Archive for Reports

eBO Output

eClinicalWorks is a great tool for many practices, but we have also had many practices come to us feeling lost after encountering issues with extracting data for various purposes. When eClinicalWorks hosts your EMR for you, it can be difficult to extract data in a way that allows for reporting to government agencies, sharing with ACO or other quality reporting organizations or sharing with other third-parties. Thankfully, you’re not out of luck. Even if it feels like you’ve hit a wall, Mi7 is here to provide you options, just like we’ve done for our clients for years.

Mi7 has experience working with eClinicalWorks-hosted practices pulling data, and even providing some automation of those reports and extracted data. We have had clients come to us who have struggled attempting to get the data they need for several months, only to have us find a solution within a month, or less.

When we create these reports, we customize the report to produce the data that is needed in the desired format.  We also provide a way to view the data in a readable format before extraction. Often data is difficult to read, but we format it in an easy-to-read manner so you know what you are exporting.

eClinicalWorks Hosted

eClinicalWorks database and host servers cannot be accessed natively on their Cloud server. When eClinicalWorks hosts data, they will not allow access directly to the database, which can cause major headaches for many practices. Having the ability to share data with a third party is often essential to their workflow, whether in dealing with patient clinical, practice management or billing information.  eClinicalWorks does not natively allow this access.

Mi7 uses eBO, the native application in eCW for reporting, to extract data from eClinicalWorks-hosted practices. This report can be scheduled to run on a periodic basis.  The report can then be exported to a file and shared by the client to a 3rd party if needed.

Custom extract reports in eBO can be used to access any data that is available in you eCW database.  With Mi7’s long history and experience in working the eClinicalworks data, we can typically provide everything that is needed even if it is not available in the eBO metadata.

This is useful for various purposes, like leveraging your data for:

  • Insurance companies
  • Appointment follow-ups or reminder systems
  • Customer surveys
  • Quality Reporting
  • 3rd Party Patient Payment solutions.

Hosted Locally

If you eCW database is hosted locally, or with another 3rd party hosting solution.  Mi7 can provide many other options for extracting data as well.  With direct database access there are additional options for automation.  Thereby allowing the staff at the practice to become more efficient and focus more on patient care.

Mi7 can simplify the process in the practice and do it fast and efficient way. Clients who have used our services once, typically come back to us for the rest of their reporting needs. Let us help you too, contact Mi7 today!

Pump Up Your Jam (and your EHR Reporting)

A few weeks ago I finally got the motivation up to get our bikes ready to ride. The tires were completely flat. I started to pump up the tires with a little hand pump I have, but it takes several hundred pumps to inflate a tire to 55 lbs. I admit, I didn’t actually inflate the first tire all the way with the hand pump. After I had pumped 300 times and I only had about 20 lbs, I decided I needed some assistance. The next time I was at the department store with the name that means the same as “destination”, I took a look at their electric pumps. I reviewed all of the choices and decided on one that you plug into a wall outlet instead of a car 12V outlet. This will give us the most flexibility if we need to inflate a car tire, inflatable pool toys, etc.

I’m so excited to get the pump home so I can air up the tires and possibly go for a bike ride! I unpack the pump and look for the power cable. There is none. I read the box again. It doesn’t list any requirements. One line in the features section of the box says that it will connect to any extension cord. I guess this was the manufacturer’s way of saying that you need an extension cord to plug it in. I box it back up and put it on the shelf.

The next day I go to one of the big home improvement stores. I pick up an extension cord. The ends are connected together, but it looks like a three prong extension cord. When I get home, I take the pump out of the box, I unwrap the extension cord, unplug the ends… and it is a two prong extension cord! ARRRGGGHHH!

Well, I loathe going shopping, especially to the big home improvement stores, so I wait another day or two before going back to exchange the extension cord. When I do go back, I find the extension cords and unplug the ends to make sure that I get a three pronged extension cord this time.

Has this ever happened to you? I still maintain that the first problem with the pump was just clarity of packaging. How was I supposed to know that I needed an extension cord to plug something in? I confess to the second problem with the extension cord. I should have looked more closely to make sure I was getting what I needed. I didn’t realize that extension cords still came in two prong. My bad. In the end, I got the bike tires pumped up, but it took much longer to get it done with more than one trip to one of my favorite places on earth.

What’s the point? We see this regularly with clients and reports. Many clients are looking to analyze and use their data to better their business, but some have not committed to making the business changes to capture the data in a way that is usable for analysis. They just don’t have what they need to do the analysis.

We built a very complex quality report a while ago for a customer. This report had 15-20 quality metrics that were each dependent upon multiple pieces of data. You had to have this diagnosis group, have this lab, this Rx group, and data filled in the preventative medicine of the progress note for that day or in a note in the last 12 months. All of the quality metrics were that way. When we were scoping the report, we were very specific, with screen shots, about where the data will be captured, what specific data values we would count, and what the timeframe was for each metric. We set a timeframe that the providers had to complete their notes after the service date. We would then daily run the metrics for an appointment X days after the service date.

