In the age of value-based medicine, there is an intensifying pressure to optimize workflow while maintaining high standards in healthcare delivery. Providers across the healthcare industry have realized that structured reporting, standardized digital reports with drop-down selections and required fields, can bring their organization to the next level in workflow optimization and clinical quality. Below are the top 5 benefits of Structured Reporting.
1. Improved communication and care coordination
Unlike non-structured reports, that can be incomplete and difficult to understand, structured reports use required fields for data completeness and standardized language, making them more consistent between reports. Physicians and other members of the care team are able to create reports they know will be understandable and contain all the information needed, allowing for better communication and data completeness that contributes to understanding of the patient condition for care coordination. The two combined ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.
2. Reduce human transcription error
Structured reports can automatically extract measurements directly from the ultrasound modality and populate them into the report. This eliminates the need to manually enter or dictate measurements when writing a report, saving valuable time and eliminating human error.
3. Simplify quality analysis and reporting
With standardized language and fields, structured reporting allows quality data to be easily aggregated for submission. Once gathered, such data can then be mined and analyzed at the organizational level for valuable insights. Having the ability to generate on-demand snapshots of quality data can enable comparison against published benchmarks and regulatory requirements.
4. Meet billing and accreditation requirements
Structured reports can be pre-configured to meet all the necessary requirements, ensuring reports are complete for appropriate reimbursement and provide a sense of confidence that vital elements required for accreditation and billing are included and not overlooked.
5. Mine data for research and analysis
Structured reports are stored in a manner that allows for data mining and analysis generating reports that summarize care history in a format that saves a great deal of time. Population data can be evaluated across patients while also evaluating singular patients against the population.
Reimbursement for healthcare providers is no longer a simple case of bill-and-receipt, but is starting to scale based on quality benchmarks that compare against peers and historical performance. Competing in this environment especially for those that already consider their workflow and care delivery at optimum levels, can be a challenging endeavor. Structured Reporting is gaining traction throughout the industry and expanding into new areas leading to the development of disease-specific structured reports. The Holy Grail for structured reporting is to utilize standardized language and enable analysis of all clinical data leading to improved patient outcomes. The majority of medical imaging is quickly moving in this direction.
Written by Michael Rachmilowitz, Informatics Product Manager, Hitachi Healthcare Americas