Optioâ€™s Healthcare Solutions Optimize Forms Management Processes and Improve Patient Safety
ALPHARETTA, Ga. â€“ July 17, 2007 â€“ OptioÂ® Healthcare (OTCBB:OPTO.OB) today announced that CMH Regional Health System has reduced costs by more than $52,000 in equipment, supplies and maintenance due to Optioâ€™s forms automation solutions, which it implemented in October, 2006 as part of a three-year, $18 million patient-safety initiative.
CMH Regional Health System (CMH), a 95-bed hospital in Wilmington, Ohio, has also reduced costs and experienced process improvements through a streamlined medical records process, which includes automatic indexing and the cold feeding of forms for storage and retrieval. These improvements alone have generated a savings of nearly $14,000 and one-half of a full-time employee equivalent (FTE) due to Optioâ€™s integrated healthcare solutions.
The hospital also reports accelerated chart completion (deficiency management), reduced chart delinquencies and fewer data errors. â€œWe are generating several benefits from Optio outside of the cost savings,â€ said Linda Keifer, senior electronic forms and imaging analyst â€“ CMH. â€œPerhaps the most important is in the area of improved patient safety.â€
The CMH Patient-Safety Initiative
In October 2006, CMH implemented phase one of a three-year, $18 million patient-safety initiative that includes a transformation to an electronic health record (EHR) system. With a corporate vision to become the best community hospital in America, CMH embraces and relies on technology to help it achieve this goal.
After selecting an EHR solution, the hospital recognized that forms automation was necessary to deploy a more complete, legal EHR system and to optimize forms management throughout the continuum of care. CMHâ€™s existing forms management processes were extremely manual, paper-based and labor-intensive, resulting in multiple errors, limited medical record storage space and decreased employee productivity. The hospitalâ€™s manual processes also limited physician and staff accessibility to patient information and decreased the amount of time employees could devote to providing patient safety and care.
Choosing the Right Forms Automation System
When CMH began its search for a forms automation solution, they identified three key objectives:
â€¢ Seamless integration with their existing EHR solution
â€¢ Flexible functionality
â€¢ Ease of use for the hospital staff
After extensive research, the hospital found that Optioâ€™s Healthcare solutions not only met these goals, but also offered significantly more flexibility and functionality than other systems. In comparison to competitors, CMH found that Optio was equal or superior in every category, earning its reputation as the, â€œtop forms automation package in the market,â€ according to Linda Keifer.
In addition to Optioâ€™s Forms Automation Solutions, MedEx and MedForms, CMH selected Optioâ€™s DesignStudioTM solution to further extend the capabilities of their technology investment. With these solutions, the hospital is able to design forms and automate forms processing. They can also retrieve and store documents within a single, easily accessed repository and produce bar-coded documents on-demand, helping CMH decrease costs and increase efficiencies.
Enhanced Patient Safety and Care
Optioâ€™s Forms Automation Solution, MedExÂ®, is helping CMH enforce more stringent patient safety features. For example, MedEx works together with the hospitalâ€™s pharmaceutical solution to help its staff to accurately track the administration of medication.
This goal is accomplished by requiring clinicians to scan the patient wristband in addition to his/her badge and the medication prior to dispensation. Previous procedures did not require clinicians to scan the wristband, creating a potentially dangerous situation. The combined software solution helps CMH ensure the right patient is receiving the right medication at the right time.
â€œBy becoming less reliant on paper medical records, we are helping physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians provide more informed and safer care,â€ says Tim Crowley, former president and chief executive officer of CMH Regional Health System.
MedEx has also helped the hospital reduce the amount of manual entry of patient information. Manual data entry can lead to errors of interpretation that compromise patient safety. Optio is helping the hospital manage version control by ensuring that the right version of each form is being used and all state-regulated forms are in place.
Expectations for Continued Success
Based on the success realized by CMH thus far, the hospital anticipates considerable savings once staff members are fully trained and able to leverage the Optio solution to capacity. Keifer cites her experience with a former employer who used Optioâ€™s solutions as the benchmark upon which she has set her expectations:
"During my tenure at a larger hospital, we realized a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000) in savings in one year with Optio. I expect to see similar savings at CMH, in proportion to our size."
While ROI is important to CMH, the hospital is taking a long-term view on recouping its technology investment in both its EHR and forms automation solutions. That said, Keifer admits that she expects to realize the fastest ROI from its forms automation solution, based on reduction of paper printing and storage costs, alone.
â€œHaving worked with Optio solutions for over a decade, I am acutely aware of the benefits we stand to gain,â€ said Keifer. â€œOutside of the cost savings, our nurses and clinicians will have more time to devote to our patients, which is our top priority.â€
About CMH Regional Health System:
With 95 staffed beds, more than 900 employees, and a medical staff of more than 150 in 30 specialties, CMH offers a full range of medical services, including emergency, cardiology, acute care, oncology, women's and children's services, sub-acute care, rehabilitation services, surgical services, corporate health, home care, and a family medicine residency program affiliated with the University of Cincinnati. For more information, visit www.cmhregional.com.
About Optio Software, Inc.
Optio Software, with 25 years of experience and more than 5,500 clients, worldwide, provides software solutions dedicated to improving, managing and controlling the complete lifecycle of document-intensive processes, while extending the value of their Enterprise Resource Planning and Hospital Information Systems. More than 5,500 organizations rely on Optio Software for innovative solutions that allow them to improve business processes, reduce transactional activities and focus on core responsibilities. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Optio Software maintains European, Middle Eastern and African (E.M.E.A.) headquarters in the United Kingdom and sales offices in the United States, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
About Optio Healthcare Solutions:
More than 700 healthcare organizations use Optioâ€™s affordable, legal electronic health record (EHR), forms automation, clinical document management and advanced labeling solutions to capture, format, scan, view, sign, and archive patient information.
Optioâ€™s technology delivers real-time access to patient information throughout the continuum of care, while improving patient safety and ensuring compliance with industry requirements. For more information about Optioâ€™s leading-edge healthcare solutions, visit www.optiohealthcare.com or call (770) 576-3500.
Â© Copyright 2007, Optio Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Optio, MedEx and MedForms are registered trademarks and DesignStudio is a trademark of Optio Software, Inc. Other companies and products mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
Optio Software, Inc.