As they used to say on the radio, “When we last left this topic, our hero was deeply entrenched in the office with a backlog of difficult patients.
In part 1 we described how healthcare collaboration, providers and Big Data are not necessarily a compatible mix. In part 2, we described how this incompatibility might come about. In Part 3, here and now, we answer the hanging question from the previous parts: Can you see the potential for error in this scenario?
Let’s go back to Part 1, to Garbage in/Garbage out, and back to the job of the “Provider Coding Clerk.” To finish treatment and sign out the first patient, codes are needed. Or the record could be held, to be revisited at the end of the day. You are no doubt aware that all providers like to stay late doing paper work. This may be an opportunity to do so.
The Provider Coding Clerk uses the advanced search tool and looks for LeFort Fracture. Not there. Fracture of the Face is next. Some answers. Facial fracture. Now a list which extends well below the bottom of the screen. There are a whole bunch of codes, several of which when clicked on multiple times do not really describe the clinical problem that dictates treatment. Ah! There is one! Facial Fracture NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). In other words--close enough.
Close enough. Let’s round off to that. Patient discharge. Mental note of surgery planned. On to the room with slamming drawers and screaming mother. Next!
Some months later, here comes the most powerful, CIA-TSA-FBI designed Big Data software. It can answer many questions. The medical administrator, insurance actuaries and government regulators are intrigued to have answers to some burning questions. How much does it cost to treat facial fractures? What is the readmission rate? Do 86 year olds have facial fractures dysporportionately as compared to 26 year olds? How often do orbital fractures result in blindness. How much should the provider be paid? Is he doing quality work? The purchase of such software must, in their opinion, be money well spent!
The answer very likely has the same underpinnings as iClickCare which enables medical collaboration and healthcare collaboration. While Big Data machines look at collections and trends for answers, providers look toward colleagues for answers about patients. Providers have no feedback. Round off and close enough get them through the day. Accuracy has no value.
However, providers will care about data input when it has value to each of them as an individual. Big Data should remember the individual. Let them search, compare, form regressions and statistical analyses on their own. Empower each individual. Make them part of the solution, give them time and respect. Help them grow. You never know, no longer a Provider Coding Clerk, one might come up with something you never thought of.
This may require Open Data, but at least the patient will be served.
Big Data -- you have been warned! And an answer has been offered.