The Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall (MSLC) team was faced with a complex and timely physician query process. Queries would often be left unanswered, as providers were challenged by varying manual workflows, unclear deadlines, and multiple steps required to access the information they needed to answer queries. The overall process had become so cumbersome that coding staff sent very few queries.
Laura Berberich, Director of Health Information Management for MSLC, sought out Artifact Health to simplify the query process and improve performance. "Our legacy system didn’t allow us to track and monitor the query responses, and we needed a way to make the process straightforward and compliant for the provider," says Berberich.
Artifact’s cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant solution was quickly and easily integrated with the hospital’s Meditech Electronic Health Record (EHR) within two weeks of executing an agreement. Within four weeks, MSLC’s entire CDI and coding team was trained and began electronically querying providers via Artifact.
Prior to go-live, MSLC providers were introduced to Artifact and they each downloaded Artifact’s mobile app to their phones to complete an example query. Providers reported that the process was simple to learn.
Artifact’s standard query templates enable MSLC’s coding and CDI staff to create and send inpatient, outpatient and pro-fee queries in a consistent format. Standardizing query formats and leveraging compliant, multiple-choice questions where appropriate, have helped reduce decision fatigue for providers. Additionally, providers can now answer queries from their phones or from any browser, allowing off-service physicians to respond quickly and when convenient.
"I receive the notification via the Artifact app and I can answer quickly, usually within 15 minutes. The process is easy and everything I need to answer the query is right in the app – I don’t have to log into our EHR system separately anymore."
– Dr. Ketul P. Vora, MD, hospitalist at MSLC
Since implementing Artifact, MSLC query response rates jumped from 84 percent to 100 percent in the first month. Response times for concurrent queries improved from 3 days to less than 38 hours on average.
Further, MSLC was able to expand its program to include retrospective queries because the process was so simple and providers were responding readily.
Prior to Artifact, the team sent an average of 125 concurrent queries each month. Within the first month of Artifact’s implementation, query authors sent 170 concurrent and 98 coding queries, a 114 percent increase in total volume.