Duplicate patient records are a common challenge for hospital organizations and one of the most critical issues facing health information technology departments. One patient with multiple medical record numbers (MRN’s) can result in incorrect patient registrations, billing and claim submission problems, and higher treatment costs due to unnecessary replication of lab orders and tests. It can also impact patient safety if clinicians miss critical information due to an incomplete patient medical history. It is estimated that hospitals on average have a duplicate rate of 10%, which causes an administrative burden and can result in costs over $250,000 per year.
Blue Cirrus Consulting has the solution to clean up your duplicate records with our Master Patient Index cleanup team. Our work can be done before or after a new EHR implementation. Team members, led by a seasoned project manager, all have extensive backgrounds in patient hospital admissions and understand the need to reduce duplicate records. They are trained to use patient record applications to help determine if patient duplicate records can be merged. The size of the team is determined by examining the number of duplicate records and the given timeline for the project.
Our team recently completed a project where two major health systems merged and created a shared database. Each hospital had records that needed to be checked for duplicates. Care had to be taken when merging the records due to the added possibility of duplicates between the two hospitals. Over 800,000 records were analyzed and integrated into the database over a period of four months by a highly skilled team of 20.
The use of a team project manager is key to the Blue Cirrus Methodology. This important role is twofold. The first is to work closely with hospital Medical Records and IT management resources to determine access, tools, goals, and to develop a detailed plan to meet the required number of duplicate record reductions. Secondly, the team project manager is responsible for leading the team while closely monitoring their progress.
Our team project manager made an initial onsite visit 2-4 weeks prior to the team kickoff to plan the duplicate record reduction project. This included meetings with Medical Records and IT management to determine the duplicate record reduction goal, to create a plan to ensure the team remained HIPAA compliant, and to develop a plan for tracking and reporting the team’s progress to management. Furthermore, it was necessary to create an issue escalation plan, to identify all hospital resources and roles, to determine the system access requirements, and to provide management with a detailed plan and timeline for the project.
Once the project began, the team project manager closely monitored the progress of the team members to make sure their work was being completed in a timely manner and with complete accuracy. Team members were required to provide daily status reports. This ensured the project stayed on track to be completed successfully.
Blue Cirrus’ patient merge team and project manager have the proven experience and success to help your organization cleanup your patient database. The proven result of our work is a reliable database for admission staff and a significant decrease in billing errors. Your cost of care will decrease and most importantly, patients will be assured their doctor has all the information needed to give them the correct medical care.