Appl Clin Inform 2024; 15(03): 501-510
DOI: 10.1055/a-2319-0598
Research Article

Implementation of a Real-Time Documentation Assistance Tool: Automated Diagnosis (AutoDx)

Matthew T. Cerasale
1   Section of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Ali Mansour
2   Department of Neurology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Ethan Molitch-Hou
1   Section of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Sean Bernstein
3   Department of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Tokhanh Nguyen
1   Section of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Cheng-Kai Kao
1   Section of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
› Author Affiliations


Background Clinical documentation improvement programs are utilized by most health care systems to enhance provider documentation. Suggestions are sent to providers in a variety of ways, and are commonly referred to as coding queries. Responding to these coding queries can require significant provider time and do not often align with workflows. To enhance provider documentation in a more consistent manner without creating undue burden, alternative strategies are required.

Objectives The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a real-time documentation assistance tool, named AutoDx, on the volume of coding queries and encounter-level outcome metrics, including case-mix index (CMI).

Methods The AutoDx tool was developed utilizing tools existing within the electronic health record, and is based on the generation of messages when clinical conditions are met. These messages appear within provider notes and required little to no interaction. Initial diagnoses included in the tool were electrolyte deficiencies, obesity, and malnutrition. The tool was piloted in a cohort of Hospital Medicine providers, then expanded to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with addition diagnoses being added.

Results The initial Hospital Medicine implementation evaluation included 590 encounters pre- and 531 post-implementation. The volume of coding queries decreased 57% (p < 0.0001) for the targeted diagnoses compared with 6% (p = 0.77) in other high-volume diagnoses. In the NICU cohort, 829 encounters pre-implementation were compared with 680 post. The proportion of AutoDx coding queries compared with all other coding queries decreased from 54.9 to 37.1% (p < 0.0001). During the same period, CMI demonstrated a significant increase post-implementation (4.00 vs. 4.55, p = 0.02).

Conclusion The real-time documentation assistance tool led to a significant decrease in coding queries for targeted diagnoses in two unique provider cohorts. This improvement was also associated with a significant increase in CMI during the implementation time period.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

This project received a formal Determination of Quality Improvement status according to University of Chicago Medicine institutional policy. As such, this initiative was deemed not human subjects research and was therefore not reviewed by the Institutional Review Board.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Received: 27 February 2024

Accepted: 02 May 2024

Accepted Manuscript online:
03 May 2024

Article published online:
26 June 2024

© 2024. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany

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