A prominent University Medical Center, located in the heart of a campus, provides medical education and training for health professionals and a full range of healthcare services to people in the surrounding community. As part of its overall goal to improve access to its medical research as well as expand its healthcare resources for low-income patients, the center leverages Epic EMR to distribute research results more quickly and incorporate its findings into clinical care. In order to keep its educational team and staff in the loop, and communicate more efficiently with community providers, the medical center decided they needed a better way to share information.
Complications in Enterprise Faxing
The University Medical Center took the first step to improve its sharing of education and research by evaluating the efficiency of its document workflows to ensure documents were being delivered timely and accurately. Tens of thousands of documents were transmitted on a weekly basis with most being sent through inefficient manual fax processes.
It was discovered that the manual processes created several challenges for staff as handwritten notes were unable to be clearly scanned into electronic patient records, walls of storage folders required hours of manual searching and new medical trainees were unable to learn the complicated processes required to send a document into an EMR other than Epic.
They realized that if documents could not be sent more efficiently, that a big change would need to be made.
Integration with Medical Records
The University Medical Center decided they needed to improve the reliability and efficiency of their time-sensitive document delivery processes in a way that could allow them to meet the growing demands from patients and students alike. The medical center integrated their Epic EMR system with OpenText RightFax, the market leading fax server solution, to solve these problems. This new combination expanded their ability to easily receive documents from a variety of sources while also simplifying the process to send a fax.
Communication with outside health providers and smaller clinics is now seamless and medical data can be shared with multiple destinations in a variety of file formats including PDFs, TIFFs and XML-data. Whether transmitting patient data or educational resources, the accuracy of vital information is ensured, and documents are no longer lost, misplaced or delivered to the wrong person.
No Need to Retrain Staff
Staff and system administrators can easily send and manage documents directly from the Epic interface they are already familiar with. Faxes can be sent in as little as a few clicks and users can leverage a variety of tools including web, desktop and email clients to quickly send a fax. Inbound faxes are now sorted using multiple automated methods, including via the RightFax Searchable PDF Module which converts incoming documents into searchable and sortable information.
Users also benefit from updated document handling methods. Students and staff can send and receive files without the need to manually print out the document, allowing them to use the tools they already use every day. Staff in many departments, including billing, scheduling and insurance, can send and receive files via RightFax for processing without printing anything.
Through a direct integration with Microsoft Exchange, students and staff are able to handle faxes directly from within their work email accounts without the need for a separate application or login. This new streamlined process unifies and connects networks of care, enabling a large complex health system to provide timely delivery of critical research documents and diagnosis results to patients.
Customizable Solution and Ability to Scale
RightFax continues to grow with the medical center as it continues to expand its operations into new hospitals, clinics and research groups. As their fax traffic grew, the medical center decided to begin leveraging the RightFax Shared Services Module, which allowed multiple servers to share a common database and distribute workloads across the servers.
Now as their environmental availability has increased through additional redundant connection points, the medical center can benefit from improved high availability that ensures the duplication of critical system functions, enabling the processing of documents even in the event of service disruption.
Fax Efficiency Supports Patient Care
RightFax drives the timely and reliable exchange of medical research, patient prescriptions, referrals and other educational resources that are an integral component of the University. The University now streamlines the delivery of critical documents by removing the manual, paper-based processes and replacing them with automated workflows that include smart routing, centralized tools and enterprise interoperability.
Efficiency and Service
Smooth RightFax integrations with Epic have proven effective in limiting faxing issues. Physicians, support staff and other employees work fluidly from the Epic EMR interface, efficiently and securely sending and receiving files as needed without additional training.
When new medical trainees first begin sending faxes through Epic and RightFax, the amount of time spent training them is significantly reduced. End users quickly adjust to using tools with simple interfaces and easily transform paper-heavy methods into integrated, electronic productivity.
All workflow and productivity improvements enhance the ability for the University Medical Center to provide quality care to patients, as well as maintain clear communication with students and doctors.
Save Time and Money
All across the complex networks that make up the large medical centers, doctors, nurses and staff work to develop efficient workflows, share best practices and implement innovative and creative solutions in order to make their high-quality services more available for patients and students. By utilizing RightFax with Epic to transform paper heavy workflows, the number of MFPs and other devices needed have been reduced, leading to substantial savings in materials and maintenance.
Upgrading the faxing infrastructure to a single, virtual management environment also supported cost efficiency efforts by eliminating hardware and upgrade cycles. Consolidation into a single virtual RightFax environment helped to ease required administration, freeing administrators to spend their time on higher priority tasks.
Business Continuity and Growth
Integrating RightFax with Microsoft Exchange and the RightFax Searchable PDF Module, has further increased the efficiency of the medical center’s document workflows and reduced human error. Together with the many available integrations and add-ons, RightFax is now a tier-one application providing a robust faxing solution with high availability for the University Medical Center. Testing and support assures employees have communication tools when they need them, in all circumstances and even as a healthcare network grows and expands.
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