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25/04/12 North Coast Health Ministries — workflow.com — Readability workflow.com ORIGINAL PAGE North Coast Health Ministries View Our Primary Care Page The Company North Coast Health Ministry (NCHM) is a faithbased free clinic providing healthcare to eligible individuals in northeast Ohio and is the first free clinic in Ohio with an electronic health record (EHR) solution in place. NCHM annually serves 2,400 uninsured patients, providing primary healthcare, specialty referrals, prescription assistance and health education to lowincome families. “With electronic health records, we can see 100 more patients per month, an increase of 33 percent. We were scheduling twomonths out, inhibiting our ability to help patients who needed care more quickly and had nowhere else to go. Now, with a wait time of about a week, we can provide better patient care by seeing them sooner.” Lee Elmore, Executive Director The Business Critical Issue In 2001, NCHM received a capital grant to purchase and renovate a new building for the practice. However, NCHM was still burdened with the storage and use of 10,000 paper charts accumulated since it opened in 1988. Staff was spending up to eight hours per day retrieving paper files making daily organization of the walkin clinic difficult. As a nonprofit free clinic that relies on 60 percent of its funding from grants and depends on the generosity of many programs and hospitals to help its patients, NCHM has unique challenges as well as the traditional ones faced by healthcare organizations. NCHM needed to: Convert paper charts to electronic Reduce time staff spent on looking for charts and retrieving paper files Implement an EHR to eliminate the creation of paper charts and improve efficiency of patient visits Provide various concrete data to qualify for funding Improve scheduling and appointment wait times Maintain and improve HIPAA compliance Improve hospitals’ audits “Using paper charts in our clinic was particularly challenging, since the information on the charts had to be in several places at the same time. Given our configuration in the clinic, that was difficult. Now, we are able to share data among all the people involved in a patient’s care. Ultimately, all of medicine is going this way.” Philip E. Tomsik, M.D., Medical Director The Solution After thorough research, NCHM selected Hyland Software’s OnBase enterprise content management (ECM) software, which combines integrated document management, business process management, and records management in a single application. Hyland Software donated an OnBase solution to the clinic, allowing NCHM to eliminate the paper charts. NCHM began the backscanning of inactive charts and then moved to active charts, making all charts available electronically. Today, NCHM also scans in financial documentation that verifies patients are uninsured and meetwww.readability.com/articles/dntbjbtq 1/3
25/04/12 North Coast Health Ministries — workflow.com — Readability financial income requirements. This was the first step in having a truly paperless office. With the charts in OnBase, NCHM began thinking about implementing an EHR to further the solution. After a demonstration of Workflow.com’s workflowEHR system, NCHM soon implemented the solution and became the first free clinic in Ohio to have an EHR in place. The Results By implementing workflowEHR, NCHM saw positive results in the following areas: Chart Retrieval NCHM estimates staff spent up to eight hours per day looking for charts and retrieving paper files before implementing workflowEHR. Now, they are available in realtime and staff has instant access to the information electronically. Scheduling Each morning, NCHM provides a walkin clinic that does not require an appointment. The process of scheduling the walkin clinic used to take about 30 minutes because staff had to retrieve charts and patient information in order to schedule the patients properly. With the charts available electronically, scheduling the walkin clinic now takes only 10 minutes. Patient Financial Information Because it is a nonprofit clinic, NCHM must provide various concrete data in order to maintain and increase its funding. Instead of collecting the data manually, NCHM can now get the information it needs electronically, facilitating the collection of data much more quickly and accurately. When financial information for patient assistance funding is needed, staff previously had to find the paper file and copy it. Now, they can simply print the electronic file and send it off with ease. Hospital Audits Three nearby hospitals give NCHM’s patients more than $4.3 million in care so they can continue their care after they leave the clinic. Before the workflowEHR solution was implemented, a hospital’s audit took two to three full days. Now, the clinic can allow the hospitals limited access to only authorized documents and the hospitals can do their own auditing. Audits are accomplished in only about two hours, and the clinic can more quickly return to its focus on patient care. The Pharmacy NCHM also acts as a pharmacy for its patients who cannot afford the medicines they need. Handling thousands of prescriptions, workflowEHR processes them electronically for the clinic through workflowERx, an addon ePrescribing solution. When prescriptions (often donated by nursing homes) come in, staff members enter the information into workflowEHR. They then use the system to track the prescriptions and provide them to patients more quickly and accurately. Patient Photos NCHM also stores patient photographs in workflowEHR in order to verify patient identity. When a patient is encountered for the first time, NCHM takes a photo of the patient instead of copying licenses as staff once did. The photos are displayed in the electronic patient chart so patients can be quickly identified each time they come in, ensuring they receive the proper care and prescriptions.www.readability.com/articles/dntbjbtq 2/3
25/04/12 North Coast Health Ministries — workflow.com — Readability Summary of Results: All charts are now available electronically NCHM sees 33 percent more patients per month Time spent on chart retrieval was reduced from up to eight hours per day to virtually instantaneous Patient safety was improved since practitioners can make better care decisions with quick access to full patient records NCHM is the first free clinic in Ohio with an EHR and serves as a model for other free clinics implementing EHRs Patient identification is enhanced with digital photos saved in patient charts Scheduling of daily walkin clinic hours is three times faster Collection of data used to qualify for funding has been dramatically simplified Hospital audits that used to take two to three days now take just two hours Scheduling waits were decreased to within a week, down from two months Waiting room times were decreased Improved HIPAA compliance Original URL: http://workflow.com/casestudies/northcoasthealthministries/www.readability.com/articles/dntbjbtq 3/3