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OnBase: Laying the Groundwork for a Great Taxonomy

  
  
  

OnBase: Laying the Groundwork for a Great Taxonomy

taxonomy funnyThere are two types of people: digital hoarders and digital neat freaks. I fall into the first category, with ambiguous file names and an organizational structure that’s iffy at best. My husband is the latter, creating art out of his foldering system while he begs me to sort out my desktop. I tell him I prefer living life on the edge.

Luckily, one of the benefits of using an enterprise content management technology such as OnBase is the ability to more easily keep content under control across departments and processes, so even people like me can find what they need quickly. Even so, there’s a few best practices for making your OnBase solution as easily navigable as possible.

There are three main approaches to categorizing your content:

1.   Grouped according to departments or business units (ex. HR, AP, Legal, Plant #1)
2.   Grouped based on processes (ex. Contracts, Projects, Agendas)
3.   Hybrid approach that embraces both 1 and 2 (ex. Payroll, accessed by HR and AP)

There’s a number of things that should be considered when deciding which of these options will best fit the needs of your organization. First is the workflow of the documents. If they mostly stay within a certain department or user group, sorting them accordingly might be easier. Conversely, if those documents float between departments regularly but are part of a single process, a process-based organization would be better. Also consider your records management, as you may be able to strategically group your documents to more easily manage your retention schedule and other events.

Another best practice when creating a taxonomy structure is to keep no more than 15-20 document types per group in order to keep your folders manageable and user-friendly. If there’s too many, the system might become intimidating and confusing, undoing some of the hard work you’ve put in. In case you need to present groups of documents outside of your enterprise taxonomy, (for example, to contractors or vendors), administrators can create a custom query to display needed information, regardless of the taxonomical structure.

There are tons of ways OnBase can help to make sense of the massive amounts of information enterprises keep, and if you need help, contact us! Databank is a premier OnBase reseller full of ECM experts who’d be happy to answer your questions. 

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A Road Map to Business Process Automation Implementation

  
  
  

4 Tips for Successful Business Process Automation

business process automation implementation

When’s the last time you had a craving for some good ol’ busy work? While I can’t speak for everyone, I’d guess the answer for most is probably “never.” No one’s time and talents should be wasted on being a bored cog in a manual workflow. These tasks are more than just tiresome; they’re also expensive and inefficient, stealing time away from employees who could be focusing on more important projects.

Business process automation helps conserve the time and money spent on manual tasks by enabling streamlined workflows, data entry, and document routing. Productivity will increase with higher workflow efficiency as previously tapped out resources are freed up and put to better use. Since there’s so many different approaches organizations can take to business process automation, being aware of best practices is important to a successful implementation. Here are a few tips for getting it right the first time:

Tip 1:

Identify specific processes, or even parts of processes, that are the most ripe for improvement. What will result in the biggest ROI for the least amount of work? Before signing any contracts, ensure your potential vendor understands exactly where the problems lie and can offer a solution that fits your requirements without creating unnecessary complications.

Tip 2:

It’s ok to start small if your solution is easily scalable and can be reconfigured for any changing requirements you may have. However, if your solution cannot grow with your organization or requires copious amounts of coding and support for every adjustment, you may just create an information silo that will need to be readdressed in the future.

Tip 3:

Are there any regulations you need to be aware of before your implementations? Ensure both you and your solutions partner have a good understanding of any compliance requirements and how they may be affected by a business process automation implementation.

Tip 4:

The road to business process improvement is never without obstacles, and often one of the biggest is, of course, budget. If you’re able to temporarily reallocate resources for a bigger payoff later, business process automation can be largely beneficial to productivity, operational costs, and even customer service. If your budget is particularly tight, you may be able to spread the wealth of BPA and cut the cost with a shared services arrangement.

A project of this scale might sound daunting at first, but the right solutions partner will provide the information you need to successfully and effectively update your business processes. Not sure you’re ready for this? Check out our blog post, “Advanced Capture Technology: The Answer to Your Data Entry Prayers” for more information on how streamlining data entry can change lives.

Think you already know the ins and outs of paperless processes? Test your knowledge below with our quiz!

