If you have ever been involved with an EHR implementation, you know that it is a very stressful time for a healthcare organization and staff. With workflow changes being introduced and training sessions to attend, there are many events that lead up to a go-live to prepare for this adoption. To objectively determine if an organization is on target to hit their conversion date, clients set goals to determine their readiness. One of the most common goals is being 100% tested prior to flipping the switch.
As you convert, you want to know that every orderable item is going to post appropriate charges, and this seems like a realistic and achievable goal. But what if I told you that testing 100% of your order catalog is most likely not going to happen prior to your Cerner® implementation?
As many of you know, one of the Cerner® system’s strengths as an EHR is the ability to customize your build and design to ensure that your specific needs are accommodated. And while this seems like an obvious strength in the product, it also ends up being one of its biggest weaknesses when it comes to auditing and troubleshooting your now one-of-a-kind system.
And boy does it cause charging to be quite complex.
Cerner® uses a methodology called “tier-based logic” to flex charging based on many client-specific scenarios. In fact, within Cerner® you can have charging driven from the following criteria: organization, facility, building, nurse unit, location, FIN class, med service, admit type, encounter type/class and more.
So, what does “being 100% tested” typically mean when clients set this goal?
From my experience working with Cerner® hospitals, being 100% tested means that all order catalog items have been placed, completed and confirmed that an appropriate charge has dropped. Usually this is done through a combination of unit testing and integration where orders are placed on test patients. The issue with this is by placing orders on only the available test patients, it only gives you one set of the scenarios mentioned above.
For example, you may place a BMP order on a test patient that is an inpatient admit type and registered to the main facility. Well, what about a BMP on an outpatient or an ED encounter? Because charging can act differently for the differing criteria, to truly be 100% tested you would have to test out every orderable item from every location that you have flexed for charging, for all encounter types, etc.
So, what does this mean?
It means that you are going to, or already have gone live with an order catalog that has only tested out a few scenarios for each orderable. Therefore, it is inevitable that issues will occur on day one of your go-live since most of the orders are going through scenarios that have never been tested.
So, what will you do to ensure these scenarios are posting appropriate charges?
As you flip the switch to Cerner®, it is inevitable that you will experience charging and billing issues. Softek can be your insurance policy for this unpredictable time. We come onsite for your go-live to monitor any revenue issues that are occurring real-time and work with your staff to immediately address any problems.
What does Softek Solutions, Inc.™ do?
Softek's mission is to help hospital systems get the most out of their investment in Cerner® Millennium™. We do this by providing innovative software solutions and consulting services that can achieve more together than either can alone.
At Softek, our team of innovators and software developers brings expertise beyond the ordinary to every client. Our experts are involved with Cerner® Millennium™ hospitals throughout the country helping them optimize system performance and revenue integrity.
Softek delivers a full suite of consulting services and software solutions to assess and optimize EMR system performance, including revenue cycle integrity and patient accounting.
Let’s talk to see how you can get the most out of your Cerner® Millennium™ system.