A Patient eSignature Case Study
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital
Saved time by eliminating manual processing of forms and clinical reports
Located in the San Clarita Valley in California, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is a full service, not-for-profit community hospital and trauma center. The 238-bed facility offers patients the best possible treatment, including a new, state-of-the-art ICU and NICU. More than 1,300 staff members (including 412 physicians) provided exemplary service to 13,126 inpatients and 64,501 outpatients in 2012.
Henry Mayo is committed to advancing patient care and safety through technology. The hospital decided to extend its Meditech system by adding the Scanning and Archiving enterprise content management (ECM) module, but while this promised a solution for organizing documents, it also presented a challenge: how to get patient forms into the electronic repository without time-consuming scanning and manual indexing. Relying on pre-printed paper forms also created version control issues, increased costs and diverted staff’s time.
PATIENT ESIGNATURE Case Study Highlights
- Met HIM department’s goal of making all chart components goals available electronically within 48 hours.
- Improved patient satisfaction with hassle-free registration and bedside consent capture.
- Standardized medical clinical device and clinical system output and made it available in real-time.
- Saved time by eliminating manual processing of forms and clinical reports.
Location: Valencia, CA
Integration: MEDITECH, multiple medical devices and clinical systems
Focus: Standardizing clinical data output, enhancing the patient experience, bedside consent, streamlined registration
Departments: Registration, admissions, HIM, clinical departments
Access solutions: Intelligent eForms, Electronic Signatures, Enterprise Integration and Process Automation (Workflow)
Organization and Standardization increase compliance
“One of the challenges was that we had to put labels on each form and a lot of those forms were sometimes placed in the wrong place in the charts or misplaced — it was not organized,” says Cynthia Salas, patient access services representative.
To eliminate the costs of pre-printed paper forms and labels and support the transition from paper charts to electronic health records (EHRs), Henry Mayo decided to implement an electronic forms management solution from Access.
“We chose Access for our e-forms project because their solutions have good integration with Meditech and all the functionality we needed,” said Kelly Wildhaber, director, ARRA HITECH compliance. “The Access solution has bar-coding for patient ID so we don’t have to label forms, and it’s print on demand so we don’t have problems with maintaining a stock supply of forms.”
Another advantage offered by the Access system is that it enables Henry Mayo to get control of its forms. Before, there was the possibility that staff members were using outdated versions, which can jeopardize compliance. This challenge has been eliminated.
“We don’t have a problem with version control because the Access solution only allows us to use the latest form versions,” Wildhaber says.
Speeding Throughput and Increasing Patient Satisfaction
Patient admissions/registration was one of the first Henry Mayo departments to go live with Access’s Intelligent Forms Suite. Registration clerks used to spend time pulling individual forms for each new or returning patient. Now, they register the patient and all the forms are generated by the Access system, which pulls patient demographics from Meditech onto each form to speed completion, and also applies bar codes.
“The thing staff like the most about Access products is that they can put forms they use most into a ‘My Favorites’ folder,” said Elaine Haffner, administrative assistant. “They no longer have to think about the forms they need for a patient or procedure — they just click on a packet and all the forms are there for them.”
Once forms are completed, there is now no need for HIM staff to waste time manually indexing them — they’re sent into the correct EHR via seamless integration with Meditech Scanning and Archiving. Access’s e-forms on demand solution has also improved the downtime registration process.
“Before, scheduled and unscheduled downtime was chaotic — forms were everywhere, staff had to file paperwork after the patient had signed it and we manually applied bar codes,” says Kandis Farrell, application specialist. “The Access system has improved the process because now all forms are printed with the bar codes and patient information.”
“There used to be patients who had difficulty signing consent forms. Now we’re using Access eSignatures, it doesn’t matter whether they’re lying down or sitting up, what angle they’re at, they’re able to easily sign on the signature pad.”
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Patient Services Representative
The Benefits of Electronic Patient Signature
Henry Mayo didn’t just want to minimize the number of forms generated in the admissions and ER departments — they wanted to eliminate paperwork completely. To achieve this, the facility chose to implement Access’s patient registration and consent solution, which combines the speed of e-forms on demand and the convenience of electronic patient signature.
Cynthia Salas, who deals daily with obtaining patient signatures at patients’ bedside and at the point of registration, explains the advantages of the Access solution:
“There used to be patients who had difficulty signing consent forms,” she said. “Now that we’re using Access e-Signature, it doesn’t matter whether they’re lying down or sitting up, what angle they’re at, they’re able to easily sign on the signature pad.”
When relying on paper forms, it was possible for a patient to not sign a certain form, leading to redundant steps for a staff member and extra effort for the patient when he or she had to sign it later. This is no longer a problem, thanks to Access’s electronic patient signature solution.
“With Access e-Signature, we know the patient has signed the form, it’s going to be in their medical record and it’s secure,” Wildhaber says.
Getting Clinical Output into EHRs Without Paper or Manual Indexing
To help move its EHR initiative forward, Henry Mayo couldn’t just stop at deploying e-forms and electronic signature. The hospital also needed a way to get output from clinical devices and systems into patient records without scanning paperwork and performing slow, error prone manual indexing — a process that delayed the availability of patient information to clinicians.
The hospital again turned to Access to meet this need. With Access’s clinical data bridge solution, Universal Document Portal, Henry Mayo is capturing output from several systems and devices, standardizing it and integrating it into EHRs via Meditech SCA.
“With the Access solution, we can add EKG traces and colonoscopy reports into a patient’s record without needing to process paper output,” says Sareeta Perry, senior systems analyst. “This saves time and paper, and helps physicians access information more quickly.”
A Solid Business Decision
To help Henry Mayo get the most from its e-forms project, Access provides online and telephone support from a dedicated support resource who is familiar with every stage of the hospitals initiative and its Meditech system.
“Access solutions save us money by reducing paper forms stock and the amount of printing,” she says. “We’ve also eliminated labels, and the cost savings have exceeded what we thought they would.”
“Access support has a quick response time- other vendors seem to lag a little,” Perry says. “The support staff is very knowledgeable. Anytime I call they know what I’m talking about and address my issue.”
There are several ways to measure the success of any IT project, including matching its benefits with the original objectives, performing an ROI study and asking staff how their jobs have changed for the better. IT Director Jill French feels that Access has met or even surpassed expectations at Henry Mayo.