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Meaningful Reports Drive Process Improvement: Part 3

Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN

Advances in Skin & Wound Care: January 2014 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 48
doi: 10.1097/

Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, is Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Net Health. Ms Hess presides over Professional Services, which offers products and solutions to optimize process and workflows. Address correspondence to Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, via e-mail:

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! As we usher in this year, we will need to reflect on our previously implemented processes and look forward to ways we implement process improvement. Obviously, we must carve out time to implement new processes including Meaningful Use Stage 2 and transition to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. Each of these mandates has the same underlying practice management objectives to meet select goals—diligently document, critically review, and meaningfully report data. One of the ways to accomplish these tasks is to incorporate the use of a specialty wound care electronic medical record (EMR). The specialty wound care EMR provides discrete and reportable data fields that allow a successful transition and implementation of the mandates. At the end of the day, it’s all about your data and reporting methods.

As we have discussed in previous columns, using a smart specialty wound care EMR to manage your wound care business allows you to leverage the data and reporting. Optimizing the reports module is key to managing your practice. It is important to ask questions about the care of patients being managed, as well as the health of your facility. What reports drive your process improvement plans? Have you defined reports to manage your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly requirements? How do you measure your weekly healing rates? What are your outcomes, benchmarks, and trends? More important, how do you manage your outliers?

In the previous 2 columns, we looked at specific reports to drive process improvement and case management for your patients. In this column, we will look at a report sample focused on the health of your facility that will assist managing your business efficiently and effectively.

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Facility Statistics

  • Report description: Illustrates the vital wound statistics of specifically targeting admission and visit volume trends as well as critical patient discharge trends over a specified timeframe (Figure 1).
  • Report snapshot: In looking at this sample report, if new patient admissions are proportionally smaller than the total number of previously admitted patients, this may indicate your referral pattern is trending downward.
  • Query the data by reflecting on your clinical practices: Report results may prompt a review of marketing strategy and discussion of ways to increase patient referrals. This report sample also demonstrates increased number of wound visits with a decrease in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatments. At this juncture, you may want to run additional clinical data reports to determine the cause of the HBOT decline.
  • Importance of data: Use this data report to determine if your wound care department is growing or stagnating and establish your department goals accordingly.
Figure 1

Figure 1

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Comparative Data Using 2 Reports

Reports can also be cross-referenced to maximize the significance of the data collected and improve overall facility trends. For example, reviewing the Volume Reduction Report1 in combination with the Facility Statistics Report2 would demonstrate the outlier percentages are inversely proportional to the “average visits per discharged patient” numbers. The outcome of these data demonstrates that the patient wounds are not meeting their healing goals and are likely to result in lengthier admission periods or higher number of visits.

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1. Hess CT. Meaningful reports drive process improvement: Part 2. Adv Skin Wound Care 2013; 12: 576.
2. Hess CT. Wound care quality in numbers: compiling discrete data drives meaningful reports. Today’s Wound Clin 2013; 7: 14–6, 38.
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