Health Information Management Journal

ISSN 1833-3583 (print) * ISSN 1833-3575 (online)

Research Journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia

 

Do AR-DRGs adequately describe the trauma patient episode in New South Wales, Australia?

Abstract
The use of Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) may not be an accurate tool to provide reimbursement for trauma services. This study aimed to determine whether Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs) adequately describe the trauma patient episode and to identify AR-DRG groupings where reimbursement was not commensurate with actual cost. The AR-DRG allocated costs and actual costs of a sample of 206 trauma patient episodes were reviewed during a three-month period. Of the AR-DRG groups identified in the patient episodes, 62.8% were not commensurate with actual cost incurred, equating to an overall loss of $113,921 from under-funded acute trauma patient episodes over a three-month period. Assault-related penetrating trauma, traffic-related and sport-related incidents were all inadequately reimbursed using AR-DRGs compared with the actual cost of treatment. Cases involving female patients, patients aged 45 years or less and those with moderate injuries were similarly underfunded. AR-DRGs are not adequate to describe the extent of injuries experienced by trauma patients and there is a need to investigate alternative funding models for trauma services.

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The coding masterpiece: a framework for the formal pathways and processes of health classification

Abstract
Reviewed articles Professional practice and innovation: The coding masterpiece: a framework for the formal pathways and processes of health classification This article empirically defines the formal pathways and processes that enable and frame hospital clinical classification in an activity-based funding environment. These structured actions include: learning and training; abstracting; clinical knowledge locating and confirming; coder-doctor communication; coder-coder communication; the complicated sub-set of code searching and decision-making processes that constitute practical clinical ‘coding’; allocation to diagnosis-related groups; confirmation of financial reimbursement; auditing; and quality management practices to ensure the integrity of the multiple outputs and outcomes of clinical coding. An analogy of these complex, exacting, and knowledge-dense work practices is made with the 20th century avant-garde art movement of Cubism: the creation of Pablo Picasso’s The three musicians is used as a metaphor for clinical/health classification work. value. knowledge and skills bases.

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Level of agreement between coding sources of percentage total body surface area burnt (%TBSA)

Abstract
The percentage of total body surface area burnt (%TBSA) is a critical measure of burn injury severity and a key predictor of burn injury outcome. This study evaluated the level of agreement between four sources of %TBSA using 120 cases identified through the Victorian State Trauma Registry. Expert clinician, ICD-10-AM, Abbreviated Injury Scale, and burns registry coding were compared using measures of agreement. There was near-perfect agreement (weighted Kappa statistic 0.81-1) between all sources of data, suggesting that ICD-10-AM is a valid source of %TBSA and use of ICD-10-AM codes could reduce the resource used by trauma and burns registries capturing this information.

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RF-MediSys: A radio frequency identification-based electronic medical record system for improving medical information accessibility and services at point of care

Abstract
This paper presents an innovative electronic medical records (EMR) system, RF-MediSys, which can perform medical information sharing and retrieval effectively and which is accessible via a ‘smart’ medical card. With such a system, medical diagnoses and treatment decisions can be significantly improved when compared with the conventional practice of using paper medical records systems. Furthermore, the entire healthcare delivery process, from registration to the dispensing or administration of medicines, can be visualised holistically to facilitate performance review. To examine the feasibility of implementing RF-MediSys and to determine its usefulness to users of the system, a survey was conducted within a multi-disciplinary medical service organisation that operates a network of medical clinics and paramedical service centres throughout Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Questionnaires were distributed to 300 system users, including nurses, physicians and patients, to collect feedback on the operation and performance of RF-MediSys in comparison with conventional paper-based medical record systems. The response rate to the survey was 67%. Results showed a medium to high level of user satisfaction with the radiofrequency identification (RFID)-based EMR system. In particular, respondents provided high ratings on both ‘user-friendliness’ and ‘system performance’. Findings of the survey highlight the potential of RF-MediSys as a tool to enhance quality of medical services and patient safety.

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Emerging technologies: Web 2.0

Abstract
Web 2.0 has brought a change to how we communicate and disseminate information with the use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, instant messaging and blogging. This technology is beginning to be used in the health field for public awareness campaigns, emergency health alerts, medical education and remote healthcare services. Australian Health Information Managers will be called upon to reconcile their organisations’ policies and procedures regarding the use of Web 2.0 technologies within the existing legal framework of privacy, confidentiality and consent. This article explores various applications of Web 2.0, their benefits and some of their potential legal and ethical implications when implemented in Australia.

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Privacy, employees and human resources: a case report

Abstract
Health practitioners are well versed in the need to maintain privacy and confidentiality of patients/clients in healthcare relationships. This need for confidentiality is likewise required when an employee of a healthcare institution becomes a patient of that institution. The question which arises is whether any information which emerges as a result of the employee also being a patient can or should be disclosed to the administration of the employing institution where such information may affect the employee or others in the workplace.

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