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4 Trends Driving Us Toward the Workplace of the Future

  
  
  

4 Trends Driving Us Toward the Workplace of the Future

robot business processWhat do you hope the future holds? Me, I hope for self-driving cars, a cure for cancer, and a Pringles can that fits my hand. Sometimes there’s really no way to know what’s in store without a time machine, but I didn’t need a flux capacitor to see the direction the workplace is heading. The future of work centers around improved communication and collaboration mixed with an “anytime, anywhere” philosophy, and new tools are being developed every day to make those goals a reality. Here’s a few overarching trends that are shaping the way we’ll do our jobs in the near future:

1.   Mobile Workforce

Just in the past few years, the use of cell phones has exploded. Ten years ago, we were lucky to have a one with a camera we could use to snap blurry selfies. Now our phones are magical little boxes, home to a woman named Siri who answers all our questions. With their ever-growing list of capabilities, phones are now letting us work from anywhere by allowing us to access content without even needing to crack open a laptop.

The ability to work from a mobile device speeds up processes and increases productivity for employees who are often in the field or on travel, and with new collaboration apps and tools being released all the time, they’re becoming a stronger player than ever in the workforce. In the future, they could become a more integral part of doing business away from the office as more workers take advantage of functionalities such as easy approvals and digital signatures straight from their phones and tablets.

2.  Remote “Offices”

As communication and collaboration get easier, the world gets smaller and working remotely is increasingly commonplace. Face-to-face meetings are becoming less of a requirement with the emergence of video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities, and the need to be present in the office all the time is dissipating as the same information becomes accessible from other locations.

There’s a reason remote offices are becoming a popular choice. It allows employees to work without worrying about a commute and lets businesses take advantage of the talents and skillsets of a wider range of people. Employees who work remotely are often happier and more productive, as well as cheaper, as employers can reduce rent and other office supply costs. 

3.  The Work-Life Blend

“Work-life blend” is a new term gaining popularity with the rise of the “anytime, anywhere” philosophy. As opposed to the work-life balance, which aims to separate work life from personal life and leave time for both, the work-life blend accepts that neither personal nor professional life can always be limited to a set schedule and instead aims for flexibility.  This flexibility in not only location, but work hours, is becoming more prevalent in many forward-thinking organizations that put more weight on results than the time spent working in the office.

4.  Enterprise Technology

Paper is out, and automation is in. Organizations are looking for new ways to leverage technology to save money on operations, increase employee productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. All three of those things are key components of remaining competitive in the coming years, and innovative business models garner attention and gain rewards as the way the world does business changes.

There’s tons of ways to improve problem processes, and all those options can get a bit overwhelming. After you’ve identified what needs to be fixed, the next step is finding a partner who can help you find the perfect solution to fit your requirements.  From there, you’ll be able to collaborate on a strategy for more efficient processes and better operations.

The workplace of the future is fast and digital, and it’s coming quickly, providing opportunities for new methods of work, more flexibility in our professional lives, and cheaper, more efficient processes. To learn more about how you can get your business up to speed, take our quick quiz below: “How Well Do You Know Paperless Processes?”.

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4 Steps to Upgrading OnBase like a Pro

  
  
  

4 Steps to Upgrading OnBase like a Pro

OnBase ComputerHave you ever had something that’s due for replacement, but for some reason you just keep it around? Maybe it’s a laptop that’s so loud it sounds like a jet engine, or a phone with so many cracks in the screen, you can hardly read your texts. Does that say “Let’s eat, Susie” or “Let’s eat Susie”?

Sooner or later, you reach a point where the costs simply outweigh the benefits and you’re running out of both excuses and duct tape. When the age of your OnBase solution is preventing you from using new functionality that could support more positive, impactful changes to your business processes, even if technically, it still works, maybe it’s time to move on and upgrade.

Not only does upgrading bring you a slew of new features that can save you even more time and money; it simplifies support and helps to promote data security.  Here’s four ways to make sure your upgrade is a piece of cake:

Step 1: Give your current solution a check-up

Before you start making arrangements for an upgrade, you’ve got to figure out exactly how well your current system is functioning. Ensure your database is successfully, regularly backing up and check for any orphaned items or other issues within your workflows. Run a Diagnostic Console for web services to identify any associated errors, and assess DIP, COLD, and scanning functionalities. By reviewing all these areas, you’ll know ahead of time what sort of adjustments you’ll need to make as you proceed with a newer version.

