Last week I spent the majority of my time researching and familiarizing myself with FHIR standards and E/M Documentation as laid out by CMS.
If you don’t know, because, honestly, who does. FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. Ok, what does that mean? Interoperability is a fancy word for the ability of EMRs to talk to each other. This functionality is very similar to how you may connect your email account to a third-party email app. Between the two, the data and functionality are the same, but that email app may be a bit better for your needs. Similarly, HL7 developed the FHIR to let different EMRs talk to each other easily. This is important to allow quick and easy access between EMRs. Is it the only way? Definitely not. However, it can provide a good foundation for the future. EMRs that use FHIR are potentially more competitive due to a lack of data issues.
Now, E/M Documentation is the guidelines laid out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Evaluation and Management documentation for providers. In short, these are the guidelines that Medicare and Medicaid use to determine how much a provider gets paid for their services. While many insurance companies can and do have some of their own standards, many of them follow the same standards laid out by CMS. E/M documentation is important because it illustrates how and why a provider is to document their encounter with a patient. While it is not the entire story, it can provide a valuable reference to illustrating the process and key points to look for. I won’t go into all the nitty-gritty details here, but suffice to say it is an incredibly important document to have and understand.
At the very end of last week, I began an experiment that I’m continuing to work on this week.
The core functionality of the charting interface relies on a free-form editor experience that knows where a physician is and what kind of information they are inputting. Prototyping this has been a fairly complex process, however, I finally have a basic prototype of this functionality running. While it doesn’t do everything necessary, it gives a good glance into the future of how it will work. I’m excited to keep working on that this week and will hopefully have something that can be used in the next few weeks.
Until next week!