For hospitals to receive accurate quality rankings and value-based reimbursements, it’s important for patients’ clinical information to be documented consistently. By identifying missed coding opportunities in high-acuity services, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center improved their key mortality ratio score.
OSUWMC’s acute care surgery service saw a .45 decrease in its mortality ratio, and their neurosurgery service saw a .43 decrease. A score of 1.5 indicates a hospital’s mortality rate is higher than expected and a score of .5 indicates the mortality rate is lower than expected.
To improve their mortality index, OSUWMC collected Epic data on patients in high-acuity surgical services for eight months. After reporting on the most commonly overlooked codes and training residents on documentation best practices in Epic, three of the four services showed sustained improvement.
In addition to improving the mortality index, consistent coding helps ensure that all of the patient’s information is captured for a complete picture of their clinical journey.
“I think one of the greatest parts about this study is we saw that there were similar high-missed codes on a majority of these services,” said Dr. Chelsea R. Horwood, a surgeon at OSUWMC who led the study. “Once we taught the people this is what is being missed, this is what needs to be captured, it got applied, I think, more broadly.”
Read more in the Surgery Journal.