Artifact Mobile Query Solution Engages Clinicians in Clinical Documentation Improvement Initiatives Across a National Community Hospital System

Challenge

Committed to quality, community and people, this hospital system operates more than two dozen acute care and critical access hospitals across the US. Seeking novel solutions to help reduce costs and increase clinical documentation efficiencies, they partnered with Artifact Health in August of 2018 to deploy a standardized mobile query platform across all facilities.

Faced with manual, multi-stepped, paper-based processes, clinical documentation improvement (CDI) and coding staff spent considerable time preparing, delivering, tracking and following-up on physician queries, especially the system’s corporate coders who work remotely. Providers were not fully engaged in the process, so response rates to queries were low. With these challenges, the hospital system was not capturing full and proper reimbursement for the services provided.

Solution

Leveraging a phased go-live approach, Artifact’s cloud-based solution was deployed across all facilities in three months, integrated with each facility’s electronic medical record system.

CDI and coding staff self-trained in approximately thirty minutes on Artifact’s online training module. Providers were able to download the user-friendly mobile app to their smartphones ahead of go-live and complete an example query, which was enough to prepare them for receiving real queries.

"I find it very easy to use. It has reduced our turnaround time on responses to queries considerably."

– Physician

Results

Deploying the Artifact mobile query platform drove many benefits for this national community hospital system. Queries are sent in a consistent format so providers quickly understand the context and can often respond in less than one minute. Providers answer queries when convenient for them from the Artifact mobile app or website. As a result, coding query response rates improved, increasing from 78% to 99%. Average query response time dropped to within a day or two across the hospital system.

With average response times under two days, corporate leadership reported a significant reduction in the system’s DNFB days, positively impacting cash flow. Real-time reports and dashboards allow them to monitor all facilities and identify providers, coders and CDI staff who require more education.

CDI and coding staff reach off-service and locum physicians in a timely manner. They also spend less time manually tracking queries and more time reviewing charts. Query volumes have already increased by 11% for facilities with active CDI programs.

Perhaps the greatest impact noted by leadership is the heightened physician engagement and satisfaction around a traditionally burdensome process. One hospitalist remarked, "I find it very easy to use. It has reduced our turnaround time on responses to queries considerably."