Midwest Orthopedics at RUSH (MOR), a valued OBERD client, came to us with a patient intake workflow problem. MOR wanted to solve “a massive paper shuffle for each patient” requiring “extensive staff time to process”. We suggested a digital solution that enables patients to complete registration, history, consent and PRO forms before their appointment or while in the waiting area with any web-enabled device. We were able to help MOR streamline its intake process and reallocate clinic staff to more valuable functions. The solution also saved substantial time and money for MOR.
ISSUE/OPPORTUNITY: Overwhelming and duplicative patient paperwork
Our clinic had evolved to a massive paper shuffle for each patient visit. The forms were numerous and many of the data items duplicative for patients. Handling the forms required extensive staff time to process and transcribe the data, along with voluminous and cluttered storage. The data and associated processes suffered from transcription errors and patient frustration. The form data was not all available in our EMR for physician and staff access.
Oberd created a digital intake system whereby patients could complete their registration, history, consent and outcomes forms online, with any digital tool that could access the Internet. Most patients would complete the forms at home. If not all of the form requirements were completed, patients could pick up where they left off in the office and complete everything easily and quickly on a tablet in the office. The obtained data populated our EMR in discrete data elements for the history form providing convenient and immediate access for physicians and staff. This was helpful as our clinicians had less information to dictate or input if using the EMR.
Before MOR implemented OBERD, our front desk staff would provide patients with paper copies of health history and registration forms to complete upon arrival to the clinic. This information was then manually scanned, sheet by sheet, by our staff. This was not always done immediately following completion of the forms which resulted in some delays in data availability and transcription errors. With the implementation of the OBERD interface with Athena, discrete data populates in the chart almost immediately after a patient completes the intake forms. Our front desk staff as well as clinical staff now have patient health and demographic information readily available at their fingertips. The OBERD system has allowed our staff to repurpose their time from manually inputting the patient data to supporting physician needs and attending to patient interests and questions.
OBERD has also made our dictation processes more efficient. Prior to OBERD, clinicians would have to sift through stacks of paper in order to dictate an encounter. The OBERD Frontsheet has made this process much more efficient. The Frontsheet provides the clinician with the most important patient health information all on one page; that means no more shuffling through paper to dictate. For us, the best part about the Frontsheet is that our clinicians can customize the format to their liking more with a much more convenient process.
We were concerned that changing to a digital intake process would cause a decrease in our patient experience ratings. Our patient satisfaction scores have always been very high. Comparing our pre-implementation Press Ganey CG CAHPS and post implementation OBERD CG CAHPS data, patient satisfaction has stayed consistently high since the OBERD implementation. We were pleased that we did not see a decrease in our patient scores when we adopted electronic intake processes.
We have also been successful with data capture to meet the different incentive programs that we participate in. We are working on capturing MIPS quality measures discretely so we can report directly from Athena. Patients will complete a short form via OBERD and their responses will be mapped to Athena. Having this information mapped discretely to Athena will assist us in more timely data capture and accurate reporting.