Step 2: Review all custom code and APIs

After an overall evaluation of your solution is done, it’s time to take a closer look at any sections that required customization. This is important for two reasons. First, you’ll identify any code that may need to be adjusted in order to function properly after the upgrade and any legacy APIs that will have to be converted to ones that are supported. Second and more excitingly, you may find that you can eliminate past customization thanks to new tools and features. Knowing in advance what your upgrade will involve will unload loads of stress later on and eliminate any surprises.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Environments

Before you upgrade, make sure the current OS and database versions of each of your servers is supported with the OnBase version you're upgrading to. If not, you'll need to update those too, which could affect your upgrade schedule.

Step 4: Test

You can’t know how well your new system actually works before you use it, and immediately after it launches is a terrible time to find out something was overlooked. Hence, testing. Not only does testing allow you to make tweaks without affecting production, it lets users preview the new environment and decide how well they like it ahead of time.

Don’t forget to perform a full backup of your database before putting the upgrade in motion, and you’ll be on your way to a new and improved OnBase chock full of new possibilities!

With so many new features showing up in OnBase, now is the perfect time to start planning your upgrade, and these steps will help you to be better prepared as you make way for more efficient processes.  For more information and best practices, contact your account manager or contact us by clicking below! 

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EMR Integrations: Who's The GOAT?

  
  
  

 

EMR Integrations: Who's The GOAT?

 

EMR Integrations

Who or what makes your cut as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)? What is your criteria for bestowing individuals, products and services with this title?  For me and more than half the human race, it's a no-brainer that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. His mental prowess on the court and ability to be a great teammate and leader, along with multiple championships, accolades and philanthropic priorities are key indicators.  Hockey? Wayne Gretzky is the obvious choice for many of the same reasons.

But what about products or brands?  Best airline?  From my personal experience with on-time flights, zero complaints and constant impeccable service it's Southwest.  The best karaoke bar in the state of Oklahoma?  It’s called Cookies, and you should check it out. My point is this, we all have our reasons for determining who the best is based on our own preferences, but are product and service GOATs really that obvious to identify? For most, we can turn to reviews and customer satisfaction scores. Sometimes it's more difficult, like when we talk about solutions for electronic medical record processes! What we do know, is that when it comes to those who perform at championship levels for EMR integrations, these are the key indicators you need to consider when determining the true greats in the game:

The ability to create a complete patient record

If you currently have a reliable solution then you already know it can’t do everything you want.  In some cases, up to 75% of a patient’s information exists outside of your current solution.  Without it, clinicians and staff run the risk of treating patients without the complete piece. 

Support continuity of care

If your system goes down, you need a solution that continues to provide the critical documents your providers and staff need to care for patients and keep your facility running.

Seamless business processes

Whatever the format – forms, faxes, clinical images or videos – you need a solution that will securely capture, store and manage your content in its original format, whether managing patient, encounter, HR, financial, or other critical content, it must be accurate and greatly reduce the risk of lost or misplaced information.

Scaling from a single department to the cloud and beyond!

The need for flexibility and configurability in either an enterprise-wide implementation or department by department, so you can start small and expand as you see necessary, or perhaps you need immediate access to previously disconnected, disparate systems.

  Click to learn more about ourhealthcare content managment solutions

Transforming Assessment Appeals Processes with Automation (and Magic)

  
  
  

Transforming Assessment Appeals Processes with Automation (and Magic)

assessors not hauntedThey say the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I don’t know who “they” are or how they could possibly know that, but if they’re right, there’s one more certainty they forgot – people will try to avoid both. While assessor’s offices cannot grant us immortality, they might be able to help with the latter, so we swamp them with our property documents.

When tons of appeals are coming in on a daily basis, the paper piles up pretty fast, and with all those physical documents being shuffled between so many parties for submittal, review, and approval, it’s almost impressive there’s any that don’t get misplaced. By processing appeals electronically instead, not only are assessor’s offices able to significantly increase productivity; they can tap into tons of other benefits, too.

Assessment appeals automation begins at the very beginning of the appeals process – the constituent’s submission of supporting documents. With an electronic appeals system in place, documents can be easily submitted online through a portal and routed to the appropriate recipients. If a piece of information is missing, you’ll be able to easily notify the constituent, and they can just add it electronically. Easy peasy! Already, this saves tons of time for both parties and adds one more thing we can all do without ever changing out of our pajamas. That’s the dream, isn’t it?

