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Work-fl ow Management

Change unmanageable work-fl ow procedures

System provides physician practice with streamlined work fl ow, easy user interface, fi ling templates, reduced costs, and organization and multitasking of documents.

C

hoiceCare Physicians, an eight-doctor private- practice physicians’ group specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, was us- ing a dated electronic medical record (EMR) program and found that it was not meeting expecta- tions. The offi ce had a fi ling room full of charts that nurses or other staff would spend hours in, looking for charts for their next-day appointments. Sometimes, they could not fi nd a chart. Since diagnostic reports are in constant demand, staffers could not afford to have a chart go missing or spend hours tracking their progress through the current system. Also, if a patient called wanting results, fi nding their report took a long time. With their work-fl ow problems getting worse every week, staff decided to look for a different type of electronic health record that would not be so time consuming. Staffers also did not like charts leaving the offi ce, so looking for a way to keep all of their fi les in- house would prove most benefi cial. After putting a lot of time and effort into their previous system that could not lasso work-fl ow prob-

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lems or integrate with accounting programs and other necessary business processes, ChoiceCare found a new document-management system. ChoiceCare was using an EMR, but was getting frus- trated since the system forced them to adapt to its busi- ness procedures rather than working to better suit the offi ce’s needs. “With our new document-management system from Cabinet NG (CNG-SAFE), we’re now able to have the patient charts and explanation of ben- efi ts in one place, and we can use it for other practice functions as well – something that I couldn’t do with an EMR,” says Tara Stawiarski, practice administrator. “I have all of my employee fi les and vendor fi les in a separate cabinet. The EMR didn’t have the ability to create cabinets for such things as administrative fi lings or employee fi les.”

ChoiceCare is still maintaining the EMR system with one of its doctors and CNG created a new program

18 April 2010

that would allow staff to import those documents into CNG-SAFE. The practice, which started out with fewer than 10 users, now has 30 users on the current document-management system, which offers more functions. Features of the CNG-SAFE system include: • organization of documents that categorizes the fi ling system to make it mimic the paper world;

• multitasking of documents so that multiple staff members can access them at the same time;

• streamlined work fl ow; and • fi ling templates for reducing fi ling errors and increas- ing productivity.

“When someone calls, it’s logged in the system. If the ball gets dropped, you know who’s accountable,” says Stawiarski. “Effi ciency means the setup is designed to make the fl ow of the work seamless. With everything

Document management also helps reduce the risk of a possible malpractice suit.

If a provider fi nds itself involved in a lawsuit, it will need precise notes and all of the necessary fi les for its case.

streamlined through work fl ow, there are no lost mes- sages and everything can be tracked by the user. New patient information is immediately sent to a nurse or the front desk, where the (insurance) information is taken from the patient and then sent directly to the billing department.

“Insurance companies require so much documenta- tion, whether you are getting a major medical procedure or ordering a wheelchair,” Stawiarski adds. “Having a paperless offi ce helps reduce the chance of losing a document or having that document be misfi led into another patient’s chart. If you can’t fi nd the chart in a paper-based system, chances are you’ll end up going through each patient chart to fi nd it.”

HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

www.healthmgttech.com
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