Case Study

We Scanned Our Options and Documented Time and Dollar Savings

Challenge

  • High volume of paper charts
  • 48 to 72 hour turnaround time

Solution

  • Solarity® post-discharge scanning

Results

  • Turnaround time reduced to less than 24 hours
  • Electronic charts getting to medical coders more quickly
  • Expedited revenue cycle

Like many large health care organizations, Gwinnett Medical Center’s Health Information Management Department faced mounds of paper work each day. Processing the paper and transferring it to an electronic format was a costly and stressful responsibility borne by several staff members. As documentation requirements grew, so did the amount of paper work. Gwinnett’s HIM Department felt overwhelmed. As Carol Fowler, Gwinnett’s Director of HIM, would learn, on average for every 100 hospital beds, there are one million pages of documentation generated. Fowler knew there had to be a better, more cost-effective way to handle the paper and achieve the results the medical center required and expected.

Finding a Cost-effective Solution in HIM

As Fowler began to explore various options, she stopped by an exhibitor booth at the national AHIMA conference. The booth belonged to EDCO® Health Information Solutions. Her discussion with EDCO’s staff led to an onsite assessment. The assessment determined Gwinnett’s biggest challenge was managing the document scanning process. The process converts hard-copy documents to an electronic format to be stored in the medical center’s electronic document management system.

“We had the typical process,” says Fowler. “After we received the documents from the nursing unit, we prepped them, scanned them, processed them, boxed them, and moved them on to storage. When employees were absent, the process bogged down.

“For us, Solarity was the best solution to meet our operational needs in a cost effective way.”

While we had some technology that helped us in this area, we didn’t think it was the most up-to-date. Even more troubling was the 48 to 72 hour average turnaround time we were experiencing from the time the documents hit our door until they were scanned and stored.”

EDCO presented Fowler with a turnkey proposal to staff the documentation management function, provide the latest scanning and indexing technology, and guarantee a 24-hour turnaround time. Department staff involved in the process became EDCO employees. This enabled Fowler to devote her time and attention to more critical, high-risk areas of the HIM Department. “For us, Solarity scanning and documentation management was the best solution to meet our operational needs and demands in a cost effective way.”

Eliminating the Need to Scan with Bar Codes

EDCO’s Solarity scanning solution increased Gwinnett’s HIM Department’s productivity by eliminating the need for document bar codes. Documents were captured faster, at a reduced cost-per-image, and with better accuracy than other scanning methodologies. This enhanced Gwinnett’s capture process and seamlessly integrated the documents into its document management software, which allows the system to realize the full benefits of its automated workflow processes.

EDCO’s commitment to quality and meeting our service level expectations has more than met the results we were hoping to achieve.

“When we began the documentation management agreement with EDCO, our number one goal was document capture within 24 hours of receipt of the chart,” explains Fowler. “EDCO has achieved that goal, in fact they guaranteed it. That’s important because we no longer experience a delay in managing the documentation, which previously resulted in a delay in coding and dropping the patient bill. We have significantly decreased the amount of time the bill stays in accounts receivable before being sent to the patient. That has produced a positive impact on the medical center’s bottom-line. By outsourcing the staffing of the function, the medical center also has realized an increase in productivity and a decrease in labor dollars. Plus, EDCO handles the updating and maintenance of all of the equipment related to scanning and indexing. “We both went into this as a partnership committed to success. EDCO’s commitment to quality and meeting our service level expectations has more than met the results we were hoping to achieve,” says Fowler. EDCO Account Executive Travis Atchley says the partnership between Gwinnett and EDCO has been a win-win situation. “We were thrilled to be able to bring this cost-saving technology to Gwinnett,” says Atchley.

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