Improving patient results tracking in a multi-specialty clinic

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Session
Primary and ambulatory care

Author
Kathleen (Katie) Scheele
Business Process Engineer
Mayo Clinic

Description
Tracking results for reporting to patients and referring physicians in a timely manner was proving difficult in a large multi-specialty practice due to limited automated tools. This presentation describes how the process improvement task force designed, developed and implemented options including a results tracking database. The outcome was improved processes.

Abstract
The electronic medical record in our hospital and multi-specialty clinic provided results of tests and procedures in an electronic view. However, the electronic environment did not have an "in box" function that notifies providers when results were available. Results could be viewed in multiple places and clinic providers had to create time-consuming and cumbersome manual processes to ensure all results were reviewed.

A multi-disciplinary results reporting team was created to look at opportunities for improvement. The team assessed current processes across the outpatient practice. The community internal medicine (CIM) department was chosen as the pilot. The team suggested several options including users and information technology working together to develop an automated tracking tool. A requirements-based approach was used for the design.

The outcome was more efficient, standardized, timely processes and an electronic patient results tracking database. The automated tracking database is used by allied health staff and physicians. A productivity improvement of 30 percent was achieved for tracking results in the CIM department.

This presentation will describe the tools and methods used to develop and implement the improved processes and results tracking database.




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