Automation that Takes a Busy Clinic’s Providers Out of the PaperworkThursday, August 8, 2019
A busy medical clinic is always working to strike a balance between patient care and the demands of record keeping and running a business. And healthcare is a complicated business, generating piles of records subject to strict regulations under HIPAA and other provisions.
An efficient business staff allows healthcare providers to spend more of their time focused on patient care and less time buried in paperwork. But not everything can be delegated. Providers have to sign off on a lot of documents. That’s why the staff at one Central Florida outpatient clinic went looking for a more efficient way to handle the flood of treatment orders and other documents going between its medical staff and nearly two dozen home health care agencies.
Managing a Tedious Process of Medical Sign-Offs
With 300 providers working in the clinic, signing home healthcare orders and other documents was becoming a non-stop process, a hybrid of tedious digital data entry and old-fashioned paper and ink. The agencies wanted providers to log into their systems to enter information and sign off on treatment plans – a practice that would require the clinic’s providers to have to navigate up to 20 separate log-ins. Meanwhile, documents continued to arrive by fax that had to be reviewed, signed, returned and recorded in patient charts.
According to the clinic’s information and data entry supervisor, the papers were piling up on desks. The clinic turned to Image One, which had already created a system that allowed clinic staff to scan documents directly into its billing system.
The Rx: ICX Document Capture and Workflow
Image One created a secure electronic signature process that cured the clog. Providers can now review and digitally sign-off on documents that go straight from fax to a digital workflow that they can access from anywhere on a single, HIPAA-compliant platform. The ICX system captures the documents, populates the required information into the correct repository, routes them to the right physician and sends an alert that there are records to be signed. With a click, the provider can sign or reject the document, saving it, or sending it back for further review.
“Now, it’s easier,” said the supervisor. “They click on a link and it opens up and they can view it right there.”
Here’s an overview of the workflow:
- Incoming documents are received into ICX software
- Documents requiring signature are tagged with the provider they belong to
- ICX then sends notifications to providers’ inboxes within the Epic system to alert them that there are documents to be signed
- Provider clicks the notification link to review and sign (or reject) each document
- Signed PDF documents are saved in Epic’s document repository
- Rejected documents are sent back to ICX for management review
As an example, when a patient’s test results are returned from a lab, they are brought into the system as PDF files. Whether the results arrive by email, fax, or paper, all documents are digitized into PDF files within the ICX software.
Data entry personnel add metadata to identify the provider who ordered the test. Next, ICX sends notifications into the Epic system using standard HL7 messaging, which are then routed to the providers’ inboxes to alert them that there are orders to sign.
Each inbox alert contains an HTML link which opens the document in a browser window, and allows them to securely sign (or reject) the document. Once completed, the signed PDF files are sent into Epic, again using HL7 messaging, to be stored in the document repository. Now, providers can efficiently sign all of their documents without ever touching the paper chart.
ICX has saved the clinic, time, money, and a lot of paper. “Now they can do it all right there on the screen. They don’t have to go back and forth from paper to chart,” the supervisor said.
Document Management that Pays You Back
An added bonus has been the system’s ability to route documents directly into the billing system. Previously, unless someone remembered to make a copy for the billing department, documents often “went right out the door” bypassing billing, the supervisor said. “It has increased revenue,” the supervisor said. “It is a lot easier to keep track of everything and everything is submitted to billing.”
If you’ve got a paperwork problem that’s costing you time and money, give us a call or click on the link below and we’ll help you find the right solution. At Image One, we have deep expertise in finding and implementing secure and cost-effective solutions for the document management challenges of health care providers, schools, government offices and businesses.