Family Health West Eliminates Growing Pains with PaperVision® Enterprise
Family Health West
Digitech Systems Reseller
Paper file storage limited their ability to grow
Converted all medical records to electronic records, enhanced compliance with federal regulations, and reduced storage costs
In 2009, Family Health West was on the brink of opening a new hospital. Health Information Management Services Director, Karen Hatch was faced with a dilemma. Surrounded by wall-to-wall filing cabinets, Hatch and her team were already struggling to store and manage patient records. How could they deal with the increased workload when the new hospital opened? Where would they store more filing cabinets? Hatch wasn’t confident in the existing paper records management system, and she needed a solution. She said, “We needed to start scanning right away. The hospital wasn’t even open yet and we were already out of space.”
After implementing PaperVision Capture and PaperVision Enterprise across the entire organization, the productivity at Family Health West has surged, and they are saving over 75% in storage costs, even though they have experienced more than a 3,000% increase in monthly visitors.
- Improved records management productivity by 555%
- All documents are now 100% in compliance with federal regulations
- Storage costs were reduced by over 75%
Established in 1946, Family Health West is a rural community hospital known as a “Critical Access Hospital” (CAH). The CAH designation is given to hospitals in rural areas that meet certain Medicare Conditional of Participation (CoP) standards and are structured differently than larger facilities. The organization has 16 private beds, provides 24/7 emergency care, outpatient services, long term care, and they also provide long term rehab care for the larger facilities in the area.
Located in Fruita, CO, a community of around 12,000, Family Health West is a non-profit organization committed to providing a continuum of care enhancing the community’s quality of life through professional health care and related services.
As a CAH, patient files are handled differently than they are at a larger facility. So for years, keeping track of patient files was nearly impossible. Each time a patient was moved, a new patient chart had to be opened. The records department struggled to keep track of the multiple patient charts that needed to follow the patient through their treatment.
The records department was trying to keep track of the sensitive patient information that was sometimes being misplaced and was not being protected in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This federal law regulates how healthcare organizations must secure Protected Health Information (PHI), share, and protect patient information.
Getting these multiple files into the hands of the doctors, nurses and compliance auditors was a chore. They would all come to the records department when they couldn’t find something and the records department staff would have to manually sort through paperwork looking for the records they needed.
Family Health West worked with D2Xchange, a Digitech Systems reseller, to find a solution. They wanted an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn system that would allow them to digitize their medical records. They chose PaperVision Capture and PaperVision Enterprise, because it was easy for them to scan up front and store the documents electronically in-house. Now, all departments — from the doctors, nurses, billing, coding, human resources and compliance auditors — have access to view documents securely and electronically. Thanks to security settings in PaperVision Enterprise, only the information each person needs to see is visible to them, while the rest remains private.
“Thanks to PaperVision Enterprise our productivity has increased by 555% and our records retrieval times have been reduced by 86%.”
-Karen Hatch, Director of Medical Records Family Health West
Today, the records department scans 100% of the information that is not in the EHR. If a new office is opened or closed, they are able to give all those records back to the physicians, HR, finance, and the business office immediately. After scanning, paper documents are held for six months before they are sent to be destroyed.
By managing medical records electronically Family Health West has been able to accommodate the demand of the new hospital opening with ease. Previously, they needed eight employees to handle 900 patient visits each month, but now they handle 10,000 visits with just 16 people, and their productivity has improved by 555%.
The records department receives 100–120 requests for information every week. Instead of spending as much as seven days looking for a single record, they are now able to process these requests in less than 24 hours. This has reduced the amount of time they spend looking for records by 86%.
Family Health West also has better control of information. Due to their CAH designation, audits are just part of the routine. Now the auditors have their own logins and can look up any information they need. Patient information is securely protected and only the relevant information the auditors’ need to see is visible. In addition, because all records have been converted to electronic format, they are 100% protected from loss, theft or natural disaster.
Another great benefit was the amount of money Family Health West was able to save in paper storage costs. They cut their monthly storage costs by 75%. Hatch said, “I was able to completely eliminate my budget for storing paper. In fact, the only budget I have now is for destroying documents once they have been scanned.” They credit PaperVision Enterprise for allowing them to grow without the growing pains normally seen when an organization’s monthly visits increase by 3,233%. “When we first started scanning we had no physicians, and now we have nine offices. There is no way we could have made this work without PaperVision Enterprise.”
About D2Xchange, LLC.
D2Xchange is a full-service provider of data and document management solutions to capture, manage, retrieve and distribute information more effectively and securely. By providing paperless office solutions including Digitech Systems software, D2Xchange helps companies access information faster, share data and documents more efficiently, improve customer service and satisfaction, streamline paper-laden work processes and increase productivity. To learn more, visit their website or call 866.329.8599.