Goshen Health Goes Paperless with RapidFiler
Streamline the Filing of Requisitions and Authorizations from NextGen into MEDITECH’s Echart
Managing inbound requisitions and authorizations can be a challenge for many hospitals that struggle with missing orders, frustrated physicians, too much paper and inconsistent filing. Goshen Health, a 122-bed facility in Northern Indiana, was all too familiar with this scenario. Its leadership team recognized that a paper-based workflow for diagnostic requisitions and authorizations was riddled with issues. Goshen’s system for managing these inbound documents sent from the NextGen EMR involved third-party vendors that lacked collaboration and consistency. Orders were not reliably received by the hospital, and staff had no easy way to manage, search or file them into the MEDITECH Echart. These reasons, along with the high cost associated with wasted paper and third-party involvement, led Goshen to seek an alternate solution. After performing a market evaluation, Goshen selected Forward Advantage’s RapidFiler to streamline the filing of inbound documents into MEDITECH’s Echart. With RapidFiler in place, Goshen is well on its way to achieving a completely paperless workflow for requisitions and authorizations.
Eliminating an Inconsistent and Costly Process
Prior to RapidFiler, it took eight steps for Goshen to receive and file diagnostic requisitions and authorizations. Multiple vendors were needed to convert inbound documents to PDF, place them on a server, monitor the remote server for inbound images to transfer to a local server, and create an image to be displayed on a user dashboard. The documents would then be indexed by the Patient Access department and opened by schedulers and other end users.
Lastly, they would be printed and scanned into MEDITECH. “The ability to quickly locate orders was reliant on how error-free the indexing was and the fact that we had so many people indexing,” says Sue Plank, Director, Patient Access at Goshen Health and implementation lead for the project. “The process wasn’t consistent, and this made searches very difficult. If we couldn’t locate an order when someone called to schedule an appointment, we’d be forced to ask the physician’s office to resend it. One of the vendors we used to manage orders charged per fax, so if we received something multiple times, we paid multiple times. We’re estimating that we’ll save almost $10,000 a year by avoiding this with RapidFiler.”
Achieving Consistency and Reliability with RapidFiler
RapidFiler can file documents from multiple sources and systems; however, there must be a process for dropping a file onto the hospital’s server. Goshen uses MEDITECH Client/Server in the hospital, and its physician practices use NextGen. In this case, Goshen’s physicians have two options for sending documents to the hospital. They can either export files directly from their NextGen EMR or fax the documents to the hospital. Both options place the documents on the hospital’s server, after which, the files are managed by RapidFiler. “We have only two or three persons monitoring the RapidFiler inbox for new files,” continues Plank. “If an appointment has already been scheduled, then the order is simply sent to MEDITECH. If it hasn’t yet been scheduled, then the order is renamed and sent to a different folder where the scheduler can retrieve it and send it to MEDITECH. There is no printing and scanning involved.
It’s very time efficient with few steps, and this gives us the consistency and reliability we needed.”
Improving Management of Standing Orders
Standing orders are for patients who regularly visit the hospital for routine testing. In the past, Goshen Colleagues managed file folders containing these paper orders which had to be updated per visit. Prior to RapidFiler, standing orders would be copied, annotated on by hand, and then scanned into MEDITECH. With RapidFiler, these orders are available electronically and can be annotated electronically as well. Furthermore, an electronic workflow with RapidFiler makes it much easier to determine which standing orders have expired. In fact, Plank and her team discovered 140 expired orders in their paperbased filing system. “We’re saving paper and time,” says Plank. “We have multiple registration offices, so staff would have to leave the patient to retrieve the standing order and then go back to their desk to finish the processing. They can now process a standing order with just the click of a mouse.”
Why Forward Advantage and RapidFiler?
Goshen Health has been a Forward Advantage customer since 2003 and has had great success with solutions for single sign-on and automated, clinical report distribution. This positive experience, along with a history of reliable and efficient support, made the hospital more inclined to work with Forward Advantage on its latest need. “They always respond quickly to us and were open to hearing our personal suggestions for making the product better,” concludes Plank. “RapidFiler is essentially a simple interface to MEDITECH; however, this simplicity is deceiving. We have been amazed by its power. We send files directly to MEDITECH, and they show up in the Echart and in the EMR where they need to be. It’s simple enough that it’s easy to replicate every time, which is exactly what we were looking for.”
“We developed RapidFiler as a service to MEDITECH and our customers,” says Kevin Frazier, manager of client services at Forward Advantage. “There was a clear need to streamline the delivery of external documents into MEDITECH’s Echart. RapidFiler is a cost-effective solution for meeting this need and, as Goshen has shown, it provides hospitals with numerous benefits.”
About Goshen Health
Goshen Health is a community-owned, nonprofit healthcare organization committed to improving the health of its communities. To live out the organization’s mission, Colleagues practice compassion, accountability, respect and excellence in every endeavor. The health system includes 30 locations across four counties with specialized cancer care; heart and vascular care; and a physician’s network with primary and specialty care.