The two-year review didn’t find significant decreases in median chart review time or median progress note completion time, although there were improvements in those areas. But there were significant improvements in productivity, measured in relative value units, and revenue per patient visit.
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That doctors are using RheumPACER routinely is a sign of its value, Dr. Newman says.
“Introducing a tool like this is a huge change in the existing system of care,” he says. “One of the most important measures of success is that you’ve been able to introduce a new tool that allows reliable capture of information from patients as part of their clinic process and reliable use by the people that need to use it.”
What’s next for RheumPACER?
The system is in a constant process of refinement. It is now only compatible with the EPIC EHR system, but changes are being developed so that it will no longer be “hard-wired” to that system and can be compatible with other EHRs.
“The holy grail, obviously, is a universal interface,” Dr. Newman says.
Lerch says the key is creating a kind of midsection to the system that can be altered depending on the EHR system.
“An approach that we’re taking is to have an abstracted middle layer that is agnostic to the underlying data source,” she says. “If you move from one system to the next, the changes would occur at that middle-layer level.”
Dr. Newman says he hopes for wider availability of RheumPACER by early next year and hopes others can see the impact that quick data formulation can have on patient care.
“How does it help you if you capture this information and then two or three days later you calculate the results?” he says. “The patient’s gone. You missed the opportunity to actually have that discussion with them during that visit. Real-time results help drive patient-centered care.” the rheumatologist
Thomas Collins is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.