Preventive Medicine Communicaiton Flags
Providing medical care and ensuring readiness is a team effort that involves many different personnel that interact directly with the patient. Relevant health care information is contained in the health care record, but often not easily accessible to all members of the health care team. On a retrospective review of charts patients with outstanding lab work or other preventive medicine needs were seen by a clinic provider and failed to complete their required evaluations. We need to bring that information to the attention of the medical team. By creating communication flags for all members of the healthcare team that generate pop-up boxes on the computer workstation that list the outstanding preventive medicine and lab work for the patient when a member of the healthcare team opens that individual patient’s electronic medical record the efficiency of the healthcare system can be improved, the patient can be provided education related to the outstanding item, and fleet readiness can be increased. For example, a female service member calls to schedule an appointment for evaluation for arm pain. When the appointment clerk opens the record to book the acute appointment a communication flag shows on the screen that the member is also outstanding for her cervical cancer screening exam. The appointment clerk can use this information and schedule an appointment with a provider that can address both the outstanding preventive medicine screening and the service member’s arm pain concern. Another example is a patient with diabetes comes to the lab to obtain blood work. When the lab tech opens the patient record a communication flag appears that states the patient is overdue for their annual HbA1C and micro albumin. The lab tech notes that the HbA1C is ordered, but the micro albumin lab test is not ordered and contact’s the patient’s primary care manager to ensure the patient obtains that lab work during that visit to the laboratory. In order to decrease user fatigue, only outstanding items will generate communication flags. Tracking of compliance will be through current quality measurement processes already in place such as HEDIS metrics and readiness reports.