A Patient eSignature Case Study
University of Louisville Hospital
Customized eForm packets available on demand
University of Louisville Hospital is an outstanding healthcare resource for the community. At the core of the region’s leading academic medical center, University Hospital offers patients the benefits of the latest treatments, research and equipment delivered by one of the finest groups of knowledgeable and caring healthcare professionals anywhere. University Hospital has received national recognition as a leader in many areas of care, including trauma, stroke, high-risk obstetrics, radiology/diagnostic imaging, cancer and regional clinical care.
In 2006, University of Louisville Hospital administrators realized that its library of preprinted paper forms had grown to an unmanageable size. This complication made it difficult to ensure that only current versions were being used. Registrars and nursing staff had access to forms through an integrated MFP product, but this limited them to specific devices. The use of embosser cards to apply some patient information to forms was time-consuming, and the machines frequently required costly maintenance, adding to the already significant costs of maintaining paper forms stock.
To overcome these challenges, University of Louisville Hospital’s IT department and leadership team began a search for an electronic forms management system. After evaluating many products, they chose the Intelligent Forms Suite from Access, the world’s leading provider of e-forms software for hospitals.
PATIENT ESIGNATURE Case Study Highlights
- Bar-coded eForms go directly into Siemens EDM and are auto indexed.
- Only current versions of eForms are available via the electronic forms library.
- Form Favorites function presents customized eForms packets on demand quickly.
- Train-the-trainer approach required just one 15-minute education session.
Location: Louisville, KY
Integration: Cerner Siemens
Focus: Version control, consent forms, paper storage issues, EMR integration
Departments: Clinical and ancillary departments
Access solutions: Intelligent eForms and Enterprise Integration
Getting Forms into Siemens Soarian EDM
Another factor that spurred University of Louisville Hospital’s e-forms project was the need to get patient forms into Siemens Soarian EDM in a timely, efficient manner that involved minimal staff intervention. As with the facility’s other electronic forms management requirements, Access Intelligent Forms Suite fit the bill.
Typically, associating a patient’s forms with their electronic medical record (EMR) requires laborious, error-prone manual data entry. Access Intelligent Forms Suite eliminates this step in ancillary departments and at nursing stations. When generating forms packets or individual forms, such as consents for MRI or CT scans, it applies unique patient identifiers to forms labels, including patient account numbers. Upon scanning, Siemens Soarian EDM uses this information to associate the forms with the correct EMR.
“With the Access system’s Siemens integration, we’re confident that clinical forms are going into the right patient record every time,” says Crystal Wheatley, IT project manager at University of Louisville Hospital. “This is a huge time-saver for our HIM team, as they don’t spend time on manual indexing once they’ve scanned the forms into Soarian EDM.”
In the patient registration department, University of Louisville Hospital has gone one step further, creating a paperless admissions process. When a staff member creates a new patient record in Siemens Invision, a feed goes to Siemens AnyQueue, the hospital’s output management application. This process maps patient data onto e-forms packets created by the Access system. Upon completion and authorization with an electronic signature, forms are sent directly into Soarian EDM — no scanning or indexing needed. The Access system also outputs a bar-coded label that a staff member affixes to the patient’s armband, ensuring positive patient identification throughout the visit.
“Access Intelligent Forms Suite has reduced our forms costs, eliminated the need for the embosser machines and given us a way to create a customized forms packet and armband for each patient,” Wheatley says. “The product is so versatile that it can meet our forms management needs in any department.”
Improving Version Control, Making Users’ Jobs Easier
When relying on preprinted paper forms, University of Louisville Hospital found it difficult to eradicate old versions, and several different versions could be in circulation at any one time. With dozens or even hundreds of forms circulating in each department, it’s easy to see how problematic version control was for the hospital staff. This headache went away once the facility went live with its e-forms on demand system. As each form was evaluated during the pre implementation phase, University of Louisville has now consolidated its documents, with 1,200 e-forms managed in a central library.
“We’re now generating up-to-date forms in real time from a single source, with accurate patient data on each one,” Wheatley says. “This improvement in version control is one of the biggest benefits of Access Intelligent Forms Suite.”
Moving to e-forms has also had a positive impact on registrars and nurses, who no longer waste time retrieving and embossing preprinted versions. Additionally, the switch has simplified the registration process for patients, who don’t have to write their demographics on each form — a task that used to present legibility issues.
“Our users love the form favorites function, which allows them to quickly get to the documents they need most often,” Wheatley says. “The support calls are minimal due to the intuitive nature of the product.”
Such simplicity reduced the time it took for University of Louisville Hospital to get its electronic forms initiative underway. Implementation went ahead on schedule, and hospital staff began generating e-forms right away.
“Access Intelligent Forms Suite is so easy to use that we didn’t spend long training users — they simply choose a patient, select the forms and they have everything they need,” Wheatley says. “The Access system doesn’t require each user to have new credentials, as they just use their Active Directory user names and passwords.”
A key component of any successful IT project is the relationship between vendor and customer. Wheatley values her positive partnership with Access’s support team.
“We don’t spend much time administering Access Intelligent Forms Suite because it just runs,” she says. “But when I do have a query I, get a call back right away, which goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.”