#Mackenzie Health is committed to continuously improving the #patient experience. With this in mind, the organization has improved its patient registration process to be faster for patients, more efficient for staff, while keeping the information safe within the organization’s secure mobile network.
“One way to improve the patient experience is to make registering for a test, procedure or an inpatient stay simpler,” says Amir Soheili, Operations Director, Clinical Support Services at Mackenzie Health. “In keeping with our vision to provide a world-class health experience, we continuously look for ways to enhance processes.”
This new system has made registration easier for patients by preventing the need for patients to provide the same information multiple times on multiple forms. Through the use of cameras, documents such as driver’s licenses, insurance papers and passports are now securely photographed from PCs either in a registration area or with the use of tablets at a patient’s bedside to be saved along with completed non-clinical registration forms. The system is secured by Mackenzie Health’s Information, Communication and Automation Technology (ICAT) Healthcare infrastructure. This technology enables registration staff to capture the entire document, not only the portions needed for their work. With the entire document being captured, appropriate team members across the organization from registration to the financial services team have access to the information they need to complete their job, eliminating the need to ask patients to repeat, re-print or transcribe the information multiple times.
“The system takes repeated information from the first completed form such as name, address, date of birth, etc. and securely pre-populates it onto required subsequent forms, with security features on par with on-line banking thanks to Mackenzie Health’s ICAT Healthcare security infrastructure and Blackberry’s BES 12 platform,” adds Soheili. “Patients can now verify their information with an e-signature.”
Improving on the old way
Previously, Mackenzie Health manually managed hundreds of paper non clinical forms annually and patients were required to complete and sign multiple forms. This time-consuming, wasteful process included staff photocopying relevant documents and manually attaching them to forms as needed. Later, a financial services representative picked up the hard copy paper forms and transcribed the portions they required for financial purposes. One year following initial completion, the stored manually assembled forms were again handled and scanned into the hospital’s document management system establishing a digital archive.
An additional concern with the old process included risk of lost or incomplete forms. This could potentially impact patient privacy, delay processes, and further cut into staff productivity.
“Whether patients come to a registration area or are registered from their bedside the new system creates electronic form packets and pre-fills repeated patient information in key fields,” says Lindsay Lankin, Manager of Patient Access. “If information is missing, patients see a visual prompt to show them where they need to sign or fill in missing info. With this new process, it is no longer possible to provide an incomplete form,” she says.
Today, completed forms are instantly and automatically imported to the patient record, complete with automatic date and time stamps for legal verification. The information is also immediately available to the Finance Department for tracking and billing. This further eliminates the need to scan manual forms in the future for archiving as the documents have already been captured.
“This new technology not only enhances the patient experience, but also strengthens our internal controls and reduces the risk of incomplete information,” adds Julia Raudanskis, Director of Financial Services. “With information captured as an image and verified by the patient the likelihood of potential billing disputes is also reduced. In addition, it brings efficiency to our processes by eliminating printing and scanning and allowing redeployment of resources to more value adding activities.”
The organization is moving to this system for all finance forms in all decentralized registration areas and is also considering the benefits of translating the non-clinical registration forms into the top five languages spoken by patients and families to continue to create a truly world-class health experience.
Mackenzie Health plans to further its paper light initiative in its Medical Imaging department and by Spring 2016, all faxed paper requisitions will no longer be printed, but will be converted to electronic files and saved to be available digitally to those who require them through various software solutions.