5 Ways to Use Epic Flowsheet SmartForms™ to Capture Regulatory Data

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By Kerry Barker, RN BSN | Sep 20, 2021

2 minute read Epic| Blog

How successful are you capturing regulatory data in Epic® via clinical documentation workflows?

How do you ensure the right questions on complicated assessments and screenings are getting answered instead of skipped? Can you put in a hard stop to ensure clinical users collect this important data?

Can you easily create audit reports from the data gathered during charting?

Yes. And, the answer is Epic's® Flowsheet SmartForms™.

The Power of Epic's® Flowsheet SmartForms™

Flowsheet SmartForms™ are smart forms designed with programming and scripting behavior as simple or as complex as you would like.

With Epic's® Flowsheet SmartForms™ you can

  • Build out different types of cascades based on age, sex, or answers to various questions.
  • Place hard stops that force the practitioner to answer a question (or multiple questions) prior to exiting the form.
  • Script out behavior, or use CER rules to help guide behavior.

The options are almost limitless.

How Flowsheet SmartForms™ Works

FLO records are the basic foundation of the forms and run in the background. As users document, the data is stored in the FLO rows. This makes it easier to audit charts, create workbench reports, place data into PAF columns for display, and capture time/date/user information.

Our CereCore Epic® Clinical Documentation team has been using Flowsheet SmartForms™ more often to meet the needs for assessments, screenings, and required documentation reports. The results have been a huge success – saving our team time and effort.

While you can use Flowsheet SmartForms™ in many different ways to help reduce the time practitioners spend during clinical documentation so they can spend more time on patient care, we are going to focus on ways we have used this tool to collect regulatory data.

5 Examples of Regulatory Data Collection Using Epic Flowsheet SmartForms™

From our experience, here are five great ways to use this tool to collect regulatory data:

  1. Influenza, Pneumococcal, and COVID-19 vaccine screening. We can require hard stops on questions that must be answered and script out logical cascades for the next questions based on those answers.

  2. PHQ2-9/Suicide Screening. We also script this to cascade only the questions that should be answered based on answers to the initial questions.

  3. Acute Inpatient Rehab CARE scoring.
  • We are able to differentiate between admission and discharge scoring questions, and we can offer hard stops for required items.
  • We scripted this to cascade out questions to determine the level of care for each CARE item and ultimately then score each CARE item.
  1. Physical Assessment (Head to Toe). Within each system (Neuro, Respiratory, GI, GU, etc.), we are able to offer an option if the assessment is normal or “Within Defined Limits”. We scripted this to then auto-chart the correct answers to a normal system. If the user changes their mind about initially selecting that option, then the system unselects those answers and the user can complete the full assessment.
  2. Care Plan selection. Instead of using the model Care Plan system, we use a flowsheet SmartForm™ where users can select which care plan they want to initiate (e.g. Alteration in respiratory function, Alteration in individual coping, etc.). The form captures discrete data that can be used for auditing purposes. BPAs based on these selections automatically add the care plan item to the activity.

Get the most out your Epic EMR

Epic’s® Flowsheet SmartForms™ are a great tool that can help your clinical teams more easily capture regulatory data during their clinical documentation workflow. If you would like some help or want to learn more about how you can implement this tool in your facility, contact us.

Epic consulting is just one of the healthcare IT services we provide hospitals and health systems, and an expert from our Epic® team is ready to help you get the most out of your Epic EMR solution.

About the Author:
Kerry Barker, RN BSN

Manager, Epic Services, CereCore

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