During the crux of the pandemic, hospital systems globally were under a grave amount of pressure. Overworked staff, lack of resources and an overwhelming number of patients, coupled with the fear of the unknown, caused hospitals to be stretched way too thin.
But the crisis has also spurred innovation. The need to make the best possible use of staff time has accelerated the digital transformation plans already underway, says Attar Naderi, UK business manager, Laserfiche.
An example of this is Nature Coast Women’s Care & Family Medicine which modernised the patient experience using technology and shortened patient wait times by 75% using Laserfiche Cloud.
A faster, modern patient experience
Located in Tallahassee, Florida, Nature Coast Women’s Care & Family Medicine prides itself on combining technology innovation with a proactive approach to patient care. The practice’s strategic planning led to the implementation of Laserfiche Cloud as a means to reimagine the patient intake process.
Prior to using Laserfiche, patients would manually fill out their new patient form and bring various documents including their license and insurance card to their appointment. Each patient would need to fill out mundane and time-consuming paperwork which would take 15 minutes, sometimes longer, to complete.
Once the front desk staff received the paperwork, they would check to make sure everything was complete and accurate before scanning the packet into the patient chart in the electronic medical record system. This manual process wasted valuable time that could be spent treating patients instead.
While the legacy process was similar to many other clinics’ patient intake process, the Nature Coast team saw opportunities for improvement. By digitising the intake form, the clinic could reduce errors that may occur when patients fill the form out with a pen and paper, and ensure all necessary information is captured without having to return the form to the patient.
Going further, the clinic could replace the in-person, manual process altogether using Laserfiche. Patients could have the option to submit the form online which would reduce wait times for all patients and streamline work for the practice. With just one button, the patient information is put into an electronic health records system which automatically sets up the initial appointment. This seamless process can alleviate the strain on staff that are already under pressure while ensuring patients are treated quicker, a win-win situation.
The cloud advantage
For the team at Nature Coast, selecting a cloud-based content management system aligned well with the practice’s approach to technology. With a remote and distributed workforce, it’s crucial that staff have access to files and electronic medical records no matter where they are.
Data security, regulatory compliance and privacy laws play a large role in the decision-making process for healthcare organisations. The nature of these confidential documents meant that security was a top priority when choosing the technology solution to protect patient information.
Laserfiche offers the ability to set who has access to different folders on a granular level. This visibility coupled with the fact that Laserfiche records management is DoD-certified ensures both patients and staff feel secure about the information they are putting in the system.
A prescription for digital transformation
Since implementation, Nature Coast has received positive feedback from patients and staff about the new digital intake process. Patients are no longer sitting in the waiting room filling out paperwork and there is no longer an issue of forgotten driver’s licenses or insurance cards as all the information will have been sent. It is no wonder that waiting times for new patients has been reduced by 75%.
Nature Coast Women’s Care & Family Medicine continues to build on the success of the new patient intake process. Human resources and financial services are the next departments that will digitise records and processes, with plans to put the clinic’s job application online using Laserfiche Forms.
As Nature Coast automates more of the clinic’s repetitive tasks, there are also plans to take advantage of Laserfiche’s process analytics to help grow the practice. The data and analytics will prove to be useful tools to increase the clinic’s new patient volume and the efficient process will help retain them over a long time.
The author is Attar Naderi, UK business manager, Laserfiche.
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