What is a Feasibility Assessment?

June 01, 2021

The Challenge
Malnutrition is a concern at hospitals everywhere. And its true impacts — both clinical and financial — are too often hidden by lack of data. While EMRs are highly effective for many clinical use cases, they aren’t often designed to support nutrition care partnerships between physicians and dietitians — including identifying and diagnosing malnutrition.

The Solution
Junum developed the MalnutritionCDS™ solution to help hospitals accurately diagnose malnutrition within their existing EHR workflows — and improve revenue capture accordingly. But before the technology is implemented, hospitals must fully understand the problem malnutrition presents — and the opportunities available for improvement.

“The true clinical and financial impacts of malnutrition can be difficult to quantify because many hospitals track malnutrition data manually, if they track it at all,” explains Molly Hegarty, Founder and CEO of Junum. “That’s where we come in — to help hospitals understand what’s possible with better malnutrition data, processes and technology, and then make it a reality.”

Junum approaches this exercise in a structured, efficient and data-driven way. It’s called a feasibility assessment. Here’s how it works, and why it’s important.

What is a Feasibility Assessment?
During this critical process, Junum works with hospital stakeholders to identify the greatest opportunities for improvement by comparing their current malnutrition workflows to evidence-based clinical guidelines and best practices. It typically lasts approximately six weeks.

How Does It Work?

Clinical Discovery

We start with in-depth interviews and workflow observations to understand current malnutrition care practices and identify opportunities for improvement — from admission to discharge. This may include data points such as:

  • Nutritional workflows
  • Clinician notes templates
  • System alerts
  • Query templates
  • Case mix index
  • ICD-10 reports (DRG, CC/MCC)
  • Billing denials
  • Clinician training protocols
  • Patient assessments
  • Food intake tracking
  • Various internal reports related to malnutrition
  • Nutritional case management

A steering committee is established with key stakeholders to provide well-rounded input and feedback. Roles may include:

  • Clinical Nutrition Manager
  • Physician Champions
  • SVP of Care Coordination
  • CDI/Coding Manager
  • AVP of Information Technology
  • VP/SVP Innovation

Identifying Opportunities for Impact

Clinical Discovery

Next, we analyze the learnings from the clinical discovery phase and identify areas where Junum can help the hospital make the greatest impact. While this is different for every hospital, our clients have worked with us to:

Capture Missed Reimbursements
Our clients have nearly doubled their malnutrition diagnosis rates — and seen multi-year revenue increases as a result.

Improve Malnutrition Coding to Reduce Payer Denials
When physicians and CDI team members can easily access RD notes, they can support better documentation, earlier intervention and more appropriate reimbursements.

Enable Earlier Assessment
By adding a validated screening tool like MST to nursing workflows, hospitals can significantly increase RD referrals for nutrition assessments.

Innovating a Path Forward: Digital Transformation and Software Implementation

Clinical Discovery

Now that we understand the clinical and financial opportunity of improving malnutrition care, we can do something about it. Using learnings from the feasibility assessment, Junum outlines a digital transformation plan for the hospital. This involves agreeing upon financial models and KPIs to track progress, and documenting deliverables and risks. Once approved, Junum will implement its MalnutritionCDS software to help the hospital make an impact on the metrics that matter.

A “Blind Spot” No More
“Our MalnutritionCDS solution helps hospitals better diagnose malnutrition and maximize the clinical and financial outcomes that come along with that. By doing a feasibility assessment first, we can hone in on the specific opportunities that will help each hospital or health system do that most effectively,” explains Hegarty. “There’s no need to rely on educated guesses or predictions — we can lay out their real-world opportunities in black and white. It’s a powerful way to bring the hidden impact of malnutrition to light.”

At Junum, we have successfully guided many hospitals through this process, and we’d love to do the same for yours. Contact us at sales@junum.io to get started.

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