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Improving critical care documentation and coding using an online teaching module [Meeting Abstract]

Hartstein, G; Habboushe, J; Muckey, E; Wu, T; Goldberg, W; Femia, R
Background: Emergency medicine professional reimbursement-in particular, the Evaluation and Management levels-is based on Medicare's rules defining the complexity of care. Services are only reimbursable if they are properly recorded. Therefore detailed documentation is essential for optimal compensation. Critical care follows a different set of rules than other Evaluation and Management levels and a lack of clinician awareness of these rules leads to incomplete documentation and under billing. Objectives: The goal of this study is to: 1. Identify gaps in critical care documentation knowledge among emergency physicians. 2. Determine if these gaps can be filled via a selfadministered online training module. 3. Determine whether improvement in knowledge can improve documentation and enhance reimbursement. Methods: Critical care charts were examined in an urban tertiary care center with approximately 68,000 ED visits per year. Pre-intervention, 1.2% of charts were coded as "critical care"; less than the national average of 2.5%. Physicians completed a pre-module assessment, followed by a 15-minute online educational module, followed by a post-module assessment. Critical care rates were measured during the months preceding and following module completion. Results: 1. Gaps in knowledge were defined when average correct pre-assessment response was < 75%, revealing deficiencies in specific aspects of critical care documentation, which may be reflected in the critical care rate. 2. Post-module assessments had an overall higher correct response rate (65.9% to 84.8%, p<0.001). Specifically for knowledge gap questions, the correct response rate increased from 53% to 86.5% (p<0.001). 3. After all clinicians completed the teaching module, ED critical care rates increased from 1.4% (Nov-Dec, 2015) to 3.22% (Mar-Apr, 2016), an increase of 129% that trended towards statistical significance (p=0.058). This extrapolates to an annual increase in reimbursement of $103,900, based on the ED's specific average collection rates. Conclusions: The training module was able to identify and correct gaps in critical care knowledge, likely leading to an increase in proper charting and coding and a subsequent increase in revenue. Additionally, the effectiveness of a short, easily distributed teaching module carries broad implications for future physician education initiatives
ISSN: 1936-9018
CID: 3261662

Why do men fall asleep after sex? : more questions you'd only ask a doctor after your third whisky sour

Leyner, Mark; Goldberg, Billy
New York : Three Rivers Press, 2006
Extent: xxii, 263 p. ; 20cm
ISBN: 0307345971
CID: 1350

Why do men have nipples? : hundreds of questions you'd only ask a doctor after your third martini

Leyner, Mark; Goldberg, Billy
New York : Three Rivers Press, 2005
Extent: 217 p. ; 20 cm
ISBN: 1400082315
CID: 1341

Distribution and patterns of blunt traumatic cervical spine injury

Goldberg W; Mueller C; Panacek E; Tigges S; Hoffman JR; Mower WR
STUDY OBJECTIVE: Previous studies of cervical spine injury involve individual institutions or special populations. There is currently little reliable information regarding natural cervical spine injury patterns after blunt trauma. This substudy of the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study project was designed to accurately assess the prevalence, spectrum, and distribution of cervical spine injury after blunt trauma. METHODS: We prospectively enrolled all patients with blunt trauma undergoing cervical spine radiography at 21 diverse institutions. Injury status was determined by review of all radiographic studies obtained on each patient. For each individual injury, we recorded which specific films revealed the injury, the level and location of injury on each vertebra, and the age and sex of the patient. RESULTS: Of 34,069 enrolled patients with blunt trauma, 818 (2.4%) individuals had a total of 1,496 distinct cervical spine injuries to 1,285 different cervical spine structures. The second cervical vertebra was the most common level of injury (286 [24.0%] fractures, including 92 odontoid fractures), and 470 (39.3%) fractures occurred in the 2 lowest cervical vertebrae (C6 and C7). The vertebral body, injured in 235 patients, was the most frequent site of fracture. Nearly one third of all injuries (29.3%) were considered clinically insignificant. CONCLUSION: Cervical spine injuries occur in a small minority of patients with blunt trauma who undergo imaging. The atlantoaxial region is the most common site of injury, and the sixth and seventh vertebrae are involved in over one third of all injuries. Other spine levels are much more commonly involved than has previously been appreciated. A substantial minority of radiographically defined cervical spine injuries are of little clinical importance
PMID: 11423806
ISSN: 0196-0644
CID: 26734

The benefit of houseofficer education on proper medication dose calculation and ordering

Nelson, L S; Gordon, P E; Simmons, M D; Goldberg, W L; Howland, M A; Hoffman, R S
OBJECTIVES: Drug dosing errors commonly cause morbidity and mortality. This prospective controlled study was performed to determine: 1) residents' understanding of drug dose calculations and ordering; and 2) the short-term effect of a brief educational intervention on the skills required to properly calculate dosages and order medications. METHODS: The study was conducted at an urban public hospital with a four-year emergency medicine (EM) residency program. The EM residents served as the study group and were unaware of the study design. A written, eight-question test (T1) with clinical situations and factual questions was administered. Immediately following the test, correct answers were discussed for 30 minutes. Key concepts were emphasized. Six weeks later, a repeat test (T2a) with a similar format was administered to the study group. The same test (T2b) was simultaneously administered to a control group, residents of similar training who did not take T1, in order to determine test equivalency (T1 vs T2). Tests were graded using explicit criteria by a single investigator blinded to the order of administration. RESULTS: Twenty residents completed both tests T1 and T2a. Their mean scores were 48% and 70%, respectively (p < 0.001, paired t-test). The control group of ten residents had a mean score of 49% (T2b), similar to the study group's scores on T1 (T1 vs T2b, p = 0.40, unpaired t-test). CONCLUSION: Emergency medicine residents require specific training in calculating and executing drug ordering. A brief educational intervention significantly improved short-term performance when retested six weeks later. Long-term retention is unknown
PMID: 11073484
ISSN: 1069-6563
CID: 69718