Documents are heart of the healthcare industry – providers rely on them to provide critical, up-to-date and real-time information on a patient’s health and care. It makes sense, then, that documents are the central figure in the radical transformation the industry is in the middle of. It’s critical that an organization have a system in place to manage documents with pinpoint precision and efficiency, yet document inefficiency continues to be an enormous cost driver and cause of errors.
Providers have a lot on their plates – develop a system that works best for their organizations, physicians and patients, and that also meets meaningful use guidelines and deadlines. It’s not a one size fits all. Overhauling the patient record system can be a long journey, and requires the careful selection of appropriate systems, proper implementation, and the understanding and cooperation of staff members. It can be daunting in that organizations understand just how important it is to get it right.
Botsford Hospital is an example of an organization that understands how much is on the line in implementing an electronic medical record (EMR) system. The 330-bed hospital located in Farmington Hills, Mich., is less than a year away from a fully operational EMR, and put a lot of thought and effort into the decision-making process, including these steps:
- Evaluated existing processes to make them more efficient and effective before moving to an EMR.
- Established an Office of Clinical Process Improvement along with a steering committee to guide the process and develop objectives for a new EMR system.
- Engaged ACS, A Xerox Company, a long-time IT services partner, to assist in the selection of an EMR solution.
- Involved employees in the decision-making process by asking for routine input from the nurses, physicians and IT staff.
Botsford chose the McKesson Paragon solution, an all-inclusive and fully-integrated hospital information system, and is currently entering the final phases of implementation, which includes integrated testing and end-user training. The hospital is on track to meet its financial and productivity goals with this endeavor.
Ultimately, organizations should look for a document management process that frees up resources for providers to focus on what matters most: providing exceptional care to their patients. Some organizations are taking the relationship with their document management partners one step further to hosted information technology services to support EHRs – shifting one more non-core competency to third party experts. By relying on the industry and IT expertise of their partner to help adapt to new regulations and new services, providers can keep their focus on patient care.
ACS, A Xerox Company, and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. recently signed an agreement to work together to provide hosted IT services for healthcare providers using Allscripts’ Sunrise Enterprise suite to support EHRs. ACS will support clinical and EHR technology applications for the 96 providers using remote hosting services as part of their contract with Allscripts.
The healthcare industry faces tremendous pressure to provide superior services, manage data and comply with industry regulations on limited budgets. There is a lot at stake – the success and efficiency of a system that the organization’s care providers will rely on to make decisions about a patient’s treatment. Working with a trusted partner and a carefully selected and implemented document management system will give providers the power to obtain information through documents when they need it.
Chad Harris is senior vice president and group president of Healthcare Provider Applications for ACS, A Xerox Company.