Many facilities struggle with preparing patient charts in a timely fashion. Manually arranging charts means staff must affix pre-printed sticky labels with patient information on each chart page, and an error can mean reassembling the chart from scratch.
This painstaking process typically takes between two to four hours each day, with each chart requiring roughly 10–15 minutes to compile. ASCs can simplify this process and improve the patient experience by using automation tools to prepare patient charts and have them ready for review before the time of service.
Workflow automation tools can reduce time-consuming, manual processes associated with managing patient charts, streamline chart preparation and save business offices time and money. They also can simplify charting operations and increase efficiencies without affecting physician workflow. Paper charts can be prepared for physician use during the patient encounter, and postoperatively, digital charts can be created through barcode scanning technology.
Chart automation tools also can eliminate pre-printed forms and remote storage and retrieval fees, identify missing forms, scan A/R documentation and invoices and work in conjunction with billing office workflow tools to expedite the revenue cycle.
By automating communication and reminding patients of upcoming procedures, ASCs can reduce cancellations and no-shows. While many ASCs contact patients manually to remind them of upcoming procedures, growing outpatient volume has made manually calling all patients next to impossible. Thanks to the latest technology, staff that would typically be tasked with manual procedure confirmations can now focus on improving the patient experience.
The advice and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author’s and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion. Financial relationships between physicians and entities raise potential legal issues for both parties and any such arrangement for revenue sharing should be reviewed by counsel.