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Manhattan Surgical Hospital sees a drastic difference by moving to MEDITECH integrated faxing and inbound document solutions

Mar 14, 2024

Printing and scanning faxes into the patient chart is a challenge for many healthcare organizations including Manhattan Surgical Hospital. When hospitals and clinics have non-integrated solutions or outdated technology it can add additional work and stress to already complex workflows. Providers and patients depend on reliable and real-time report and fax delivery for efficient clinical workflows, optimal care delivery, and a positive reputation. Faxing is still an essential part of creating an optimal patient care experience as it’s fast, inexpensive, secure, and a universally accepted method of communication. However, more advanced solutions like electronic faxing, don’t require a traditional fax machine and combined with EHR integration can help create more efficient workflows and save costs.

Manhattan Surgical Hospital (MSH) in Manhattan, Kansas utilizes MEDITCH Expanse MaaS at their 13-bed facility. Joe DeSimone, CIO at MSH, manages MEDITECH supported applications such as Forward Advantage’s applications Communication Director and RapidFiler, which have created streamlined and reliable faxing and document workflows for the MSH staff. Read what Joe has to say about creating efficient workflows with Communication Director and RapidFiler for MEDITECH Expanse as well as the implementation process with Forward Advantage.

Manhattan Surgical Hospital insights

with Joe DeSimone, CIO at Manhattan Surgical Hospital

Q: What is the key use case(s) for Communication Director at MSH? 

We are a MEDITECH Expanse MaaS (cloud) customer and require a robust, enterprise-level faxing solution to integrate with our EMR. Forward Advantage's Communication Director has been the market leader in this realm for MEDITECH customers going as far back as I can remember.

Q: What were the key challenges/pain points or undesirable workflows you were experiencing prior to implementing the solutions from Forward Advantage? 

Before MEDITECH and Forward Advantage, we were utilizing a hybrid faxing "solution" comprised of clinical faxes going to a web-based cloud faxing service and administrative or patient billing faxes going to a hardcopy fax machine and printing to paper. In either case, the inconvenience of the systems not being integrated with our former Electronic Medical Record (EMR)created burdens that required personnel FTEs to accomplish basic clerical processing of these documents. Outbound faxing workflows were manual. We printed documents from our EMR and manually faxed them to required recipients.

Q: Describe the environment/workflow as it operates after you implemented the solution from Forward Advantage. Include departments, workflows and other technologies that are affected by or are using the solution. 

Communication Director is fully integrated with MEDITECH. Outbound workflows are automated. We set the schedule and document types to be faxed and the system monitors for triggers to kick off the process. Inbound faxing will go into another Forward Advantage product called RapidFiler, which allows us to access MEDITECH's patient database & document type tables to index our inbound faxed documents directly to patient charts. 90% of the burdensome steps and workarounds in our previous workflow have been eliminated with the combination of these two products.

Q: How has this solution brought value to your organization? 

The elimination of outbound paper faxes has undoubtedly brought the most value to our staff. This also comes with soft cost reductions in things such as paper usage, toner, and machine wear & tear.

Q: Do you have any ROI figures or projections that you can share (e.g., time saved, cost savings, increased reliability, etc.)? 

Post implementation, we will have eliminated several thousand dollars per month worth of ShareFile licensing costs (electronic file sharing for other documents) and costs associated with our former web-based faxing service. We've been able to redirect FTEs to other tasks by establishing the new workflows I described earlier. Other customers may find they can repurpose FTEs, too.

Q: Can you give a brief description of the implementation and/or service provided? Include, if possible, the level of effort/resources on your end and approximately how long it took.

Our implementation took approximately 3 months. That said, we were also implementing MEDITECH at the exact same time. If you have an established instance of MEDITECH, I firmly believe you can complete implementation, testing, and go live within a 2-month period (resources dependent). My organization didn't have a fully dedicated resource for this project, and we were still able to achieve implementation within the timeframe.

Q: Please provide feedback on your experience with the Forward Advantage Support and Implementation team.  

Forward Advantage has a long-standing reputation for outstanding customer/tech support. I have worked with Forward Advantage as an IT Director at a previous career stop and my experience was the same as it is now. Their staff are highly competent and know the products thoroughly. Their implementation project plans are on point, too. I was very impressed during our implementations, and due to my past experiences, it was also what I expected from them.

Q: Do you have any advice for other hospitals looking to achieve similar goals? 

Seek a solution which offers the most thorough integration with your EMR. The fewer moving parts there are and the lowest amount of required personnel intervention, the better off you'll be. Secondly, consider staff job satisfaction when making your decision rather than basing it 100% on an ROI calculation. For us, while the clerical efficiencies gained are palpable and reflected in staff members' job satisfaction, the ROI was difficult to discern due to prior poorly designed processes. We still moved forward and are glad that we did.

The Takeaway

As a new Communication Director and RapidFiler customer, Manhattan Surgical Hospital has already begun to see the impact that integrated faxing and inbound document filing has had on their organization. Even within the six-month window that they have been implementing and using solutions from Forward Advantage they have achieved more efficient workflows, redeployed FTE to other tasks and reduced spending.

Interested in learning more about Communication Director?

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