Mercy Medical Center Transitions from Homegrown Program to Sophisticated CDI Software with ChartWise 2.0
Apr 20, 2015 | VIA BLOG | Posted 11:25 PM by Dr. Jon Elion


An effective, comprehensive Computer-Assisted Clinical Documentation Improvement (CACDI) program can significantly impact an organization’s productivity and bottom line. As the technology available in today’s healthcare industry continues to shift and evolve, now is the time to invest in a tool that is capable of assisting with new regulations and standards. ChartWise 2.0 by ChartWise Medical Systems provides healthcare professionals with a sophisticated yet easy to use tool for improving documentation and gaining efficiency.

The Situation:

Mercy Medical Center is a 476-bed hospital in Canton, Ohio. Its medical staff of 620 cares for approximately 250 patients each day, providing a wide range of services, including cardiology, orthopedics, stroke care, cancer treatment and dental care to name a few. The clinical documentation department has grown significantly since it first implemented a homegrown clinical documentation improvement (CDI) program with one clinical documentation specialist in 2006. Today, Mercy employs a robust team consisting of five clinical documentation specialists, five inpatient coders, the CMO—one of whose many hats is to be the program’s full-time advisor—and four part-time physician liaisons who all have busy practices in addition to their program duties.

Although their CDI team expanded over the years, the tools they utilized did not. The medical center’s makeshift program consisted of a CDI module from one provider, an encoder from another and homegrown query forms. While this method kept them afloat, it was not conducive to maximizing success or efficiency. The staff needed a well-rounded software tool that both the clinical documentation specialists and coders could use to improve communication between the two departments.

Search and Action:

Mercy Medical Center conducted a private search and received data from six CDI software providers. After carefully reviewing the products offered by each organization, it became readily apparent that the ChartWise 2.0 software was exactly what they had been missing. Mercy’s team was immediately drawn to ChartWise for its “great return on investment, service, and reporting ability,” said Kristine Cilona, Lead Clinical Documentation Specialist at Mercy Medical Center. Cilona also noted that they wanted to work with a provider that was prepared for the ICD-10 transition.

The transition from a homegrown program to ChartWise 2.0 began with IT department testing, staff training, and weekly conference calls with ChartWise. After going live, conference calls were scaled back to monthly check-ins to ensure continued success beyond the initial launch. And should any bumps occur, they were smoothed out by ChartWise’s support team which “was quick to respond and very willing to help resolve any issues,” said Cilona.

Tremendous Results:

Mercy Medical Center implemented the ChartWise software in May 2014 and has since seen significant improvements. Comparing data from the six months prior to employing ChartWise 2.0 versus eight months after going live, the medical center’s initial chart review rate has improved by 28 percent, follow-up reviews have increased by 69 percent, and there has been an increase of 8.74 percent in financial impact for the facility.

“It’s been wonderful to see Mercy Medical Center so enthusiastically adopt the ChartWise 2.0 software and make it their own,” said Mary Cooper, executive vice president of ChartWise. “The organization always had a commitment to CDI and to what was already a strong program. We are proud to be a part of the additional improvements they’ve made.”

When asked about her favorite ChartWise 2.0 features, Cilona explains, “I could go on and on about what I love with ChartWise, from the electronic queries, to the fast service time, to the easy-to-read layout for CDS reviews and, finally, to the built-in encoder.”

Cilona explains that her team is also pleased with the software’s ease of use and built-in features, which allow the staff to save time because they no longer need to build templates for each review and report. “The fact that ChartWise has many of the reports used by the industry already written and available in the software saves us a tremendous amount of time,” said Cilona. “Everyone on our team is pleased with ChartWise. It’s honestly the best bang for your buck!”

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