Patient Tracking Spreadsheet
Using a population-based approach to health care helps ensure that no patient falls through the cracks. Employing a technology tool that tracks clinical outcomes for populations of patients and supports systematic changes in treatment for patients who are not improving as expected is an essential piece of all successful collaborative care implementations.
There are several options for effectively tracking patients in integrated care: 1) a spreadsheet used alongside the EHR, 2) a caseload management application used alongside the EHR, and 3) a customized build in an EHR. Of these, the AIMS Center offers a spreadsheet registry solution as well as two caseload management applications: The AIMS Caseload Tracker and the Care Management Tracking System (CMTS).
If using a spreadsheet as a registry tool, it is imperative that it be used alongside an EHR so that the primary care team all share access to the most up-to-date information about patients enrolled in collaborative care programs. It is necessary for all members of the care team, including the psychiatric consultant, to have access to the EHR.
HIPAA Compliance and Spreadsheet Registries
If using a spreadsheet registry, be sure that your organization puts in place the same safeguards and HIPAA protections for spreadsheets as for anywhere else you store PHI. We recommend you consult with compliance staff to ensure a secure plan is put into place.
The AIMS Center offers a free patient tracking spreadsheet for providers that takes minimal upfront investment and can support collaborative care functions such as patient and caseload progress tracking. Many clinics and organizations choose to use a spreadsheet alongside their EHR to track patients and patient populations as an interim solution while they consider IT options for registry functions. A number of organizations have used patient tracking spreadsheets in conjunction with their EHR to launch and maintain successful, multiple-clinic, collaborative care programs.
There are two versions of the Patient Tracking Spreadsheet that you can download:
- Version 1 of the tool allows you to carry out the core registry functions necessary to track patients.
- Version 2 of the tool allows you to carry out the core registry functions in Version 1 but also contains two additional worksheets called “Statistics” and “Billable Minutes.” The Statistics worksheet displays some metrics describing both your active and inactive (or discharged) caseloads. The Billable Minutes worksheet allows you to track time spent on billable behavioral health care management services for each patient. If you want to use one of the additional worksheets in Version 2 but not the other, either one can be easily removed.
If you have previously downloaded the spreadsheet and would like to track billable minutes without transferring your current data to a new version of the spreadsheet, you can use the supplementary billable minutes tool.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND MODIFICATIONS
The AIMS Center's Patient Tracking Spreadsheet is a free resource. As such, the AIMS Center only has capacity to provide very basic technical assistance on the spreadsheet in its original form. We are available to answer questions about general functionality in the original document, and we can provide clarification on instructional resources. We cannot, however, troubleshoot individualized technical issues that arise as a result of making structural modifications* to the spreadsheet, or that are otherwise no longer associated with the original format. Your organization will need approach your designated Spreadsheet Specialist to address these types of issues if they arise.
There are two options for getting in touch with the AIMS Center for technical support:
- Attend our virtual office hours
If your question is more easily relayed over video conference, the AIMS Center holds virtual office hours for general Patient Tracking Spreadsheet assistance on the third Thursday of every month at 10:30am - 12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. If you plan to share your screen, ensure you REMOVE ALL PATIENT DATA from your spreadsheet, including from the Caseload Overview, prior to calling in. Please note that these office hours are not for individualized modification assistance; modifications are still the sole responsibility of the organization if they choose to make them, as described below. The office hours are for answering questions about general functionality and providing clarification on instructional resources. Join the office hours using this link: https://uw-phi.zoom.us/j/436795459.
- Use the Technical Assistance & Feedback Form
If you have a general functionality question or technical issue, use this form to receive some immediate technical assistance with common solutions. If your question is not answered by the proposed solutions, or you need clarification on something else, submit your question using the same form and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
We continue to refine our resources and instructions to make this free tool as self-sustaining as possible. Therefore, we appreciate any feedback you have about your experience using this tool in an integrated care setting, things that could be made clearer or easier, and components that you particularly like or dislike. Please feel free to submit your feedback using the Technical Assistance & Feedback Form linked above.
* Structural modifications include but are not limited to: modifying the number of columns, adding contact rows, creating new patient blocks, revising conditional formatting, and adding new scales/measurements. Regular data entry into white cells on the Patient Tracking worksheet is not considered a structural change.
Designating a Spreadsheet Specialist & Making Modifications
It is crucial that the organization designate a staff member with strong Microsoft Excel® skills to be their Spreadsheet Specialist. This person must be able to support day-to-day spreadsheet matters and make ad hoc customizations if needed, such as adding contact rows or patient blocks if a care manager runs out of space. The Spreadsheet Specialist should ideally have familiarity with IF and INDEX/MATCH functions, as these are prevalent in the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains a number of intricately linked formulas, and when worksheets are unprotected, these links are easily broken. The AIMS Center therefore discourages pursuing any modifications to the spreadsheet without a designated Spreadsheet Specialist to help with this.
The Spreadsheet Specialist can request a copy of the Spreadsheet Specialist Instructions to help your collaborative care team make necessary structural modifications to the spreadsheet. Please note that making modifications to this free resource is the sole responsibility of the organization. As described above, the AIMS Center is not able to provide technical assistance on issues that arise as a result of making structural modifications to the spreadsheet.
GETTING STARTED AND REQUESTING A BLANK SPREADSHEET
See the Resources page for all training and informational resources related to this tool. The AIMS Center recommends exploring the Patient Tracking Spreadsheet in this order:
- Download the Patient Tracking Spreadsheet with Example Data. Use this to practice entering fake patients into the registry and orient yourself to basic functionality. This example spreadsheet only contains a few patient blocks and should not be used for entering actual patient data.
- Download and review the Quick Start Guide for an overview of the spreadsheet's key functions.
- Download the Instructions for Care Managers to use alongside the Practice Patient Scenario to practice entering patient data into the spreadsheet. Do not skip this! This scenario walks you step-by-step through all of the spreadsheet functionality.
- Request a blank copy of the Patient Tracking Spreadsheet by filling out the Blank Patient Tracking Spreadsheet Download Request Form.
Refer to our Tips and Best Practices for further guidance on how to most effectively use the spreadsheet.
Page Last Updated: June 12, 2018