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In Der Unfallchirurg

BACKGROUND : Photographic documentation of wounds, decubitus ulcers, tumors, open fractures and infections is an important part of digital patient files. It is unclear whether the photographic documentation has an effect on medical accounting with health insurance companies.

OBJECTIVE : It was hypothesized that Smartphone-based systematic photographic documentation can improve the confirmation of proceeds-relevant diagnoses and procedures as well as the duration.

MATERIAL AND METHODS : Staff in the emergency room, operating theater, outpatient clinic and on the wards were equipped with digital devices (Smartphone, tablet) including a photo-app. Medical accounting with the health insurance companies and identification of all case conferences in which the photographic documentation had effected a change in proceeds were analyzed for 2019 in a retrospective manner.

RESULTS : Overall, 372 cases were discussed of which 27 cases were affected by the digital photographic documentation. Photographic documentation was used for clarification of the operative procedure (n = 5), primary diagnosis (n = 10), secondary diagnosis (n = 3), and length of hospitalization (n = 9). An average of 2119 € was negotiated and added per case affected by photographic documentation. Hereby, a level 1 trauma center gained an estimated 65,328 € in revenue.

DISCUSSION : The use of Smartphone based photographic documentation can improve the overall quality of patient files and thus avoid loss of revenue. The implementation of digital devices with corresponding software is an important component of the digital structural change in hospitals.

Jordan Martin C, Jovic Sebastian, Gilbert Fabian, Kunz Andreas, Ertl Maximilian, Strobl Ute, Jakubietz Rafael G, Jakubietz Michael G, Meffert Rainer H, Fuchs Konrad F


Artificial intelligence, Database, Digital transformation, Photo app, Surgery