We went through testing. We modified some of the metrics. We did more testing. Then, when the client was satisfied, we installed the report on the users’ computers that needed it and told them to start running the report. Well, that would have been great…if what we were reporting was already how ALL of the providers were documenting. We had a call about once a week for the next couple of months researching issues with the report. All of them ended up not being the report, but the data that had been entered.

When you invest the time and money to come up with reports and other ways to analyze and make the best use of your data, you must make sure to educate the users to enter the data in the system in a way that you can analyze. You must insert controls that help you catch data entry or process issues. You can build the most awesome report or analytics in the world, but if you don’t have reliable data entry and a way to catch your data issues, the report is going to provide you incorrect results.

Admit it. You’re now ready to “Pump Up Your Jam” when it comes to your EMR reporting needs. And you probably have that song from the 90s running through your head too. You’re welcome. Mi7 is the pump to your jam, working with you to define the key metrics for your medical practice and come up with a way to track and report on that data. But it doesn’t end with the pump and the jam. Mi7 can also help you build the analytic reports to catch issues related to patient data, billing reports, efficiency and more to keep the business side of your practice on track.

Contact us today to discuss your EHR reporting needs.

Pass the Tofurkey and a Custom EHR Report

Well, I was going to write some witty story about using the right tool for the job, but, with all of the recent election talk, I figure we’ve had enough of that topic. So let’s get into the brisket (no not BREXIT!) ‐ meat, or Tofurkey if you prefer…

Reporting can be a challenging topic for anyone that uses, implements or supports reports. The key to understanding reports is to realize that any report you review is built for a specific person for a specific reason at a specific time. That person was trying to answer a specific question, so they built this report.

There are reports that have been developed to be used by the general user, but each general, or “canned”, report is still developed to answer a specific set of questions. This means that using a general report to answer questions for which the report was not designed may give you the wrong answer to the question you are trying to answer. This is why whenever someone is looking for a general report to answer a specific question, the question, business workflow, and variations to the question and workflow need to be reviewed to make sure that the right report is used to answer the specific question asked.

When I talk to different users about reports, I don’t start with an existing report. I always start with the question the user is trying to answer. I ask as many questions I can think of to try to understand what the user is trying to do. Many times I ask the same questions a different way to make sure that I completely understand.

I then get into the process. I look at the business process as a whole, including the system and non‐system parts of the process. Of course writing a custom ehr report from a system requires the data to be in the system, but you would be surprised to hear that many times the data the user wants to report is not currently captured in the system or it is captured in a way that is not reportable. It is only through understanding the business process as a whole that you can identify the restraints of report and the business process changes that might be necessary to properly answer the user’s question with a system report.

Once I understand the question and the process, I detail out the details of the report. There are five major categories of report details: logic, user selected filters, fields, report field to system mapping, field groupings, and report delivery.

Here are the various questions I ask, and items we consider when going through this process:

  • Logic ‐ Describe what conditions the data must meet in order to show or to be excluded from the report. For example, I only want patients with appointments in the selected timeframe that do not have a current, valid referral.
  • User Selected Filters ‐ List the filters that should be on a prompt page. In the example given above, you would have a “From Appointment Date” and a “To Appointment Date”. You might have an “Appointment Provider” filter if the user wanted to filter by appointment provider.
  • Fields – List the fields that the user wants on the report. For the example above, you might have the patient name, date of birth, appointment date, appointment time, appointment provider, and primary insurance.
  • Report Field to System Mapping ‐ List where each of the report fields listed above comes from the system. I find it beneficial to not only include the screen and field name in a table with the report field, but also include screen shots of the different fields.
  • Field Groupings ‐ Fields in the field list by which the user wants to group data on the report. This is typically for formatting, improving readability, or subtotals. In the example above, you might group by appointment provider or date.
  • Report Delivery ‐ It is important to understand what the user wants to do with the report. Do they want to download the data to CSV or Excel? Do they want a formatted report they can export to PDF and email? Do they want to automatically upload the data to a third party like an ACO, 340B vendor, or similar? Depending on the delivery method, you may need to change the tool you use to build the custom ehr report.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when developing an ehr custom report. If you are looking at using a canned report, don’t just assume that because the title of a report sounds like what you are looking for that it is. Take a step back to look at what questions you are asking, what the business and system processes are, and then review the report to determine if it meets your needs.

Remember this Thanksgiving that sometimes homemade cranberry sauce may be what you think you want, but sometimes you just need a quality can of cranberry gelatin. Either way, give thanks for all your blessings, including the report developer that just completed the 20th revision of your report because you didn’t know what you really wanted when you started. I know they will be thankful for you!

Need a report, canned Spam for the holidays, or just not quite sure how to use all of the “ingredients” that make up your EHR system? Mi7 can mix it all up, cook it, and help you dish up a custom ehr report that your entire practice will enjoy. Want a custom ehr report that will help you better manage certain patient populations? Coming right up! Need to know the primary reasons your claims are being rejected, or where hang ups in the billing process might be? BAM! We can do that too.

Contact us today, we’d like to hear what questions you need answered.