Every year, Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) compliance audits examine the data capabilities of health plans. The goal of these audits, which include an array of quality measures, is to determine whether a health plan contains accurate and reliable data that purchasers can depend on to inform their health coverage decisions.
Preparing for the annual HEDIS audit can be a yearlong process that involves several administrative activities. It commonly requires short-term staffing to ensure an organization has enough employees during that period. In addition to early planning and management of staffing, blending in automation can streamline the process.
The Primary Benefits of HEDIS Audit Automation
Automation offers numerous benefits. Here are some examples:
Forms are one of the primary sources of patient information, but not all of them are alike. Capturing, compiling, and reporting relevant patient data can be a time-consuming effort. You can expedite this process with prefill automation, which automatically populates repeated form fields and spares you the need to perform repetitive tasks.
Increased Data Volume
Maximizing your data volume can boost HEDIS compliance by closing HEDIS gaps, which are instances of missing recommended services, particularly for preventive care. Automation helps patients and providers communicate more directly. For example, you can set up automated delivery of patient-reported outcomes and screen assessments, ensuring that patients receive calls to action concerning their primary care experience.
Improved Data Integrity
Integrity refers to the overall completeness, consistency, and accuracy of an organization’s data. You can improve data integrity through automatic cleaning, which is a faster and less error-prone manner of fixing or removing existing data that is incorrect, ill-formatted, duplicated, incomplete, or corrupted. Additionally, automated software can ensure real-time accuracy by checking whether information gets recorded consistently and reliably into your database.
Even as HEDIS Automation Grows, People Will Continue to Play a Critical Role
With HEDIS, automation might shift skills and change roles, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear: People will continue to play a critical role. Think of automation as enhancing jobs and organizations’ performances. Certain staff may need to acquire new technical skills to help manage technologies, and ensure the right processes and tools are in place to succeed.
Identify automated vs. non-automated processes.
Because not all processes can be automated, it’s important to first identify those which can be—both fully and partly. Aside from form prefilling, form delivery, and alerts, some commonly automated healthcare processes include patient scheduling and appointment reminders. These are areas that can improve patient experience, contributing to high-quality healthcare. But many of them will undoubtedly need administrative and/or clinical professionals to create, manage, and update them.
Use the right blend of people and tools.
One key tool a health plan can use is a robotic process automation program, especially if it offers features for monitoring quality protocols. There are several other medical record management software tools that may help in cleaning up patient data and automating form delivery based on predetermined triggering events. But these tools cannot act alone. They require technical support and often require customer service support when patients encounter issues. They also require an administrative group on the receiving end, continuing to track patients’ whereabouts and help coordinate care.
Have the right, trained staff in place.
The effectiveness of any tool depends on its users. To maximize your organization’s success with HEDIS audit compliance automation, search for talent, including clinicians, coders, and non-clinical staff, capable of using your automation tools to their fullest potential. Consider training your employees to provide them with essential skills and knowledge related to automation.
You may also benefit from educating staff about the accessibility of automation tools, dispelling notions about their difficulty and promoting buy-in within the organization. After the training, an ongoing evaluation of competencies can help you identify areas of improvement in your automation strategy, while ensuring that staff members regularly expand their expertise.
Here at Medix, we have years of experience as staffing consultants to healthcare organizations. Contact us today to see how we can help you streamline preparations for your next HEDIS audit by finding technology-savvy clinicians, coders, and non-clinical professionals.