A Patient eSignature Case Study
Pacific Alliance Medical Center
Esignatures improve the patient experience
Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Pacific Alliance Medical Center (PAMC) has provided compassionate, focused healthcare for over 150 years. Its strong history serves as the foundation for a commitment to providing exceptional medical services that are both culturally and linguistically sensitive to the needs of a growing and diverse community. PAMC’s inspiration always comes from our dedicated, caring expert team of medical and health care professionals who makes a difference everyday in the lives of families.
PATIENT ESIGNATURE Case Study Highlights
- Simple one-time change made all eForms compatible with new HIS version.
- Access works proactively with the hospital over six years to create enterprise-wide solutions to daily challenges.
- Forms bar-coding eliminates manual tasks and ensures ECM system sends forms into the correct EHR.
- Electronic signatures improve the patient experience and speeds registration and care delivery.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Focus: HIS upgrade and integration, content management integration, bar codes
Departments: HIM, clinical areas, registration/admissions
Access solutions: Intelligent eForms, Electronic Signatures and Enterprise Integration
eforms Eliminate scanning and archiving
To help move its electronic health records (EHR) project forward, PAMC decided to implement the Meditech Scanning and Archiving (SCA) module to manage patient-related content. However, CIO John Brown and his team realized that getting preprinted paper forms into EHRs would require manually labeling forms and then, once they were scanned, time-consuming, error-prone indexing. In addition, it was costly to warehouse these forms and changing one involved sending a request to a print vendor and then waiting for hard copies to arrive. Once they did, it was difficult to get rid of old versions.
“We had units which ran out of forms and we didn’t have electronic files to order new ones promptly,” says Gloria Ruiz, executive director, quality professional services.
To solve these business problems, PAMC started evaluating electronic forms management systems and vendors, and, after viewing demonstrations of several options, chose an e-forms on demand system from Access.
“We looked at numerous vendors and decided Access was the best fit,” Ruiz says. “They’re very well known in the industry, their solutions integrate well with Meditech and now that we’ve worked with them for five or six years, we’re very pleased with them.”
For CIO John Brown, choosing Access was not a decision made in isolation, but as part of PAMC’s comprehensive strategy to improve patient care, safety and service through technology.
“Our primary goal is to have a 100 percent electronic health record,” Brown says. “Will that ever be a reality? Maybe not. But by working with Access to make our forms electronic, to add electronic signatures to them and to send them into EHRs is helping us reach our ultimate goal.”
Simplifying a HIS Upgrade
When a hospital upgrades to a major new version of its HIS, the IT staff must focus as much of its time as possible on the task at hand. But all too often, IT analysts waste time dealing with compatibility issues with the other systems used by the facility.
Pacific Alliance recently upgraded its Meditech Client Server system to Meditech 6.0, and found that the Access solution was not one of the applications that required significant time and attention.
“Upgrading to Meditech 6.0 was a massive project for everyone at the hospital, and we were relieved that with Access we just changed the data map one time and everything worked,” says John Brown, CIO.
“We have a great relationship with Access. They’re one of the vendors I can count on to follow up regularly. They talk to me about new innovations, but also understand how we’re using their products and make sure we’re getting the most from them. They’re constantly upping their game.”
Pacific Alliance Medical Center CIO
Simplifying Patient Admitting with E-Forms and Electronic Patient Signature
One of the first departments to go live with e-forms was patient admitting. PAMC found it easy to convert existing forms, to update them as needed and to create new ones approved by the forms committee.
“With the Access solution, we don’t have to work with a printer to get documents,” Ruiz says. “Instead, we have forms in our electronic repository and generate them as needed. Creating forms is very easy — we can quickly import forms or work with Access to design additional forms.”
To create a fully paperless process, PAMC also implemented Access’s electronic patient signature solution, which enables new and returning patients to quickly and securely authorize their forms packets via signature tablets. Once a patient has completed and electronically signed their forms, the Access solution sends them into the correct EHR via seamless integration with Meditech Scanning and Archiving — a process that requires no paper or manual effort from staff members ineither admitting or HIM.
“We’re interfacing bar-coded forms into our document imaging system and they’re then in our electronic medical records,” Ruiz says. “Being able to name forms has made it easier to select portions of the electronic record when we need to review them.”
Recommending Access to Other Hospitals
Some HIT vendors are product-driven, while others focus their attention on professional services and support. PAMC staff feel that Access has the right balance between the two.
“Access products work well or we wouldn’t have them,” Brown says. “But it takes a special company to believe in their products and to support them well.”
Those who administrate the Access system on a daily basis are also satisfied that the company is doing all it can to make their project a success.
“We really appreciate the customer service Access gives us,” says Tiffany Williams, EHR data integrity supervisor. “Recently we had a new project that we needed to be expedited and they worked with us quickly to get it completed on time.”
To ensure that PAMC is deriving maximum value from its e-forms and electronic patient signature project, an Access account manager regularly checks in with the facility, consulting everyone that’s involved with the solutions — from IT staff, to department directors, to the executive team
“We have a great relationship with Access,” Brown says. “They’re one of the vendors I can count on to follow up regularly. They talk to me about new innovations, but also understand how we’re using their products and make sure we’re getting the most from them. They’re constantly upping their game.”