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New Measures Increase Focus on Semantic Interoperability

National healthcare movements demand an interoperable framework for accurate data exchange across healthcare continuums. As value-based care continues to unfold, the industry at large remains focused on efforts to mature interoperability to support high-level quality initiatives aimed at improving population health and cutting costs. For this reason, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) recently […]

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Meaningful Analytics: Improving Data Integration and Quality by Leveraging the HIE Webinar Recap

Healthcare organizations must achieve mastery of high-quality data and analytics to thrive within value-based care models. Today’s IT professionals are challenged to design systems that improve data exchange with industry stakeholders as well as acquire more complete and accurate patient information for quality measures reporting. Without a strategy in place that addresses each of these […]

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Four Reasons Healthcare Organizations Need to Simplify the Documentation of the Clinician Diagnosis Process

Finding and selecting the right diagnosis code is critical to both patient care and revenue cycle management. The downstream negative impact of using an unspecified code can touch everything from decision support to reimbursement, compliance, and reporting. In addition, unspecified codes are not as useful for other clinicians needing to review the records and for […]

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CMS Audits Raise the Bar on Patient Communication

Two converging trends are moving patient communication strategies front and center for today’s payers: Consumers are demanding greater control of their healthcare decisions; and regulatory movements are requiring better patient experiences. The equation is simple. When consumers understand both the clinical and financial side of care delivery, they are equipped to make better decisions, ultimately […]

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Unspecified Codes: Know Your Financial Exposure

Three Must-take Steps to Minimize Risk On October 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wrapped up its one-year grace period for allowing the use of unspecified codes without consequence. The governing body also rolled out its first update to the coding system in four years, including a mammoth 6,000 new codes. […]

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What is Semantic Interoperability?

Without semantic interoperability among disparate healthcare IT systems, sharing data in a useful way is impossible. While a doctor knows that dropsy describes the same illness as congestive heart failure, a computer typically can’t make that type of distinction. Semantic interoperability, however, creates a common vocabulary that paves the way for accurate and reliable communication among computers. […]

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Terminology Server on FHIR at HL7 Connectathon 13

Two weeks ago Health Language attended the HL7 FHIR Connectathon in Baltimore, Maryland.  An impressive 170 individuals were in attendance with 120 individuals participating in the actual Connectathon. This was a new HL7 Connectathon record! The objective of the event was to achieve the goals pre-established for each of the FHIR technology tracts.  The accomplishments of […]

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Is Your Patient Communication Getting Lost in Translation?

Patients are demanding better insights and transparency into their care. They want to be empowered in their decision-making through better information about everything from diagnoses and care plans to quality ratings and cost.[i] Providers and payers understand current market drivers creating the need for better patient experiences. In essence, higher engagement equates to lower costs.[ii] For […]

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New MACRA Measures Sharpen Focus on Semantic Interoperability

Healthcare’s interoperability quest continues to mature, moving the industry closer to semantic interoperability—the highest level of information exchange as defined by the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). ONC’s recent identification of two metrics to support specific indicators of “widespread interoperability” demonstrate this movement. Responding to directives laid out by The Medicare Access and […]

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The Importance of Standardized Healthcare Terminology

In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of leveraging administrative data for better quality assessment. As the wrap-up to this standards blog series, I want to look back at Crossing the Quality Chasm as a foundational work for improving the quality of healthcare delivery. This paper called not only for better quality but also for a reduction […]

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FHIR: An Evolving Opportunity

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) from Health Level Seven (HL7) is making waves across the healthcare industry. In fact, EHR vendors including Cerner, Epic and Meditech are quickly embracing the next-generation framework for its potential to advance data mobility and interoperability. While still under development, the FHIR framework leverages the latest web standards and applies a […]

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Leveraging Administrative Data for Better Quality Assessment

The Role of Data Collection Standards for Race, Ethnicity, Sex, Primary Language, and Disability Status In this installment of our Terminology Standards series, we will explore the growing need for accurate tracking of patient demographics, evolving industry standards, and additional best practice steps for ensuring data is complete. At a high level, healthcare industry movements aim […]

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RxNorm: Addressing Medication Information Exchange

Part Three of our Terminology Standards series introduced LOINC as the standard of choice for exchangeof laboratory and clinical information. This fourth blog introduces RxNorm as the foundation for accurate exchange of medication and prescription information. Health information exchange is a multifaceted undertaking that encompasses the introduction and adoption of a variety of industry standards […]

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LOINC: A Better Path to Laboratory Data Exchange

Part Three of our Terminology Standards series we introduced SNOMED CT as a comprehensive standard for exchanging clinical content in an accurate, meaningful way. In this installment, we explore use of LOINC for exchange of laboratory and clinical information. Value-based care models demand more collaborative care delivery built on the timely sharing of critical patient information, such as labs, vital […]

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SNOMED CT: Why it matters to you

In Part One of our Terminology Standards blog series, we introduced the goal of using industry standards to achieve semantic interoperability and promote better information sharing. The second blog tackled coding and billing standards. This third installment describes the importance of SNOMED CT as the foundation for standardizing clinical content in EHRs. By now, most healthcare organizations recognize […]

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The Role of Healthcare Data Governance in Big Data Analytics

On Friday last week, the online news publication HealthITAnalytics.com published a feature story about the importance of data governance, “The Role of Healthcare Data Governance in Big Data Analytics.” The author, Jennifer Bresnick, does an excellent job of explaining what data governance is, how it differs from information governance, and why healthcare IT professionals need to take a […]

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Medical Billing and Coding: Exciting Changes Ahead

It’s an interesting time to be in healthcare, especially medical billing and coding! Over the next few years we will see major changes that will help us spend our healthcare dollars more wisely, and keep people healthier. These changes will have a profound impact on patients’ and physicians’ daily lives. Let’s take a look at some of the […]

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Hierarchical Condition Categories Part 1: What’s all the Buzz About?

There is quite a bit of discussion around Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs) these days. And for good reason: as the risk adjustment model used since 2004 to determine reimbursement for various Medicare plans, the HCC framework is progressively being applied to numerous healthcare reform initiatives. In this two-part series, we break down the basics of […]

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How to Use Standardized Healthcare Terminologies to Meet Your Quality Care Goals

In the seminal work Crossing the Quality Chasm, published by the Institute of Medicine in 2001, there was a clear call to action for the U.S. healthcare system. This work has driven much of what we are seeing in healthcare information management today. Crossing the Quality Chasm called for healthcare to be safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and […]

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Mastering the Data Normalization Cycle

A healthcare provider or payer that goes through a data normalization project will want to make sure its investment in time and money continues to pay off down the road. You’ve obtained executive buy-in, conducted a data inventory, identified key constraints, prioritized projects, established a governance structure, and embarked on your first initiative. Ideally your project resulted […]

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