The quality of abstracting medical information from the medical record: the impact of training programmes.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a programme of training, education and awareness on the quality of the data collected through discharge abstracts. STUDY DESIGN: Three random samples of hospital discharge abstracts relating to three different periods were studied. Quality control to evaluate the impact of systematic training and education activities was performed by checking the quality of abstracting medical records. SETTING: The study was carried out at the Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, a research hospital in Rome, Italy; it has 335 beds specializing in dermatology and vascular surgery. MEASURES: Error rates in discharge abstracts were subdivided into six categories: wrong selection of the principal diagnosis (type A); low specificity of the principal diagnosis (type B); incomplete reporting of secondary diagnoses (type C); wrong selection of the principal procedure (type D); low specificity of the principal procedure (type E); incomplete reporting of procedures (type F). A specific rate of errors modifying classification in diagnosis related groups was then estimated. RESULTS: Error types A, B and F dropped from 8.5% to 1.3%, from 15.8% to 1.6% and from 22% to 2.6% respectively. Error type D and E were zero in the third period of analysis (September-October 1997) compared with a rate of 0.7% and 4.1% in the third quarter of 1994. Error type C showed a slight decrease from 31.8% in 1994 to 27.2% in 1997. All differences in error types except incomplete reporting of secondary diagnoses were statistically significant. Five and a half per cent of cases were assigned to a different diagnoses related group after re-abstracting in 1997 as compared to 24.3% in the third quarter of 1994 and 23.8% in the first quarter of 1995. DISCUSSION: Training and continuous monitoring, and feedback of information to departments have proved to be successful in improving the quality of abstracting information at patient level from the medical record. The effort to increase administrative data quality at hospital level will facilitate the use of those data sets for internal quality management activities and for population-based quality of care studies. (+info)
Discordance between physicians and coders in assignment of diagnoses.
OBJECTIVE: To measure concordance between physicians and medical record coders in their assignment of diagnoses. DESIGN: Prospective cohort series. SETTING: Five hundred and fifty-bed, tertiary-care, university teaching hospital. Study participants. In-patients who were discharged from either the Cardiac Sciences Program (n=125), the Renal Program (n=43), or the HIV-AIDS Program (n=25) during the period May 18-July 1, 1995. INTERVENTIONS: None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Physicians and coders assigned diagnoses for individual in-patients based on their independent interpretations of the patient chart and discharge summary sheet. All assigned diagnoses were coded using the ICD-9-CM classification system. Concordance was measured for the most responsible diagnosis and for all assigned diagnoses. Difference in calculated resource intensity weights based on physicians' and coders' assignment of diagnoses was also calculated. RESULTS: Concordance rates for the most responsible diagnosis in each program were: Cardiac Sciences [27%; 95% confidence interval (CI)=20-36%], Renal Program (35%; 95% CI=21-53%), and HIV-AIDS Program (20%; 95% CI, 6-41%). Concordance rates for all diagnoses per chart were similar: Cardiac Sciences (20%; 95% CI, 14-25%), Renal Program (25%; 95% CI, 20-33%), and HIV-AIDS Program (29%; 95% CI, 25-44%). Resource intensity weights assigned by coders for the Cardiac Sciences and HIV-AIDS Program were significantly higher than those assigned by the physicians. (+info)
Increasing the accuracy of operative coding.
INTRODUCTION: Operative codes provide a readily retrievable record of operative procedures and interventions and are invaluable in performance of clinical audit and research. In most hospitals, coding is performed by coding clerks who depend on legible complete operative notes for coding. In others, coding is by the operator/surgeon. The aim of this audit was to determine the impact of hand-written and typed operative notes on accuracy of coding as well as deciding if the operator is the better coder. METHODS: A total of 200 operations/procedures performed by one surgical firm were randomised, prospectively, into hand-written (HN, 100) and template-based typed (TN, 100) operation notes. Each procedure was coded by the operator/surgeon as well as by the coding clerk. The results were compared for error, incomplete and complete codes. RESULTS: Coding clerks were found to be better coders with 97% of TN and 85% of HN coded completely compared to 48% and 62%, respectively, by operators. There were more incomplete codes for HN compared to TN (15% versus 6% for coders and 62% versus 53% for operators). There were no error codes for both groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the quality of coded information is poorer if operation notes are hand-written rather than typed, with template-based mandatory fields in typed notes possibly acting as an aide-memoir in generating complete, accurate notes. In the absence of formal training for clinicians, coding of procedures should probably be left to coding clerks. (+info)
Knowledge and utilization of Information Technology among health care professionals and students in Ile-Ife, Nigeria: a case study of a university teaching hospital.
