Keeping up with quality reporting in GI: 2 gastroenterologists weigh in

Quality reporting now impacts how gastroenterologists are paid, but reporting can be time consuming and complex. Two practicing GI physicians share best practices for keeping up with quality reporting requirements in the field.

Ask a Gastroenterologist is a weekly series of questions posed to GI physicians around the country on business and clinical issues affecting the field of gastroenterology. We invite all gastroenterologists to submit responses.

Next week's question: What are some of the best ways for experienced gastroenterologists to continue learning and improving their practices?

Please submit responses to Carrie Pallardy at by Wednesday, June 25, at 5 p.m. CST.

Elliot Ellis, MD, Team Lead, EMA Gastroenterology, Modernizing Medicine: The shift away from volume-based medicine towards value-based medicine is an incredible opportunity for all physicians, including gastroenterologists. A system that rewards quality not quantity, rather than paying more for doing more, will reimburse physicians for showing better patient outcomes, or making their patients healthier. PQRS, Meaningful Use – and let's not forget ICD-10 that's looming on the near horizon – will only be possible by utilizing technology that facilitates data collection. If not, it will be next to impossible to keep up with all the quality reporting requirements and other changes headed our way.

Paper charts and electronic health record systems that function more like glorified word processers may cause more problems than the ones we need to solve. What will make our lives easier is an easy, intuitive system where we only need to enter patient information once, and that automates Meaningful Use and PQRS with this data. Fortunately, systems do currently exist that accomplish this. For example, EMA Gastroenterology™ by Modernizing Medicine was built using structured data. The system simply takes the note you’ve already written and generates the Meaningful Use and PQRS-ready data for reporting. That's easy for EMA Gastroenterology to do and requires almost no additional work for physicians, because the data captures is already in a "structured" format. Using an EHR system that captures data in a structured format the first time around is the best strategy to keep up with all of the quality reporting requirements.

Brett Inglis, DO, Saint Thomas Health (Nashville, Tenn.): The best strategy for keeping up with quality reporting in GI is first to know what the quality measures are and then to have a system to collect data. Quality measures are most important in endoscopy, and these include things like adenoma detection rate, cecal intubation rate, withdrawal time and complication rates. All of these measures can easily be tracked with a high quality electronic medical record and even by participating in a national database such as GIQuIC. Using a database such as GIQuIC allows you to compare your endoscopy center to a national benchmark and identify gaps in care.

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