Advocate Good Samaritan Grows Its Surgery Department While Streamlining Workflow and Increasing Physician Satisfaction with HealthWare Systems’ ActiveFORMS & ActiveXCHANGE
- Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Excess time and money devoted to manual processing of faxes and paper handling; lost physician orders
- ActiveFORMS,an electronic forms library; ActiveXCHANGE, an automated, fast, and cost-effective system for accessing the hospital’s fax data
- Located in Downers Grove, IL
- Over 950 physicians on staff, covering nearly 60 specialties
- 17,000-square-foot Endoscopy and Ambulatory Center offers 39 patient rooms and 7 procedure rooms
- $45 million surgical pavilion contains 15 operating rooms, 18 private patient recovery bays, centralized sterilization processing, and 38 private patient
Surgery department has grown 20% without an increase in FTEs
Increased physician satisfaction
Accurate, complete physician orders
Elimination of lost physician orders
Cost savings through significant decrease in paper use
Substantial reduction in processing time of patient charts
“We’re always thinking of different ways we can use the solutions from HealthWare to even further streamline our workflow and standardize our processes. They coordinated with us to make sure our specific needs were met, and the outcome has been excellent.”
-Katrina Spears, Manager of Business & Informatics, Surgical Services Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Good Samaritan Hospital (part of Advocate Health Care, one of the top healthcare systems in the country and the largest fully integrated healthcare delivery system in Illinois) has chosen both ActiveFORMS and ActiveXCHANGE to address various challenges it has come to face.
One of the busiest areas of Good Samaritan Hospital is the Surgical, Endoscopy, and Ambulatory Services Department. With 700-800 patients coming in monthly, the department spent a lot of time dealing with paper. Manual tasks included putting stickers on forms by hand, sorting through a multitude of faxes, and filing miscellaneous documents. The hospital needed a way to automate these processes.
Additionally, each pre-surgical document was faxed to team leaders in every specialty area, rather than simply to the specific area that needed it. These paper faxes were hard to locate among piles of irrelevant documents and were lost on a regular basis, eating away at physicians’ valuable time and leading to extra work for staff who had to try to find the faxes and/or request new ones.
In order to tend to the issues caused by their manual processes, Good Samaritan first installed ActiveFORMS. With this software, the hospital is able to easily manage a library of electronic forms, all of which include standard patient demographic data and bar code identifiers. Staff no longer have the need for blue cards or bar-coded labels, or the significant expense of pre-printed forms.
Next, the facility turned to ActiveXCHANGE to tackle its fax situation. As Katrina Spears (Manager of Business & Informatics, Surgical Services) explains, “HealthWare Systems helped us adapt their system to our processes, so we knew they would be able to meet our need for the automated faxes. By implementing , we were easily able to automate our department workflow.”
ActiveXCHANGE enables Good Samaritan to receive, collect, and manage all incoming physician orders electronically, review orders for accuracy simply and immediately, route orders to appropriate departments electronically, and even index orders for permanent, encrypted storage and future retrieval. It also provides a secure platform for delivering sensitive information by restricting transmission to only the recipients on the hospital’s approved list. As Spears observed:
“ has automated our workflow and helped us to manage our faxes significantly. For example, we can automatically reject faxes that are incomplete or inaccurate back to the corresponding physician office with a click of the mouse rather than fax repeatedly between offices.”
Not only has ActiveXCHANGE helped ensure accurate, complete physician orders are received, but it has also created order and organization for these faxes. Each team leader now has his/her own electronic file folder and control and management of the files in it, making it much easier to locate specific documents. As Spears described it, “The charge nurse has his/her own files and knows exactly what patients are coming in and what their specific needs are. It’s much faster than looking at a paper chart.”
Since the implementation of ActiveXCHANGE, not one file has been lost. Surgeons used to carry important faxed documentation with them to their procedures, but the new technology gives them the security to know that the correct data is already in place for their patient when they arrive. In addition to the elimination of lost fax files, ActiveXCHANGE allows managers to view work queues that are set up to ensure work is completed. Managers can see how busy their departments are and monitor the types of cases coming in, which was previously done through manual reports. “Also, we’ve cut down noticeably on the amount of time necessary for processing of our patient charts, which has allowed us to use a clerical worker for our receptionist position rather than a registered nurse and saved us money,” explained Spears.
In fact, although the surgery department has grown by 20 percent since implementing ActiveFORMS and ActiveXCHANGE, there has been no increase in FTEs. As Spears indicated, Good Samaritan has recommended HealthWare Systems’ solutions to other sites so that they can achieve similar results.
About ActiveFORMS & ActiveXCHANGE
HealthWare’s ActiveFORMS replaces pre-printed forms with a streamlined electronic forms library and instantly delivers visit-specific forms wherever a patient presents. ActiveXCHANGE is a comprehensive, paperless solution for efficiently managing all faxed data and documentation, images, and data feeds electronically. It provides a single, consistent interface for scheduling and pre-arrival by consolidating information from multiple scheduling systems, web-based requisition systems, EMRs, faxes, hard copies, and verbal appointments.
HealthWare Systems specializes in integrating proprietary and third party patient access technologies into a seamless solution that ensures every patient encounter is financially and clinically cleared prior to date of service. Our solutions enforce data and documentation standards throughout the patient encounter. These benefits are provided as extensions to existing hospital information systems and other solutions. We provide the platform to “tie it all together” without replacing your investment in your current products and solutions.