After the assessor’s office has received all information, it’s ready to be routed, reviewed, and approved electronically. No more transporting files from party to party like a less exciting grown-up game of hot potato or finagling multiple systems and apps. In addition to speeding up the review process by delivering information within seconds, this is also prevents documents from getting lost and increases transparency for both staff and constituents. While staff will be able to see where the documents are and whose queue they’re in, constituents can check back and see where in the review process their case is currently at.

When the review process has been completed, notify constituents almost instantly by creating the necessary letter from a template with a few clicks of a button. Just like that, almost all the redundant labor involved in reviewing and responding to appeals is taken care of. Transforming these processes with an electronic system is enough to remedy a tight budget, decreasing staff, and increasing levels of appeals.

Don’t believe us? Get the scoop straight from someone who has already done it – the Assessor’s Office of Maricopa County. To hear their full story, view the recording of our recent webinar below.


5 Signs It’s Time to Go Paperless at Work

  
  
  

5 Signs It’s Time to Go Paperless at Work

file cabinet mazePaper is a great thing… for some things. Origami, starting fires, and heartfelt snail mail are all fantastic uses, but paper’s place in the office is dwindling.

As the demand for faster services rises, so does the need for streamlined, simpler business processes. Fortunately, the technology to help you reap the benefits of a paperless office improves every day, but even so, there’s still plenty of organizations out there with a serious paper problem. Here’s five telltale signs that you’ve got too much:

1.       Your cubicles seem to be getting smaller

It’s like a much slower, drawn out scenario of “the walls are closing in.”  Or maybe it’s something you don’t notice until one day, you can’t get your desk chair out. Either way, if paper is encroaching on your personal space, it’s time to rethink how you’re using it.

2.       You’ve got an area designated as “the warehouse” where you send paper

Not only does “the warehouse” just sound creepy, it’s also a waste of space and possibly a waste of money if you’re paying extra for it.  Documents stored like this are generally much less accessible and much easier to lose track of than their electronic counterparts.  Instead of using keywords to find what you’re searching for in seconds, you’ve got to manually scour the warehouse, which is time consuming and frustrating. Save yourself and the rest of your organization the headaches, and leave the warehouse in the past.

3.       The halls are lined with file cabinets

First the hallways, then your cubicles.  It’s even worse if you’ve got hallways made out of file cabinets. Besides being a poor document management system, this can be dangerous, and not just for all the information inside.  Before you know it, you’ve lost John the Accountant in the maze made of filing cabinets, and how do you explain that?

4.       The thought of a fire or flood makes you queasy

Think of all that information that’ stored in those boxes, or in those file cabinets, and especially if they’re stored in a warehouse. A lot of it is probably the only copy in existence, and it’s all in the same spot. Storing only a hard copy of your files is a huge risk with a relatively simple solution: store it electronically, and create a back up to be stored somewhere else. That way, if anything catastrophic happens, your important information will still be safe.

5.       Paper is delivered in pallets to the office

Things that should be delivered to your office in pallets: Snacks, puppies, caffeinated beverages.
Things that should NOT be delivered to your office in pallets: Spiders, new employees, paper.
Plus, when so much paper is available and being passed around, it’s much easier to create a culture that’s accustomed to over-using it. 

Sure, there’s plenty of daily office activities that still might prevent you from being a paper-free office, but the storage of your old files is no longer one of them.  Electronic documents promote efficiency with improved accessibility and easier collaboration, and storing them digitally mitigates the risk of damage or destruction to physical copies. Use “the warehouse” to house your office parties instead.

For more information on how to go paperless at work, check out the recording of our recent webinar, “The 5 Stages of Going Paperless,” below. 

Can Hospitals Afford the Risk of Not Having a Solid Information Management Strategy?

  
  
  

Can Hospitals Afford the Risk of Not Having a Solid Information Management Strategy?

healthcare information management strategyAt an average cost of $10 to $20 per record, it’s been said that that Medical Records are worth 10 times more to hackers than credit cards. Yikes!

The Ponemon Institute and IBM recently teamed up to release their ninth annual Cost of Data Breach Study, which includes results from 314 companies that represent 10 countries around the world. For 2014, the report revealed the average cost per stolen or lost record, across industries, has increased over 9% from 2013 to an average of $145. For Healthcare specific breaches, the 2014 average cost is $359 per stolen or lost record. With figures this high, the $3 Trillion health care system in the U.S. needs to ensure they have appropriate safeguards in place.

