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Detroit Medical Center case study
Detroit Medical Center gets proven results.
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Snapshot of Detroit Medical Center

Health data management for Detroit Medical gets proven results

As an award-winning medical organization and part of Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Detroit Medical Center (DMC) has served Detroit since 1886 and been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a leader in multiple specialties.

With locations throughout the metropolitan Detroit area, DMC has more than 2,000 beds and 3,000 physicians. DMC’s Detroit Receiving Hospital has more than 105,000 patients every year, and trains approximately 60 percent of Michigan’s emergency physicians. The organization has a history of innovation and excellence, including two of its hospitals ranking in the top one percent in heart failure outcomes, according to a study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

DMC’s health information management team has used the 3M Health Data Management (HDM) System for several years, leveraging the flexible software to suit the organization’s vast data needs. Because of the software platform’s powerful and intuitive solutions, 3M HDM has become the centerpiece of DMC’s data toolkit.


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More systems, more problems

  • When Margaret Eisses, DMC’s manager of health information management, came to DMC, she inherited several disparate processes with multiple data sources. With only a small team and limited resources, she had to grapple with the inefficient workflows and incomplete data coming from multiple angles. One key pain point was DMC’s problematic query process to capture correct coding and documentation.

    “When queries weren’t being completed, we couldn’t hold the right people accountable. There was nothing that made them answer the query, and if they didn’t answer the query, the coders couldn’t code to the correct specificity for correct payment,” says Eisses.
    Beyond the fragmented workflows and data, Eisses’ team was creating reports manually—an unsustainable effort for the three-person team she had at the time. Eisses quickly realized that to correct DMC’s issues with workflow and data, she had to get creative.

    “We were just trying to keep our heads above water, so we started to look at HDM as a way to complete some of the daily work and reporting,” Eisses explains.

“HDM is the bread and butter of coding related data at Detroit Medical Center.”
Margaret Eisses
manager, health information management, Detroit Medical Center
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Making 3M HDM do the work

  • Eisses and her team started by creating reports to give to the multiple DMC sites across Michigan. In doing so, they began understanding what they could do with the 3M HDM suite of solutions.

    “What we discovered is that if we could get the data to HDM in an abstracting fashion, we could then use that to drive our work,” she says. “It was doing the work of several people. So now things that had to be done manually every single day, we were making HDM do the work for us.”
    DMC has since tasked 3M HDM to align several of its once disparate systems. From creating automated workflows to the ability to hard-stop incomplete data records from upstream processes, Eisses and her team streamlined coding processes while building a culture of transparency.

    “We were able to start driving automated worklists and giving coders the worklists that are truly ready to go, and because of that, we’ve now got extra data we didn’t have before,” says Eisses. “For example, we can now see the date the operative report was completed, which helps us prioritize follow-up worklists for the coders.”

“We have the ability to give leadership the reports they need to see, and without HDM, we wouldn’t be able to produce those reports. In my mind, it made it easier to hold everyone accountable.”
Jessica Gordon
Health data analyst, Detroit Medical Center
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The results

  • Eisses and her team changed the way their organization uses data, and Eisses believes 3M HDM was critical to that success.

    “The HIM data management department got their name out as the ones that departments or the C-suite can come to for data. From CFOs to physicians, it can be clinical- or revenue-driven or both,” says Eisses. “HDM is the bread and butter of coding-related data at Detroit Medical Center. The ability to blend coding data with abstracted data allows us to provide multi-level reporting for many departments.”

    As the organization continues to adopt new ways of implementing 3M HDM, Eisses’ team is excited about the ease-of-use and flexibility to tackle the major issues DMC has faced.

    “It was very easy to teach the team how to use it. We have the ability to give leadership the reports they need to see, and without HDM, we wouldn’t be able to produce those reports. In my mind, it made it easier to hold everyone accountable,” says DMC health data analyst Jessica Gordon.

    Besides the reporting, Eisses explains how 3M HDM has helped her become an advocate for the coding team. “My job is to make the coder’s job easier. HDM helps us do that,” she says.

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