3 Time-Saving Tips for Trauma Registrars
A trauma registrar’s job is full of data points, attention to detail, and – unfortunately – hours often spent making follow up emails and calls to track down missing information. You’re responsible for understanding privacy regulations, medical codes, and the billing process, as well as your own hospital’s handshakes with other agencies.
And while the tedious aspects of the role can be challenging, it’s impossible to deny the importance of the trauma registry’s data in not only keeping your hospital running smoothly but improving health care overall in the nation by supporting the efforts of the American Trauma Society (ATS) and similar organizations.
Rather than suffering in silence, there are several ways to make the role of a trauma registrar more efficient and less tiresome by optimizing the system already in place and looking for opportunities for improvement.
Evaluate Your Current System
It’s likely at some point in your career, you’ve heard the explanation, “That’s just how we’ve always done it.” Routines and processes are put in place to ensure we follow the appropriate steps, stay on track, and meet goals/deadlines. But they can also become outdated over time or not evolve with what new best practices or recommendations are currently being shared.
If you haven’t stopped to look at how you input data, perform loop closure, or abstract data, now could be a great time to review your processes. These three steps are an excellent starting point in improving the efficiencies in the trauma registrar capacity.
1. Review Materials and Processes
Take some time to examine the current state of your setup. When was the last time your orientation materials were updated? Do they reflect the most recent practices taking place in your facility? Are they in alignment with the current ATS recommendations? If not, carve out some hours to update your documents and ensure that everyone on the team has a full understanding of best practices and present requirements.
This is also the perfect opportunity to review your daily workflow. It can sometimes be hard to know how to shake up our routines and practices, so invite your fellow registrars to share their workflows and practices. Perhaps someone knows a shortcut in your registry software or has a tip on how to resolve common data errors. In reviewing your processes for doing things, you may find that you have some great shortcuts that can save the whole team time and make for a more productive workday.
2. Automate EMS Data Exchange
To be an American College of Surgeons verified trauma center, hospitals are required to have 80% or more of the trauma patients entered into the registry within 60 days of discharge. Also, many hospitals have their own state, regional, and internal guidelines that require patient data to be added in even earlier.
Finding all pertinent records is a major part of a registrar’s job, but it can also be a very time consuming one. Although data originated within the hospital can be easy enough to collect, finding EMS run records can be a challenge. Calling, faxing, and emailing in search of EMS run records can really slow down your day and keep you distracted from your to-do list.
Consider tools that help automate EMS data exchange into your hospital’s EHR system. Software like ESO Health Data Exchange (HDE) can link data from the EMS electronic patient care record (ePCR) directly into your hospital EHR so you won’t have to spend any time searching for missing files. In doing so, you’ll save countless hours each week and have a nice, clean dataset ready to go for data abstraction. It’s a true time-saver.
3. Make Time for Training
It might sound counterintuitive to say that one of the best ways to save time is to make time for something else but investing in a few hours of training can help you save time in the long run.
If you’re a certified specialist in trauma registry (CSTR), you’ll need to add a number of continuing education credits to your resume each year to maintain your certification. Potential continuing education courses range from workshops, seminars, professional development offerings, home-study courses, and state or national conferences.
Why not use those hours to take classes focusing on speeding up data abstraction or exploring trends that can expedite your workflow? You may also benefit from attending reporting training with your registry software. You’ll learn about new reports, the latest updates, and other offerings that can save you time. Check out the ATS calendar of webinars and live/ virtual training courses currently available.
Reducing the headaches and inefficiencies faced by a trauma registrar not only increases job satisfaction but ultimately helps improve the quality of the registry’s data – data that is relied upon to make hospital-wide improvements, effectively process billing, and paint an accurate picture of the nation’s health care system. Small improvements can make a big impact, both in timesaving and accuracy. Implementing these three steps can help make immediate improvements in efficiencies and workflow for your trauma registrar role and your hospital as a whole.
Want to learn more about how automated data entry can help your registry department? See a demo of ESO Health Data Exchange.