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BMC has been able to simplify and optimize the referral process, enhance collaboration among com- munity providers, improve patient access to care and coordinate that care efficiently by utilizing a portal- based solution, which has significantly improved the referral work flow for clinicians and their staff. In addition, the ability to track patients through the


with the ability to monitor our referral throughput and best practices for referral management among our specialty clinics.


Portal to information control


Through the implementation of the Carefx eRe- ferral portal, BMC is able to offer more than 1,500 clinicians composite views of relevant patient information housed in varied systems to facilitate and standardize col- laboration, improve patient care quality, promote access to care and increase referral volume and revenues across the entire community. Among some of our key results:


How the eReferral portal works


referral lifecycle within BMC has enabled our orga- nization to continue to improve its service level to referring providers by reporting on our response rates to them, and it has ensured that we are optimizing access to care for our patients as the demand for our services calls for it. This, of course, also provides us


Tips for implementing an automated referral solution


• Invest in clinical automation, balancing the benefi ts of safer, more effi cient care delivery with IT’s priori- ties regarding privacy, security, performance and availability.


• Shift to process-centric thinking, reducing reliance on functional silos to improve quality and opera- tional performance.


• Focus on business intelligence, leveraging currently available data toward performance improvement and strategic decision-making.


• Integrate wireless devices and applications into clinical work fl ows.


• Strengthen physician productivity and retention through remote access, but offer stronger authen- tication to satisfy compliance requirements.


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• Of referrals submitted by community providers, we have seen an improvement in the percentage of referrals scheduled by our BMC clinics from 30 percent to around 80 percent. Our goal is, of course, scheduling 100 percent of refer- rals ordered. • We have decreased the num- ber of days it takes to schedule


an appointment from an average of 33 days to around five days.


• No-shows have been reduced from 25 percent to less than 23 percent.


• The total number of incoming referrals has in- creased by 10 percent (about 100 per day).


• When fully functional, it’s estimated the portal system will generate an additional $6.5 million for BMC over a three-year period. Without the ability of eReferral to interoperate with multiple information systems, BMC would not have been able to streamline work flows, improve patient experiences and see such tangible results in a very short period of time.


Electronic referral management has generated an impressive projected return on investment (ROI) for BMC. Using grant funding of $543,535 and in-kind personnel worth $90,905, BMC made an electronic referral investment totaling $769,520. However, financial benefits totaled $7,384,482 for a 553.09 percent ROI. The total includes $6,476,022 gener- ated through increased referral follow-through and $908,460 in reduced operating costs, as well as non- ROI benefits such as expedited operations, faster scheduling, enhanced quality and safety and improved participant satisfaction.


HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY August 2010 19


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