Just Associates to Provide Remote Duplicate Record “Repair” Services to Sharon Regional Health System

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The data integrity consulting firm is featuring its innovative, comprehensive outsourced MPI management service in Booth #325 at the 83rd AHIMA Convention & Exhibit

Just Associates

With Just Associates protecting the integrity of our patient data, we can focus our attention and resources on other areas to ensure our patients continue to receive the highest quality care possible.

Just Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in data integrity and data quality solutions for healthcare organizations, announced today that Sharon Regional Health System has extended its relationship to include Repair™, the firm’s remote master patient index (MPI) maintenance service. Part of Just Associates’ comprehensive outsourced patient identity management suite, Repair leverages the firm’s highly trained staff and proprietary IDMaster® Duplicate Workflow Software for cost-effective ongoing management of the duplicate validation and reconciliation process.

Just Associates is dedicated to meeting the data integrity needs of the health information exchange (HIE), health information management (HIM), health informatics and health IT markets. It is featuring Repair, along with its comprehensive outsourced MPI management service, in Booth #325 at the AHIMA Convention & Exhibit, taking place in Salt Lake City Oct. 1-6, 2011.

Based in Sharon, Penn., Sharon Regional Health System is a comprehensive health system consisting of a 241-bed hospital, 17 satellite centers and more than 1,750 employees. It first utilized Just Associates to conduct a comprehensive MPI cleanup in preparation for its May 2012 electronic health record (EHR) system implementation. But while existing issues were eliminated, Sharon Regional still faced a problem common among many hospitals — a lack of resources to maintain a clean MPI.

In fact, a typical hospital has between 3 percent and 15 percent patient record duplication. Left unchecked, this creates serious patient safety issues, including delayed diagnosis or treatment and/or redundant diagnostic procedures when the correct or complete record cannot be located in a timely manner. It is also costly, with repetitive testing alone adding 20 percent to 30 percent to clinical costs.

“We needed a way to continuously identify and correct duplicates before they created confusion among our clinical staff or impacted care,” said Barb McKee, director of business office operations, Sharon Regional Health System. “However, multiple registration points made it difficult to pinpoint when and where potential errors entered the system and staffing limitations made it difficult to quickly evaluate and reconcile possible duplicates once they were identified. When we heard about Repair, we knew immediately it was the long-term solution we needed.”

By outsourcing its daily MPI maintenance to Just Associates, Sharon Regional benefits from a more efficient duplicate record resolution process. Repair also helps overcome the resource challenges that impact many hospitals’ efforts to attain and maintain a clean MPI, such as difficulty maintaining productivity levels due to staff turnover, planned and unplanned leave time, and insufficient training. Reports generated by Repair also help identify areas of weakness where additional education or process adjustments can help prevent duplicate creation at the front end.

“With Just Associates protecting the integrity of our patient data, we can focus our attention and resources on other areas to ensure our patients continue to receive the highest quality care possible,” said McKee.

Repair remote MPI maintenance services are modeled after the same process Just Associates uses in completing its historic MPI cleanup projects. Leveraging its trained staff and IDMaster, Repair reviews daily reports on potential duplicates or other data integrity issues and validates possible duplicates. Confirmed duplicates are then reconciled via remote access to Sharon Regional’s systems.

In the case of Sharon Regional, daily feeds are generated by the facility’s third-party monitoring service. However, Repair works equally effectively with reports generated by systems that feature the robust analytics capabilities to accurately identify potential duplicate records.

“When the integrity of patient data is compromised due to duplicate, incomplete or inaccurate records, it can impact safety and quality, increase costs and decrease clinician and staff productivity. Unfortunately, the challenge for many facilities is dedicating the resources necessary to maintain a clean MPI,” said Just Associates CEO and President Beth Just, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA. “That is why savvy hospitals like Sharon Regional are outsourcing MPI management to Just Associates. It is a cost-effective way to overcome staffing and resource issues to ensure that duplicate records are identified and eliminated before they cause problems.”

About Just Associates, Inc.
A recognized leader in health information data integrity and management, Just Associates, Inc. (http://www.justassociates.com) is a healthcare data integration consulting firm that delivers superior value to its clients through improved data integrity. Just Associates has the process expertise and systems knowledge to deliver tailored, value-added solutions that improve client’s financial outcomes and business processes, support delivery of quality patient care, and meet the expectations of diverse stakeholders through improved data integrity.

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Liz Roop
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