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AAP National Conference: Use your electronic medical records to improve quality of care and earn MOC credit :

October 24, 2016

If you’re looking to embark on a quality improvement (QI) project to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit, chances are you’re familiar with the handwashing project.

“I can do a module on handwashing or asthma, but if I’m a gastroenterologist that probably isn’t relevant,” said Donna D'Alessandro, M.D., FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Clinical Information Technology. “I need to be doing things that are relevant to my patient population.”

Dr. D’Alessandro led an Interactive Group Forum titled “MOC, Quality of Care and Your EMR” where participants came up with ideas for projects that will benefit their patients.

“There are many, many projects out there that people can be involved in,” Dr. D’Alessandro said. “But one of the things I’ve heard people say (is), ‘That’s not really what I do in my practice.’”

Dr. D’Alessandro spent some time talking about MOC, QI and electronic medical records (EMRs) and how they fit together. The majority of the session was devoted to having participants work individually, in pairs or in small groups to develop their own projects and determine how they would implement them in their practice.

Dr. D’Alessandro, professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa, has been working in medical informatics for over 20 years.

“It just seems to me that it’s really logical that you’re going to take the wealth of data and information that you have about patients through your electronic medical record and try to learn something from it so that you can provide better care,” she said.

For example, pediatricians can use EMR data to track the number of patients with chronic conditions who are getting a yearly flu vaccine. They can run a report in late August or September to see whether patients with asthma, for example, are coming in to get immunized, she said. Another report can be run in October. If the data show patients are not coming in, the practice could contact patients to schedule an appointment.

Dr. D’Alessandro also talked about the importance of getting other staff members involved in QI projects.

“Most people in isolation cannot do this,” she said. “You have to have a team.”

The session gave generalists and specialists as well as early career physicians and veterans practical ways to integrate quality improvement into everyday practice.

“What we’re really trying to do here,” Dr. D’Alessandro concluded, “is to make sure every child gets the right care every time.”

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