Tuesday, May 11, 2010

True Healthcare Reform

Anyone who works in healthcare is all too aware of the sheer volume of paper generated by a single patient visit, and Great Bay Mental Health was no exception. The support staff at the treatment center found themselves literally buried in paperwork, from patient notes to multiple copies of insurance forms and referrals, to storing and processing the forms needed to stay in compliance with HIPAA. And because Great Bay’s facility is comprised of eight different practitioners, many of whom see the same patient at different intervals during his or her care regimen, the likelihood of lost or misplaced patient charts increased exponentially. “Just keeping track of which practitioner had a particular chart at a given point in time on the patient’s care routine was an issue,” notes Cheryl Sullivan, office manager at Great Bay Mental Health Associates.

Sullivan adds that sharing information between practitioners and a patient’s primary care physician was also a challenge. “If we got an inquiry from another provider who was partnering with us in a patient’s care, or from an insurance provider looking for updated information, the old way was to take down their request, go and look for the file and hopefully find it on the first try, then get back to that person,” she explains. “On days where we saw a lot of patients, this process got very time-consuming and kept us from efficiently checking-in patients who were waiting to be seen.”

Sullivan says TreenoGCM (Global Content Manager) was the remedy for what ailed Great Bay. “We chose this solution because it was extremely feature rich, easy to implement and use and required very little training,” she says. “Our practitioners are very busy and didn’t want a solution that required them to put in extensive hours just trying to figure out how to use it.”
TreenoGCM was deployed across Great Bay’s facility in just a couple of days. Sullivan says the most labor intensive part of the process was entering the existing patient data into the system. “We brought in some temp employees to help with the workload, and it went very smoothly,” she says. “It was much less of a front end investment than what many of the larger document management firms required from us.” The practitioners appreciated the fact that TreenoGCM runs transparently in concert with existing software applications they need to do their job. “We were able to keep our existing operational model in use, which was key, because the practitioners didn’t have the time to go out and learn a new operating system or software program,” Sullivan says. “They see over 10 patients per day each, and take turns handling evening calls.”

Sullivan says Treeno’s quick deployment and Web-based platform were also attractive. “Most of the treatment happens at the facility, but occasionally when our practitioners are on call they need access to files while at the hospital emergency room,” she says.
Today, Great Bay Mental Health Associates enjoys a streamlined, collaborative approach to maintaining patient information, regardless of location or time constraints. “Because of Treeno's architecture, our practitioners can access medication and patient notes remotely without fear of compromising security,” she said. The benefits of TreenoGCM were also quickly apparent to the support staff. “We spend a lot less time prepping each patient office visit, and more time actually assisting the patients while they’re here.”

Most of all, Sullivan says that when HIPAA enforcement time rolls around, she and her staff are confident that they are following regulations regarding the storage, disposal and security of patient data. “The most important aspect of staying in compliance is having complete visibility into where your patient data resides,” Sullivan says. “With TreenoGCM, we can access everything with a few mouse clicks. Additionally, we can monitor the information and see who last had access to it. Our patient’s privacy is very important to us, even without the HIPAA aspect of things. With Treeno, we can maintain our commitment to taking better care of our patients.”

To learn more about how Treeno can help your organization, call us at 1-800-528-5005 (U.S. & Canada), 1-603-570-4317 (outside of U.S. and Canada) or visit us on the Web at http://www.treenosoftware.com/
951 Islington Street Portsmouth, NH 03801 800.528.5005

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