Implementing Echo as the foundation for a new unified solution for provider information, BJC Healthcare:
- Reduced the number of delayed clams
- Reduced information inaccuracy
- Reduced delays in patient care due to information
- Improved physician satisfaction
- Significantly reduced risk of identity theft
BJC HealthCare (BJC) delivers services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. With net revenue of $3.2 billion, BJC serves urban, suburban, and rural communities; and includes 13 hospitals and multiple community health locations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice. Over 5,000 credentialed providers serve BJC patients. The organization’s database includes approximately 25,000 referring physicians and allied health professionals.
BJC had approximately 160 Information System applications that each contained independently managed physician and/or provider tables. Multiple sources of provider data resulted in:
- Inaccurate, missing, and/or conflicting physician data
- Processes that were not automated and open to the common errors and inaccuracy involved in manual data entry
- Duplication of physician information
- Physician dissatisfaction with the current process
- Risk of patient safety which could potentially delay or interfere with patient care
- Inefficiency from the duplication of effort and rework
BJC also did not collect and maintain data on all providers. They had decided not to pursue a single source repository for all licensed healthcare providers—including referring, consulting, ordering, nurse practitioners, residents, fellows, pharmacists and more. The HIPAA administrative simplification provision mandates the use of a national provider identifier. BJC did not have a central repository for the collection of the National Provider Identifier (NPI).
In response to these challenges, BJC HealthCare made three key decisions. First, they implemented Echo as a single source online mechanism and audit tool for provider information, in order to standardize the delivery of accurate and timely data to all BJC facilities. They also developed the Provider Data Management Center (PDMC) and business processes to centrally manage all provider information at an enterprise level. Third, leaders opted to develop a specific controlled process to collect, maintain, and disseminate required NPIs using the established functionality within Echo. In a complex process involving 15 critical action steps, this new system became reality.
As a result of this process, over 150 downstream systems within the organization are fed information daily. This led to multiple operational improvements, from reduced delayed claims, problems from inaccurate, missing and/or conflicting provider data, and delays or interference with patient care, to improved physician satisfaction and processes for collecting provider data, and especially in security due to diminished opportunity for identity theft.
BJC now offers the organization DocLookup, an Intranet-based system facilitating the efforts of any BJC employee to submit changes to the PDMC. This tool is researched and verified by the PDMC team who updates Echo to distribute to downstream systems. They also created an audit trail worklist—if a Medical Staff Office changes an address in Echo, an audit trail worklist is created and disseminated through the interface
In addition, there were unexpected, related benefits. Marketing and strategic planning are now able to utilize provider information to determine physician loyalty and to aid in recruitment. The BJC team exports to MyTime—which is the “time clock” for allied health professionals—collecting license information to feed into the time clock. Provider images feed the BJC Patient Touch system, which allows patients to pull up a photograph of their physician and/or nurse with information about those professionals. Information from providers about how they prefer to be contacted when a patient presents in the ER is scanned as a jpeg document into Echo. This document is viewable on DocLookup. Provider photographs are sent to ERs to confirm identity. The PDMC receives multiple requests for provider data. The PDMC confirms data elements needed, desired format and frequency. Any information beyond public knowledge information is shared only with prior approval of the appropriate facility’s Medical Staff Office.