Healthcare Identification Case Study Contribution by DYMO
Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions and automated billing systems enable medical providers to streamline the ‘paper trail’ of vital information that documents every aspect of their engagement with patients. A 2009 National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) survey found that 44 percent of physicians reported using EHR solutions, which is nearly triple the 2007 findings. This percentage is expected to rise as more medical providers take advantage of federal stimulus funding available for those that can prove meaningful use of EHR.
Making Digital and Paper Records Work Together
While streamlining the process is a key goal, reducing errors in medical records management is also critical to any medical practice, because record errors can lead to mistakes in patient treatment. Each year medical errors cost the U.S. over $37 billion, according to the Institute of Medicine. Also, billing errors are found on as many as 80 percent of patient bills, according to the Medical Billing Advocates of America. In spite of impressive advances in EHR technology, practice managers still face challenges in integrating digital records with new paper documents and records, which are not yet on an EHR system. Practice management software providers are continually looking for solutions to bridge that gap. athenahealth Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based practice management, electronic health record, and patient communication services, has hands-on experience with the challenge of integrating disparate medical documents. “Even medical offices with advanced digital records systems have to deal with paper documents – like a patient’s history, new prescriptions, lab results – which arrive each day,” explained Derek Dunn, Director of Process Innovation at athenahealth. “Our job is to ensure that they are added into the system efficiently, without errors or delay.”
Simplified Print Customization & Easy Installation Optimize Document Integration
Recently, athenahealth planned to further optimize digital processing for clients, including Atlanta-area Southern Orthopaedic Specialists (SOS), a full-service, six-location, 16-physician practice specializing in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. athenahealth Inc., and IntraHealth Group, which provides management services to a wide range of healthcare organizations, helped SOS implement EHR and digital record keeping in 2007. A key component of the implementation was to incorporate a label writing solution that would optimize the method of accurately integrating new documents into athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR platform.After examining a number of alternatives, athenahealth and IntraHealth selected the DYMO LabelWriter printer, due to its ease of integration into athenahealth’s platform, its simple installation at the client site and its low cost to operate and maintain.“We needed a solution that was optimized for web-based applications and the DYMO LabelWriter Framework had a multi-browser, cross-platform API that was easy to work with, and a robust script library that allowed us considerable flexibility in creating custom label outputs”, said Dunn, of athenahealth. “The LabelWriter was easier to install, use and maintain than other more expensive solutions,” said Howard Hirth, Consultant, IntraHealth. “The streamlined solution benefits everyone involved, including the patient.”
Fast, Easy Deployment; Immediate Results
SOS has implemented the plug-and-play deployment of 35 DYMO LabelWriters throughout each of their office locations in areas like patient check-in, scheduling, records management and physical therapy. The medical group is leveraging the scalability of DYMO LabelWriters, using them to improve recordkeeping workflow and accuracy. For example: A new patient with personal and insurance information already stored in the SOS database brings in new information that must be integrated into the health record. Within minutes, a medical clerk can verify the accuracy of the new information, use the DYMO LabelWriter to print out an adhesive, 2-D barcode that captures all relevant information and then scan the forms into the EHR database – thus ensuring that those documents are accurately added into the patient’s electronic file.“We processed more than a million barcoded DYMO labels in the last quarter of 2010 alone, accounting for about 18 percent of our document volume during that period,” said Martin Hettenkofer, Practice Administrator of SOS. “Now all components of a patient’s file bear the same barcode and are easily and correctly filed away, so we don’t have to worry about errors, and don’t have people searching for a new document that hasn’t been filed.” As a result, DYMO LabelWriters truly make the work flow smoother. And that means less time spent finding or correcting problems, and more time spent helping patients.
Visit www.dymo.com for more information about DYMO LabelWriter label printers.
Visit Southern Orthopaedic Specialists, www.sos-atlanta.com;
athenahealth Inc., www.athenahealth.com; and
IntraHealth, www.intrahealthgroup.com online for more information