing quality of care.

Saince 2017 AHIMA Convention Scavenger Hunt

Saince will be participating in this year’s AHIMA Convention and Exhibit in Los Angeles, and will be hosting a Twitter scavenger hunt for event attendees! 

To play, take pictures of the following people, places, and objects and tweet them to @Saince_Inc using the hashtag #Saince2017.

All participants are eligible to win prizes and the winner of the scavenger hunt will receive the grand prize of a Google Home!

Investor Sharing Across the Healthcare Delivery System

Common investors in the healthcare delivery industry have historically been difficult to track. One recent study published in Health Affairs Magazine analyzing data from various sources concludes that between the year 2005 and 2015 common investors in healthcare continuum – including acute care hospitals, post-acute care, hospice, etc – increased from 25% to 49%. The prevalence of common investor ownership structures within healthcare delivery systems and their evolution has not been widely noted or examined until recently. Understanding this type of investor sharing across health delivery systems is important because it inevitably affects antitrust, payment, and regulatory policies.