PCC EHR can alert you about specific clinical concerns, based on a patient’s demographics, diagnoses, or other complex criteria combinations.
Watch a Video: Want to watch a video that will teach you how to use these features? CLICK HERE.
What is a Clinical Alert?
When you open or save a patient chart, or begin to schedule them in the Appointment Book, you may see clinical alerts that pertain to the patient:
Your office can create unlimited clinical alerts, based on a wide range of criteria.
- Alert when the family has a billing problem, or has another account status flag that may need attention before you proceed
- Alert when the patient has certain diagnoses, such as diabetes or asthma, so the provider will review the issue
- Alert when the patient is “Chronic” or has other special status flags
- Alert that a flu shot is recommended, for patients who match certain criteria
- Alert for medication concerns, based on the patient’s medication record and diagnoses
You can also configure clinical alerts to appear only for users with certain assigned roles. By creating custom roles and alerts based on roles, you could ensure that medical based alerts appeared only for clinicians, for example, or design a different set of alerts for different sets of users.
Open the Clinical Alerts Tool and Review Your Practice’s Alerts
Click on the Tools menu and select Clinical Alerts Editor to open the editor.
You can see the name of each alert and whether or not it is active.
Click “Add” to add a new alert from scratch. Select any alert and click “Delete” to remove it or “Edit” to make changes.
Why Not Active?: Your office may have seasonal flu reminder alerts or other alerts that you create and configure but later turn on or off, depending on the time of year or other concerns. Review the “Create or Edit a Clinical Alert” section below to learn about activating or deactivating an alert or determining when it should appear.
Permissions: Only specified users may access the Clinical Alerts tool. If you do not have access to the Clinical Alerts tool, contact your practice’s PCC EHR system administrator or PCC Support.
Create or Edit a Clinical Alert
Click “Add” to create a new alert from scratch. Or select an alert and click “Edit”.
In the Edit Alert window, you can edit basic settings, the text and source of the alert message, and the different criteria that cause the alert to appear.
Basic Alert Settings
When creating or editing an alert, enter the following items:
Alert Name and Alert Message: Enter or edit the alert’s name and the text that will appear when the alert is triggered.
Source of the Cinical Alert: Optionally, you can enter a source or other attribution for the alert message.
Present this Alert when: When does the alert appear? Choose whether or not to trigger the alert when the chart is opened, saved, and/or when the patient is found for scheduling. If none of these options is selected, the alert will be “Inactive”. You can create alerts and activate or deactivate them based on seasonal issues.
Present this Alert to: Who sees the alert? Use the pull down menu to select user roles for users who should see the alert, if the patient matches the criteria.
Time Range for Criteria: Set the general time frame for all the criteria that apply to the alert.
If you want an alert for a poor BMI, you would use the criteria for “Today”. If you are checking for a drug and diagnosis conflict, or creating an asthma alert, it may be relevant if the patient has ever had a diagnosis. You would select “From patient’s birth through today”. For other circumstances, you can specify a date range for when the criteria should be true to trigger the alert. For example, you may wish to have the alert appear for patients who had certain lab test results in the past six months.
The criteria section determines which patient charts will display the alert.
You can add criteria in a number of different categories.
Choose a category and then click “Add” or “Edit” to configure criteria. For example, if you wanted to include all patients with specific lab test results, you would add a Lab Test Results criteria.
As you enter the details for a new criteria, new blank lines will appear below for adding additional “OR” criteria in that section.
Here are some other tips and helpful details about specific Clinical Alerts criteria:
Where's the Lab Test I Need?: When you create a Clinical Alert based on a lab test, the pull-down menu will offer all the tests for which your practice has ever had a result. It would be impossible to show all possible LOINC tests, so the interface uses the tests that your practice uses.
Demographics and Vitals: When you add a demographics or vitals criteria, the screen will prompt you to first select a specific criterion (age, height, etc) and then click Add to create criteria.
Billing Issues and Other Statuses: Before you schedule a patient in the Appointment Book, you may want to know if the patient has outstanding billing issues. You can create an alert that is triggered based on an account status, such as “Billing Problem”.
Select Patients Under a Percentile: For Vitals criteria, you can add values based on percentiles, such as patients under a certain percentile for weight or height.
Chronic, and Other Patient Flags: Does your office use Partner patient flags to classify patients with certain needs? You can use the Patient Flags criteria (found in the Demographics section) to identify patients who have, or do not have, certain flags.
Deceased Status: Use the Deceased patient status criteria to exclude deceased patients from the results. You can find it in the Demographics criteria section.
By mixing and matching criteria, you can build a complex combination of rules that will provide the right alert for your users when they save and/or open the patient chart.