CLICK HERE to get started with the free resource covered during Dr. Airan-Javia’s presentations. There is no payment or obligation required to use this tool. There are also other project management tools you can try for this same purpose. Some examples are: Asana, Monday.com, ClickUp, Trello. Continue reading below to learn more about how these types of workflow tools can be implemented to improve clinical workflows.
Welcome to the dedicated resource hub for attendees at AMIA CIC 2023. During Dr. Airan-Javia’s presentations, “Pulling Coding from Clinical Workflows, Instead of Building Workflows Around Coding” and “Rethinking the Collaborative Care and Note Paradigm to Improve Documentation in Value Based Care”, we explored a digital huddle platform to help teams work better together. The free version is available for anyone to use. It works with any EHR, and in any care setting. It facilitates real-time collaboration, comprehensive task management, and seamless integration of ICD-10 coding into everyday clinical workflow to enhance patient care outcomes, streamline documentation, save clinicians’ time, and promote high-value care.
Read on for more information!
Platform Overview: Enhancing Team Collaboration and Task Management in Healthcare
Work Together, Not Apart
CareAlign is a task management platform designed specifically for healthcare. Originally built at Penn Medicine, it has been continuously improved over the last decade to facilitate seamless care coordination across diverse care settings.
This platform transforms the way healthcare teams collaborate and manage tasks. It significantly reduces reliance on communication via texts, emails, and sticky notes by offering a shared, real-time task list. The shared tasks ensure everyone knows who is responsible for what, enhancing team collaboration and ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. With features allowing you to assign tasks to specific individuals or roles, set reminders for future tasks, and create smart lists, CareAlign empowers teams to deliver more efficient and effective care.
CareAlign works well for multidisciplinary teams by offering a patient-centric approach where multiple clinical specialists, allied health providers, and staff are involved in patient care. Moreover, CareAlign extends beyond task management, with additional features designed to seamlessly integrate into your clinical workflow:
- Team Collaboration (included in free version): Provides real-time, shared task lists, smart reminders, and task assignment features that enhance team coordination and improve workflow efficiency.
- Diagnosis Capture (included in free version): This feature enables you to attach one or multiple ICD-10 codes to any task in CareAlign. A generated summary of work done, along with the list of associated codes, ensures that complex patient diagnoses are accurately captured for quality and outcome metrics.
- Data Visualization (Available with EHR Integration, paid version): Allows for the viewing of vitals, labs, meds, studies, and reports across systems and settings, including data from external EHRs and local and national health information exchanges. This feature aims to eliminate duplicative testing and streamline access to vital patient information.
As a patient-centric platform, CareAlign fosters team collaboration, simplifies task management, enhances interdisciplinary coordination, and improves prospective coding and diagnosis capture. It’s not just about enhancing your EHR. It’’s about reimagining the way healthcare teams deliver patient care.
Who Can Benefit from This Tool?
Whether you’re an individual healthcare professional or part of a collaborative team, this tool is designed to help everyone work better together, so that we are all on the same page and nothing falls through the cracks. Here are some scenarios where the tool can prove useful:
Clinical Care Providers
- Primary Care Physicians and Specialists: Manage chronic conditions with the patient’s entire care team to make sure tasks get completed at the appropriate time.
- Nursing Home and Inpatient Clinicians: Effectively track and manage patient cases, ensuring seamless care coordination and documentation. CareAlign works as a patient centric, IPASS based handoff and rounding tool for any care setting.
- Home Care Teams: Access the full patient chart on mobile from anywhere. Easily coordinate care between clinicians while in different physical locations or while using different EHRs.
- Street Medicine Teams: Get access to full patient charts on mobile, and share information with any clinical and social service team members to provide the best care for the patient.
- Case Managers, Care Coordinators, Care Navigators: Get patient information from different healthcare encounters in one place to help clinicians provide seamless, comprehensive care across clinical settings.
- Interdisciplinary Teams: CareAlign helps your team track and manage tasks in one platform, even if your team works in different physical locations or with different EHRs. Use CareAlign as a huddle platform and tracker to standardize meetings, keep everyone on the same page, and save time.
- Value-Based Care (VBC) Groups: Streamline coding and documentation processes to enhance patient outcomes and get more accurate reimbursement.
- Pharmacists and Social Workers: Collaborate with the other clinicians on the care team in one space to help get everyone on the same page about all aspects of the patient’s care.
Revenue Cycle Management
- Clinical Document Improvement (CDI) Professionals: Improve coding and decrease time spent on physician queries to improve reimbursement accuracy.
- Medical Billers and Coders: Enhance billing accuracy and streamline the reimbursement process through real-time ICD-10 coding.
Why would I need this tool on top of my EHR and Secure Messaging App?
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) system serves as a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. While it’s integral for patient care, it does have limitations. EHRs are often not designed for real-time, collaborative clinical work, leading to healthcare providers relying on other tools such as text messages, emails, word documents, or even paper to jot down tasks and notes throughout the day. Sometimes these notes may be forgotten or misplaced, leading to gaps in the patient’s record.
Secure messaging apps enable communication between healthcare providers. However, they often lack task management and documentation features. This can result in valuable patient care information being lost in the flow of conversation, or important tasks being overlooked.
