If your healthcare organization performs data abstraction internally (rather than outsourcing it), you likely recognize that it can sometimes be challenging to find the time and staff necessary for chart abstraction. Abstraction can be tedious and it often gets pushed aside to make room for more obviously relevant tasks. However, while it can be tempting to deprioritize abstraction, the truth is that the work is extremely important.
Here are five reasons why you should think of abstraction as less of a headache, and more of a process that benefits you and your patients:
- Your mission is to provide top notch clinical care.
Obviously your aim is to provide the very best care to patients. So you need to continuously make improvements and provide better care day after day. Insights garnered from clinical data enable you to understand how you are performing and where you need to make improvements in order to make care safer and more effective.
- You want to be viewed as an attractive option for healthcare needs. Consumers have choices when it comes to healthcare providers. Now, more than ever before, consumers are using publicly reported data to make decisions about their care. You need accurate and reliable data to submit for public reporting. And you need that data to prove you are capable of providing high quality care and exceptionally good outcomes for patients.
- Your organization deserves to be recognized for its achievements. By reporting data through various recognition programs you can earn awards and endorsements that will give you a competitive advantage in the healthcare marketplace.
- You are required to meet quality standards to earn reimbursements and avoid penalties. The rules for getting paid in healthcare havechanged. Now, payment is based on performance. Therefore, you need data to help you see whether you are on track to meet quality measures or if you need to make adjustments in order to earn reimbursements.
- You are an integral part of industry-wide healthcare improvement. Quality improvement really is the number one reason for abstracting data from medical charts. But the improvement isn’t just within your organization. By reporting to registries and other outlets, you are sharing valuable information that can lead to the development of new guidelines and industry-wide improvements.
So, the next time you think of data abstraction as a chore, remember what it is that you are actually working toward. Doing that will help motivate you to push for well-executed abstraction.