Texas hospital boosts charge capture, experiences high clinician adoption and reduces charting times by more than 50 percent with HMS’ full suite of clinical and financial applications
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Background: McCamey County Hospital District has been serving residents of McCamey, Texas, and the surrounding communities in Upton County since 1967 as a not-for-profit, critical-access hospital. Over the years, McCamey expanded its footprint and services by adding a long-term care facility, rural health clinic, full-time physical therapy department and a wellness center, which has increased the level of patient care provided. Committed to further enhancements, McCamey’s board of directors and executive leadership sought to transition the hospital to a paperless environment, streamline clinical and business practices, and free clinicians from time-consuming manual processes to give them more time at patients’ bedsides. McCamey chose to invest in an information technology system with fully integrated clinical and financial applications that would support the hospital’s goals of high quality and safe patient care, as well as more efficient business operations.
The Challenge: McCamey’s leadership embarked on a two-year mission that included researching and interviewing healthcare information technology providers, as well as conducting multiple on-site demonstrations. Committed customer support, hands-on training and a single-vendor approach were of great importance to McCamey. The hospital sought a healthcare IT partner that understood and could address each of its needs, treat each hospital employee as a team member, and uphold McCamey’s “small facility – big heart” motto and intimate community culture.
The Solution: McCamey selected Healthcare Management Systems’ (HMS) full suite of integrated clinical and financial applications, which includes electronic medication administration record (eMAR), patient care documentation, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), and financial and revenue cycle management applications. “We were immediately attracted to the superior functionality and integrated nature of the HMS offerings,” said Jodie Gulihur, chief financial officer (CFO) of McCamey County Hospital District. “However, what really solidified our decision was HMS’ upfront commitment to ongoing assistance and their dedication to McCamey’s success. With our small staff size and limited resources, we knew we could rely on HMS’ expertise and their willingness to serve as a strategic partner throughout all stages of implementation and training.”
HMS delivered extensive on-site support, conducted one-on-one training sessions for the entire McCamey staff, including executives, clinicians and administrators, and ensured that the hospital was equipped to extract maximum benefits from every HMS application.
In addition, HMS’ intuitive and flexible clinical applications made it easy for McCamey’s staff to quickly adopt the technology and new documentation processes.
“Many of our nurses and aides did not have extensive experience with computers prior to HMS, but because the software is easy to use, everyone has been able to utilize the HMS technology to its full potential,” said Cheryl Roberts, chief nursing officer (CNO) of McCamey County Hospital District. “HMS has also helped increase efficiencies for many administrative duties. For example, I can now quickly pull reports or review assessments digitally without having to sift through mounds of paper to gather and analyze information.”
By moving to an electronic health record (EHR), McCamey eliminated manually intensive processes and improved workflow, giving clinicians more time for bedside care. For example, McCamey’s nursing staff significantly decreased the time it took to complete admission and shift assessments from 20 or 30 minutes on paper charts to only 10 minutes. The electronic documentation also reduced the chance of possible errors, such as transposed numbers, and eliminated illegible notations.
HMS’ products have also generated efficiency in business operations. “Seamless integration between HMS’ clinical suite and financial and revenue cycle management applications have allowed McCamey to realize a more streamlined process from admission through billing,” said Gulihur. “More complete clinical documentation has resulted in highly accurate coding and reimbursement, and we saw immediate revenue improvements after going live with HMS.” In addition, automated charge capture helps accelerate accounting and billing processes, decrease A/R days, improve cash collections and reduce denied claims.
McCamey also takes advantage of a unique yearly audit service from HMS, which includes evaluations geared toward helping the hospital get the most from its technology investments. Throughout the audit process, HMS reviews how McCamey is using the technology; then, HMS makes recommendations and provides additional training so that the hospital can better leverage existing functionality and reporting features, as well as adjust processes to be more efficient. “It is extremely helpful to have the constant involvement of an HMS expert, who continues to remind us of best practices and show us how to maximize the return on our investment,” said Gulihur.
As McCamey continues to build on its current success, the hospital plans to implement the HMS Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) in the near future to further increase efficiency and improve patient safety, while enhancing financial performance. And, with HMS’ certified EHR in place, the hospital is well prepared to attest for Stage 1 meaningful use and benefit from Medicare EHR incentive programs.
“We are very proud of our technological achievements as a critical-access hospital, but none of this would have been possible without HMS,” said Gulihur. “HMS’ constant encouragement and support have been a true testament to their commitment to us as a partner and a team member, and we look forward to furthering our relationship with them as we continue leveraging their applications and expertise to attest for meaningful use.”
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