BACKGROUND: The computer revolution and Information Technology (IT) have transformed modern health care systems in the areas of communication, teaching, storage and retrieval of medical information. These developments have positively impacted patient management and the training and retraining of healthcare providers. Little information is available on the level of training and utilization of IT among health care professionals in developing countries. OBJECTIVES: To assess the knowledge and utilization pattern of information technology among health care professionals and medical students in a university teaching hospital in Nigeria. METHODS: Self-structured pretested questionnaires that probe into the knowledge, attitudes and utilization of computers and IT were administered to a randomly selected group of 180 health care professionals and medical students. Descriptive statistics on their knowledge, attitude and utilization patterns were calculated. RESULTS: A total of 148 participants (82%) responded, which included 60 medical students, 41 medical doctors and 47 health records staff. Their ages ranged between 22 and 54 years. Eighty respondents (54%) reportedly had received some form of computer training while the remaining 68 (46%) had no training. Only 39 respondents (26%) owned a computer while the remaining 109 (74%) had no computer. In spite of this a total of 28 respondents (18.9%) demonstrated a good knowledge of computers while 87 (58.8%) had average knowledge. Only 33 (22.3%) showed poor knowledge. Fifty-nine respondents (39.9%) demonstrated a good attitude and good utilization habits, while in 50 respondents (33.8%) attitude and utilization habits were average and in 39 (26.4%) they were poor. While 25% of students and 27% of doctors had good computer knowledge (P=.006), only 4.3% of the records officers demonstrated a good knowledge. Forty percent of the medical students, 54% of the doctors and 27.7% of the health records officers showed good utilization habits and attitudes (P=.01) CONCLUSION: Only 26% of the respondents possess a computer, and only a small percentage of the respondents demonstrated good knowledge of computers and IT, hence the suboptimal utilization pattern. The fact that the health records officers by virtue of their profession had better training opportunities did not translate into better knowledge and utilization habits, hence the need for a more structured training, one which would form part of the curriculum. This would likely have more impact on the target population than ad hoc arrangements. (+info)
Identifying priorities in methodological research using ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 administrative data: report from an international consortium.
BACKGROUND: Health administrative data are frequently used for health services and population health research. Comparative research using these data has been facilitated by the use of a standard system for coding diagnoses, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Research using the data must deal with data quality and validity limitations which arise because the data are not created for research purposes. This paper presents a list of high-priority methodological areas for researchers using health administrative data. METHODS: A group of researchers and users of health administrative data from Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Australia, China and the United Kingdom came together in June 2005 in Banff, Canada to discuss and identify high-priority methodological research areas. The generation of ideas for research focussed not only on matters relating to the use of administrative data in health services and population health research, but also on the challenges created in transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10. After the brain-storming session, voting took place to rank-order the suggested projects. Participants were asked to rate the importance of each project from 1 (low priority) to 10 (high priority). Average ranks were computed to prioritise the projects. RESULTS: Thirteen potential areas of research were identified, some of which represented preparatory work rather than research per se. The three most highly ranked priorities were the documentation of data fields in each country's hospital administrative data (average score 8.4), the translation of patient safety indicators from ICD-9 to ICD-10 (average score 8.0), and the development and validation of algorithms to verify the logic and internal consistency of coding in hospital abstract data (average score 7.0). CONCLUSION: The group discussions resulted in a list of expert views on critical international priorities for future methodological research relating to health administrative data. The consortium's members welcome contacts from investigators involved in research using health administrative data, especially in cross-jurisdictional collaborative studies or in studies that illustrate the application of ICD-10. (+info)
Modeling knowledge resource selection in expert librarian search.
Providing knowledge at the point of care offers the possibility for reducing error and improving patient outcomes. However, the vast majority of the physician's information needs are not met in a timely fashion. The research presented in this paper characterizes an expert librarian's search strategies as it pertains to the selection and use of various electronic information resources. The 10 searches conducted by the librarian to address the physician's information needs varied in terms of complexity and question type. The librarian employed a total of 10 resources and used as many as 7 in a single search. The longer term objective is to model the sequential process in sufficient detail as to be able to contribute to the development of intelligent automated search agents. (+info)
The role of HIM professionals in quality management.
HIM professionals have always been actively involved in various aspects of healthcare quality management. In the decade since publication of To Err Is Human, the scope and volume of quality management activities have accelerated. Having quality at the forefront of the national agenda has inevitably created employment opportunities as well as expansion of professional responsibilities. This article describes the contemporary quality-related functions of HIM professionals and the core competencies necessary to support these functions. (+info)
Exploratory study of radiology coding in health information management practice.
An exploratory study was undertaken to determine the role and practice issues of radiology coding in health information management (HIM) practice. The study sought to identify the challenges of radiology coding and the solutions implemented to address these challenges. A self-report survey was sent to 828 American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) members identified as directors, managers, or supervisors of HIM departments and/or coding. Two hundred seventy-eight surveys were used for data analysis purposes. Sites reported that on average they have 3.4 coders devoted to radiology coding who code an average of 4,245 reports per month. Productivity standards varied by exam type ranging from 7 (interventional radiology) to 31 (diagnostic) exams coded per hour. Diagnosis codes were assigned most frequently for diagnostic, ultrasound/nuclear, MRI/CT, and mammography exams, while diagnosis and procedural codes were assigned more frequently for interventional radiology exams. The need for education specifically focused on interventional radiology coding was identified along with other issues affecting the quality of radiology coding. Suggested solutions to challenges of radiology coding such as establishing a good working relationship with physicians, radiology, and charge description master (CDM) departments were suggested. (+info)