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A blog dedicated to advancing healthcare quality.

The 5 "Ps" of Quality Measures Abstraction

Posted by Rachel Verslues on Jun 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

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In Why Outsourced Abstraction is Best, we covered the many complications that can arise when trying to abstract data accurately in house.

For years, healthcare providers have struggled with not only hundreds of possible quality measures, but also multiple entities to which they are required to report. Under the MACRA proposed rule published by HHS, quality accounts for half of a total score in year one. Providers will choose to report six measures from among a range of options that accommodate differences among specialties and practices.

Health systems and their practices must prepare for the evolving measure portfolio that will be created for quality measurement under MACRA. Having the right external partners in place will be critical to the success of health systems and their practices as they prepare for the new realities of the very near future.

Outsourcing your quality measures can help you avoid these complications and realize cost savings, especially if you find a partner who values the 5 “Ps”: people, passion, process, performance and partnership.

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It’s about People.
Conventional approaches to quality reporting and quality measure abstraction involves using full-time employees or taking away high-value existing resources on a part-time basis from their other functions to perform quality reporting. Facilities often find this unsustainable, cumbersome, and expensive. Changing data definitions makes it even more challenging to remain fully up-to-date and compliant with standards.

A report in Health Affairs estimates that quality reporting costs doctors more than $15.4 billion a year. Practices reported spending 15.1 hours per week per physician wrangling quality, with most of those hours were spent entering data into medical records solely for quality reporting. Beyond the time invested, the dollars add up too. The study estimated that practices spent $40,069 per physician each year on quality reporting.

It should be about more than just playing catch-up to quality reporting deadlines and deliverables, but we’ve heard time and time again that many facilities spend so much time and resources on data abstraction and quality reporting that they don’t utilize the data to make improvements. Use your valuable staffing resources to focus on taking care of patients, improving care, and reducing the defects that cause readmissions and hospital-acquired infections.

Quality Measures Abstraction – Are You Drowning in Data?

Primaris provides abstraction services to many hospitals and physicians across the country. Our staff are very experienced in core measures and registry abstraction. We abstract the data according to the specification manuals and constantly monitor for changes. Primaris dedicates its quality reporting staff to an assigned client. This makes the team very familiar with the specific client’s health records, resulting in the reduced chance of data being “missed” in addition to adding efficiencies to the overall process.   

We set up communication with your team to meet your needs, so that we work as part of your quality department. We never miss deadlines and allow your team to focus on improvement activities rather than always focusing on abstracting the data timely.

It’s about Passion and Process.

Quality improvement has been a cornerstone of Primaris for more than 30 years. This passion has driven us to continually improve our training and abstraction process to help other organizations avoid drowning in their abstraction demands.

It’s a full-time job, keeping up with constant changes to reporting requirements, but our passion for helping to promote quality improvement in healthcare means that Primaris is committed to keeping our partners up-to-date with existing, new and modified measures.

Primaris has trained hundreds of abstractors and advised clients on clinical documentation ever since the original core measures pilot project began in 1999. AsThe-5-Ps.png a result of our experience, our highly-focused and process-driven abstraction teams are led by project leaders with more than five years of quality reporting expertise.

Our passion for quality improvement is illustrated in our abstraction team members. Each and every member of our team understands and apprecia
tes the importance of your data and having effective processes in place.  They are committed to ensuring that your critical information is treated with the utmost respect for patient privacy and in accordance with industry-leading security practices.

Primaris’ thorough knowledge and in-depth experience in health record documentation and coding puts us in a prime position to support a healthcare organization’s critical need for accurate and cost-effective core measure abstraction.

It’s about Performance.

An ability to adapt to changing requirements is crucial as required and optimal measures continue to increase and evolve. Primaris has the flexibility and the experience to absorb your organization’s changing needs and create an abstraction solution that is custom-crafted to meet your specifications.

Available on a long-term or short-term basis, Primaris’ abstraction services and validation audits are instrumental in helping healthcare providers see improvements on both the hospital floor and the bottom line. These improvements allow administrators to get their data faster and shift their focus away from retrospective reporting and toward making proactive quality improvements.

Our staff has worked in hospitals and has the knowledge and expertise to make sure data is abstracted according to CMS/TJC specifications. We suggest areas for improved documentation that may ultimately enhance performance rates. We can also recommend improvement strategies designed to increase your overall core measure performance rates. Our expertise in core measure abstraction along with our knowledge of quality improvement (QI) principles allows us to offer suggestions and ideas for improving core measure performance. We will provide real-time feedback, allowing organizations the opportunity to intervene and make changes in a timely manner.

Here are just a few of the ways that healthcare providers have been able to realize tangible steps toward improving the quality of their care and bring about real changes in how they operate:

  • Documentation optimization: Primaris’ abstraction work helped convince one hospital to adopt a standardized form for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis treatment that listed the approved reason for not ordering.
  • Process Redesign: Primaris’ methodology helped one partner develop an immunization order that followed patients from unit to unit until the order was fulfilled prior to discharge.
  • Improved performance on metrics: Primaris abstractors were able to help a partner hospital report no outlying events while removing urinary catheters after surgeries over a 12-month period. It also allowed them to ensure they had proper documentation of reasons that a catheterization was continued.

Your data relies on the skills and commitment of your abstraction team. That is why Primaris-trained abstractors maintain a Interrater Reliability rate of 98 percent, that means you can be certain that the information you receive is timely, informative and, most importantly, accurate.

It’s about Partnership.
Deciding to outsource your quality measures abstraction is more than a staffing solution. It should mean more than shifting your organization’s workload to another company. It should be about finding a partner, a group of talented, trained and passionate individuals who will work hand-in-hand with your staff to help process your data and glean insights from it.

Pick Your Partner for  Quality Improvement Success

By selecting Primaris as your trusted quality measures abstraction partner, your organization can more effectively use your limited staffing resources to better focus on taking care of patients, improving care and reducing the defects in care that cause readmissions and hospital-acquired infections.

Learn more about our Quality Measures Abstraction services. 

Contact us to discuss how outsourced quality measures abstraction can benefit your facility. 


Topics: quality reporting, registry abstraction, abstraction vendor, data abstraction

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