Our tool bridges these gaps, providing a collaborative workspace that is not just a communication tool, but a comprehensive platform for managing and documenting patient care. It integrates seamlessly with EHRs and complements their functionality. Here’s how it’s different:
- Real-Time Collaboration: Unlike most EHRs, this tool provides a shared space for teams to collaborate on patient care in real time. Any task or information added to this workspace is instantly accessible to all team members. This feature is essential in fast-paced healthcare settings, where timely updates can significantly impact patient outcomes.
- Task Management: Our tool has an integrated task management system. Clinicians can jot down notes, tasks, and other information throughout the day, which are tagged to relevant ICD-10 codes. This means any work done gets recorded and coded for, reducing the risk of missing out on important tasks or forgetting to document them.
- Prospective Coding: Unlike EHRs, which typically involve retrospective coding (coding after care has been provided), our tool enables real-time, prospective coding. This feature helps streamline the documentation process and ensures accurate, timely coding for care provided.
- Integration with EHR: The tool is designed to complement, not replace, your EHR. Information created in this digital workspace can be easily transferred into the EHR, providing a more efficient and comprehensive documentation process. (Note this is not available in the free resource).
- Improved Workflow: By integrating coding into clinical documentation, the tool makes clinicians’ jobs easier by reducing the amount of queries they get from the CDI team. The CDI team can do their job more quickly and efficiently, and the organization gets accurately reimbursed for the care provided.
In essence, this tool provides an extra layer of support, filling in the gaps left by EHRs and secure messaging, ensuring comprehensive and accurate patient documentation, task management, and team collaboration.
CareAlign and Health Equity
CareAlign believes health equity is a top priority, and we are taking action to address this. Our CEO, Dr. Subha Airan-Javia, and colleagues did research on stigmatizing language in patient charts. If you read that a patient “refused” or was “non-compliant” with medication, what would be your first thought? That the patient is being difficult? That the patient must not care about their health? In reality, it could be that the patient “refused” a medication because they had questions that the clinician providing the medication could not answer. Or maybe they are “non-compliant” because they cannot afford enough medication to take it as prescribed. These words may seem small, but they can bring out implicit bias for clinicians before they even see the patient.
To help address stigmatizing language in clinical documentation, CareAlign has implemented nudges into our platform. Based on prior research by our CEO and using language guides from the CDC and APA, we have generated a library of words to avoid, and created a process to detect when these words or phrases are written. When clinicians enter a word in a patient chart that can create bias, the clinician gets a nudge that suggests different words that could be used instead of the stigmatizing word and a reason why this new word is more neutral.
We are looking forward to seeing how these nudges may (or may not) change use of stigmatizing language among our users.
Your Assurance of Security
The tool maintains a high standard of security and privacy, being fully HIPAA-compliant. For more details on our security and privacy practices, please click here.
What are the Hardware/Software Prerequisites for Utilizing CareAlign?
Using CareAlign is straightforward. You simply need a device with internet access and an updated browser. We designed CareAlign to be platform-neutral, so it works smoothly on any device without storing data locally. Plus, it functions efficiently even on low-bandwidth connections. Easy and secure, CareAlign is always ready for you, anytime, anywhere.
How Clinicians Use CareAlign
The tool has had a significant impact on various healthcare settings, as shown in our case studies and published research papers. You can gain insight into how this tool has revolutionized workflows, improved patient care, increased RAF scores, and impacted the bottom line.
Case Studies and Published Papers:
- A Mobile, Electronic Health Record-Connected Application for Managing Team Workflows in Inpatient Care
- Clinician-Designed Care Collaboration Spurs Rapid Adoption
- Value Based Care Organization Improves RAF Scores By 18% Using Care Collaboration Platform
- Optimize Your EHR to Retain Clinicians and Reduce Burnout
New: Learn How Medical Schools are Integrating CareAlign in Medical Education
CareAlign, originally conceived as a resident QI project at Penn Medicine, is a secure, HIPAA-compliant clinical workspace promoting interdisciplinary teamwork and informed medical decision-making. Today, we are excited to offer CareAlign as a valuable tool for medical education, fostering the integration of technology into early medical training.
- Embracing Technology in Early Medical Education: CareAlign serves as a vendor-neutral EHR tool that can help medical students incorporate technology into patient interactions from the onset. It provides a secure platform to document patient history during consultations, helping students balance patient engagement with technology use.
- Enhancing Critical Thinking & Documentation Skills: CareAlign functions as a structured, problem-focused care planning tool. It not only assists in creating follow-up tasks and identifying key transition points in patient care, but also aids in teaching the structure of a progress note. By integrating didactic training with a user-friendly interface, CareAlign facilitates sharing and creation of documentation. Moreover, its advanced features support case-based learning for interdisciplinary care, discharge planning, handoffs, and efficiency.
- Student Clinical Management System:
- Preclinical Use: CareAlign streamlines student-educator communication, replacing the outdated practice of handwritten notes and Word documents with a digital portfolio for each student. Students can prepare and store their work, request educator reviews, and track their progress over time.
- Clinical Rotations: CareAlign helps students manage their patient lists, tasks, and educational resources during clinical rotations. It functions as an EHR-neutral documentation tool, allowing educators to review students’ patient interactions, address clinical and educational questions, and promote active learning.
Harness the potential of CareAlign in your medical education journey, transforming the way you teach, learn, and practice medicine.
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There is no payment or obligation required to use this tool.