To better meet patients’ care needs, PVHMC is using healthcare IT solutions from Siemens. As the facility prepared to roll out Siemens Enterprise Document Management (EDM), administrators recognized a need to interface forms directly into this new module without scanning and manual indexing.
To sidestep these tasks, PVHMC CIO Kent Hoyos consulted with account representatives from Siemens, who recommended an electronic forms on demand suite from their exclusive e-forms partner, Access.
“We were looking for a way to get forms data into Siemens EDM, and wanted to automate and centralize forms creation and management,” Hoyos says. “Access Enterprise Forms Management solutions were the best fit.
Prior to implementing the Access system, nurses pulled preprinted paper forms and affixed a sticky label on each page. This was particularly time-consuming for large, multipage forms packets, and nurses sometimes forgot to label some pages, leading to redundant effort for the HIM team before they scanned the forms.
Now, seamless integration with the Siemens system enables PVHMC users to launch Access e-Forms Repository (EFR) directly from their Siemens Soarian Portal, without needing additional sign-in information. EFR gives clinical, admissions and administrative staff a single source for a complete library of standardized and current forms. Once completed, these forms are scanned into Siemens EDM, which uses bar codes to automatically index them with patient records.
“The tight link between Access solutions and our Siemens dashboard gives clinicians asimple way to retrieve forms without altering their workflow,” Hoyos says. “Nurses and HIM staff no longer waste time with sticky labels, because forms are bar-coded by the Access system."
Before moving to electronic forms automation, patients or clinicians filled out redundan
information on each form. With the Access system pulling patient data onto each form
using unique data mapping technology, this is unnecessary.
“Each form output by the Access system has patient demographics pre-filled, which save
time,” Hoyos says
When relying on preprinted paper forms, some nurses hoarded forms because they were worried that they’d run out during their shifts. Hoyos recalls that one nurse would come to her shift with a cart full of forms. Clinicians could also be using outdated versions without even knowing it, as it was hard to keep track of which hard copies were circulating. Access has helped solve this problem.
“With Access’s e-forms solution we know our clinicians are only using the current versions of forms, and they’ll never run out like we did with hard copies,” Hoyos says. “We’ve also created standardized sets of documents — so cardiac nurses are only presented with the cardiology forms they need, for example.”
Hoyos believes that Access solutions have helped simplify PVHMC’s expansion of the Siemens suite.
Another main aim of PVHMC’s forms automation project was increasing patient safety. When an admissions clerk registers a patient in the Siemens system, they click a button to print bar-coded forms with demographics pre-filled. At the same time, a wristband is produced with two bar code methodologies — one for bedside medication verification (BMV) and another for specimen collection — that encircle the entire band. This enables clinicians to scan the wristband at the patient’s bedside from any angle, without needing to turn the patient’s wrist to access the bar code, as is often the case with similar wristbands.
When a nurse orders a lab test, they enter the details into the order system, which passes the order to the lab. The data is then sent to a handheld device. Upon going into the patient’s room to draw the sample for the test, the clinician scans the patient’s wristband with the handheld device and is notified of the test type, how much blood to draw and which color-coded tubes to put this specimen in. They then print bar-coded labels for the specimen bottles from a printer on the Phelebotomist cart.
The Access solution also helps facilitate the BMV process. To ensure the right medication and dose is dispensed to the correct patient, a nurse scans the bar-coded labels on individual drug doses with the Siemens Medication Administration Check (MAK) system and then the patient’s wristband, and only dispenses the medication if there’s a positive match. Nurses also scan their badges so the hospital can see who has given the patient their medicine.
PVHMC is also using bar codes in testing blood sugars with a bar-code-reading glucometer.
Hoyos is impressed with the impact of the Access system.
“We’ve advanced our patient safety initiative with Access‘s solution,” he says. “Its support of two bar coding methodologies on patient wristbands, and of our specimen collection medication dispensing and blood sugar testing gives us validation that we’re positively identifying patients every time.”
Using Access’s e-forms on demand system alongside its Siemens system is also positively
impacting patient satisfaction
“When we scan bar-coded wristbands produced by the Access system, it gives our patients confidence that we’re doing the right thing, which makes them feel safer,” Hoyos says. “It also gives us another way to engage the patient, and they usually offer their wristbands to us because they’ve come to expect it.”
One of the hallmarks of paper forms is the floor space they consume. This was the case in PVMHC’s registration department and on clinical floors until the arrival of Access.
“Since deploying Access solutions we’ve reclaimed space on clinical floors, where nurses are always fighting for more room,” Hoyos says. “We eliminated 30 linear feet of paper forms in a 12-bed cardiac care unit and added more workstations. We also avoided having to take a patient room for forms storage on one of the main floors.”
Now that forms are managed and accessed electronically, staff can focus more on meeting patients’ needs, and there’s less strain on the hospital’s budget.
“With Access’s e-forms on demand solution, we save over $200,000 a year in the print shop alone,” Hoyos says. “What’s not included in that is the time savings of no longer dealing with the print vendor and the benefit of having control of our forms.”
Another challenge that Access is helping PVHMC overcome is downtime registration. With paper forms, clerks hand wrote registration information any time the HIS was down. Access’s downtime registration solution enables these staff members to register patients using e-forms during scheduled or unscheduled downtime.
“If our systems are down we can retrieve e-forms using the Access system and ensure patients’ information gets into the right places in their charts,” Hoyos says.
When it comes to transitioning between paper-based, hybrid and electronic medical records, the biggest challenge is often convincing users — and particularly seasoned employees — to try something new. To overcome these issues, Hoyos and his team formed a cross-department committee to manage the forms automation project, and solicited feedback from clinical and administrative staff at every step. When PVHMC went live with Access solutions, 95 percent of its clinical forms were converted into electronic versions.
“We kept communication open with our clinical users to make sure the e-forms system was tailored to their needs on the floors, and this helped get them on board with the project,” Hoyos says. "We took our time to get everything right."
"Nurses' two favorite things about the Access system are that its easy to use and it doesn't complicate they're processes." Hoyos says. "Instead of going to a storage area and hoping forms are there, they go to an electronic repository knowing that everything they need is at their finger tips."
When asked whether he prefers his peers at other hospitals to Access, Hoyos confirmed that he does and explained why:
" I've recommended Access to numerous people because they are a solid company, they're fair and they deliver on their promises," he says, " I think that what we're all really looking for in health care."
“I’ve recommended Access to numerous people because they’re a very solid company, they’re fair and they deliver on their promises. I think that’s what we’re all really looking for in healthcare.”
Location: Pomona, CA
Focus: Complete EHRs and patient safety
Departments: Admissions, registration, clinical floors
Access solutions: Intelligent eForms and Enterprise Integration
Seamless integration sends eForms directly into EHRs without manual effort.
Moving to eForms saves $200,000 in the print shop, delivering rapid ROI.
Wristband bar-coding ensures positive patient ID throughout the visit.
Thirty (30) linear feet of paper eliminated in cardiac care department, more in other areas.