Who owns your Policies? | Pete Rivera | Healthcare Blogs Skip to content Skip to navigation

Who owns your Policies?

August 25, 2008
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I was recently asked about an MPI issue and how can the IT team analyze the reason why there was so many duplicate medical record numbers. After a very short conversation it became obvious that the issue had to more with policies and procedures, rather than software functionality. This seems to be a recurring theme. Far too many Operations Directors will be quick to turf issues having to do with any information processing to IT. They want to focus on personnel, budgets and other management issues and are in the mistaken belief that everything else has an IT solution.

IT can not drive policy; and procedures are derived from operational policies. So why do we still see a hands off approach at addressing the accuracy and quality of the data at the user entry level? Why is it still acceptable for Directors and VP’s to admit that they really don’t understand “all that computer stuff,” when Healthcare Operations depends so much on the systems crunching their data?

I would love to collect a list of horror stories from folks that have had similar experiences and have spent hours trying to dissect an issue that should have been handled in an operations meeting and not by IT Analysts.



One such CPOE Horror Story:

A collaborative, multi-specialty clinic successfully brought up Ambulatory-CPOE many years ago. The primary care docs sent patients to sub-specialists as needed, which was quite often and very appropriate.

Here's the horror story related to policy part. The sub-specialists wanted the primary care docs to have full responsibility for following up on all tests ordered by the sub-specialists.

The primary care docs said, that's ridiculous. These are complicated problems that these patients have that's the reason we're consulting the sub-specialists. The sub-specialists are using IT to dump their work on the primary care docs.

The provider organization's IT department asked the vendor to fix the provider organization's policy dispute by, somehow 'fixing' the CPOE product to address the policy and social problem.

Note: The CPOE product involved already had the ability to route orders and results by any business rules, down to the specific order, and keep track of who saw each result.

Pete, as you stated, this was not an IT analyst level problem, either at the provider organization, or at the vendor.

were does the ICD-10 issues come down as far as this is concerned? Can the organization drop this huge issue on the CIO's lap and walk away?