Crawford Technologies Riptide provides an important tool for getting healthcare related documents where they need to be faster and more cost effectively. In the highly regulated and complex healthcare environment, it is vital that healthcare-related and business-related documents flow smoothly and efficiently. CrawfordTech has worked to integrate its solutions with that of its business partners and the larger world of Electronic Patient Records (EPR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR).
Hospitals are in the business of providing healthcare within strict business and regulatory guidelines. One of the rules governing healthcare is that hospitals can’t bill until the patient charts are complete. This requires that information be moved where and when it is needed – promptly and accurately. Despite the emergence of electronic initiatives that strive to eliminate paper, flexible output management formats, including fax, are still required. Getting copies of procedures or other information to remote locations for reconciliation needs to be streamlined.
A doctor has hospital privileges but works primarily in a clinic with an incompatible EPR system. One day he visits his patient in the hospital. On the patient’s discharge, there is a discrepancy as to what the doctor did during that visit. Therefore the patient billing is on hold while the paperwork outlining the issue is faxed to the doctor’s clinic and the discrepancy can be resolved.
Today, with our mobile society and changing health plans, people frequently switch doctors or practices. Someone might go to see their new physician and, while in the doctor’s office, realizes that he or she needs to see a particular test result. Since the medical record release goes to the hospital that ran the test, the doctor and patient must wait for the information to be faxed to the new practice’s office.
A recently discharged patient is on the phone with customer service trying to reconcile the EOB they just received with their hospital bill. Having pulled records from three systems, the CSR has patiently walked the patient through the multiple pre-op and post-op visits. The patient now needs a copy of what the CSR is viewing on screen faxed to them in order to close the call.
From data capture to output management, hospitals have a lot to gain from the deployment of integrated, best-in-class ECM systems that complement the traditional electronic patient records management systems. Crawford Technologies has worked with one for the leading providers of healthcare technology to integrate output management into their IBM FileNet Content Manager platform.
A few years ago, Toronto’s largest hospital was facing problems with their electronic patient records (EPR) system. This progressive medical center, with 1.2 million patient visits each year, had established itself as the largest single-site hospital in Canada. Although they had deployed an EPR system, it didn’t address several issues. Inaccuracies and discrepancies in charts delayed billing, output management of chart and account content was still manual, and contention for information from the system caused delays in delivering services.
The hospital brought in a health information management (HIM) system to solve these problems. They selected a system based on the IBM FileNet Content Manager platform to deliver a complete web-based, digital healthcare records management system. The HIM collects, stores, and presents unstructured data integrated with structured EPR data. The primary application of the HIM system is the storage of ‘day forward’ scanned information. Historical charts are retained in the health data records (HDR) department.
Getting the HIM system content to locations outside the online reach of the EPR system was recognized as a critical requirement. To solve this problem, the hospital opted for the Crawford Technologies supplied Riptide fax output option.
Riptide is an integrated output management solution enhancing the IBM FileNet Content Manager platform. It collects, reformats as necessary, and outputs document assemblies. In this application, output is ported to a RightFax fax server.
Crawford Technologies Riptide was integrated with the HIM system and has generated proven results in improving the hospital’s billing cycles by shortening the time to code charts and the time to resolve discrepancies.
One of the key benefits that Riptide offers to hospitals is the ability to automate workflows. For example, when a patient information release form has been validated, Riptide automates the completion of the release process. The scope of the release, the destination, and all other control information flow as parameters passing from the HIM, via the Riptide API, to the fax server. The need for manual intervention, with its associated costs, is eliminated.
Another key benefit of the deployment utilizing the underlying IBM FileNet Content Manager platform is the ability to respond to patient account requests. When a patient calls in to a CSR to request account information, the CSR will use the power of the IBM FileNet Content Manager platform search tools pull up views of the data until the issue is clarified. At that point, the CSR uses Riptide to automate sending an aggregated fax, closing the call with cost saving timeliness.
The combined IBM and Crawford Technologies solutions gave the hospital the tools they needed to store, manage, consolidate and output unstructured and structured EPR data. With this platform, they were able to automate their processes, reducing error, thus saving time and money.