In the ever-changing world of healthcare, Health Information Management (HIM) professionals have taken on some of these responsibilities to help with the efforts to reduce risk. In former years, HIM professionals once focused on records management, but with the increased Legal and Regulatory, Clinical, Financial and Technological responsibilities that have been added to their plates, they have transformed to not only manage the data, but also the context and use of the data housed in the medical record. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) continues to lead the way in educating HIM professionals on the importance of having a strong Information Governance team and program to ensure the security and privacy of Health Information.

There are many ways that hospitals can ensure that they are taking all necessary precautions to ensure secure practices for handling medical records, especially those that remain in paper format. Some tips for information governance in healthcare could include:

  • Working with senior leadership to put an Information Governance committee in place

  • Identifying areas of risk in your organization, especially pertaining to medical records security

  • Shopping around - Although price is an important deciding factor for services such as document scanning, make sure you’re not sacrificing privacy, security and quality in the long run.

  • Touring vendor facilities - If you have a vendor taking your medical records offsite for Document Scanning, Destruction, Storage, or Release of Information, make sure to tour their facility to see the safeguards the vendor has in place.

  • Swiftly working to resolve areas of risk once they are found - Although there may be an upfront cost, proactive costs are typically less expensive than reactive costs and breaches.

When protecting the sensitive information contained in patient charts and medical records, there's no such thing as too secure. Our scanning facilities are ISO 27001 certified - the only internationally accepted security standard. For more information on our patient chart scanning services, click the button below!

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To learn more about information governance and healthcare cyber security, check out these two great resources:  

http://www.ahima.org/topics/infogovernance/igbasics

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/24/us-cybersecurity-hospitals-idUSKCN0HJ21I20140924

Asking the Right Questions to Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2

  
  
  

Asking the Right Questions to Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2 

meaninfulusefunnyIn August of 2012, CMS announced a final rule to govern Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, which centers on the act of using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare. Eligible Professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) have begun attempts to meet specific criteria specified in Stage 2 in the hopes of being a participant in the Incentive Programs. These initiatives include developing security safeguards for patient information, improving care coordination, and involving the patient and their loved ones in their healthcare through the use of patient portals.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 highlights multiple areas where organizations can implement practices to meet standards in the following domains:  Improvement of Quality, Safety, and Efficiency, Engagement of Patients & Families, Improvement of Care Coordination, Improvement of Public & Population Health, and Ensuring Privacy & Security for Personal Health Information (PHI).

If your organization is planning to achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2, start considering the answers to the following questions:

Can you provide patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information within 36 hours after discharge?  If not, how can you shift your focus to achieve this?

How does your facility measure quality, safety, and efficiency? How often are reviews in these categories conducted?

Do you currently have software that allows for high levels of patient engagement with providers?  What can you do to improve this?

Are your patients getting the right care at the right time? 

What security measures do you currently have in place?  How are you safeguarding patient information and user access?

To help ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of your care, compare your facility with those of similar status through benchmarking and invest in a patient portal to allow patients and their families to ask questions and receive feedback from their caregivers. Improve your coordination of care by investing in Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or their Comprehensive Primary Care initiative.  Finally, develop physical, administrative, and technical safeguards within your facility to assure privacy and security of patient PHI.  Initiation of these changes across your organization will result in beneficial incentives and higher quality healthcare.

Another helpful strategy is to offload some of the manual labor onto an experienced, trusted vendor. Through outsourcing work areas such as abstracting and scanning, your facility can process patient information sooner, allowing coders to work faster and the revenue cycle to accelerate. If FTE’s no longer need to assemble and scan patient charts, they’ll have time and freedom to focus on other initiatives including Meaningful Use. 

Could outsourcing your patient chart scanning be right for you? Learn more about our services below.

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Medical Record Coding: Maintaining Speed and Efficiency after ICD-10

  
  
  

Medical Record Coding: Maintaining Speed and Efficiency after ICD-10

patient chart scanning

As the healthcare industry continues to prepare for ICD-10 CM/PCS, organizations are striving to identify how they can increase the speed and efficiency of medical record coding while maintaining accuracy.  Due to the immense granularity associated with ICD-10, many predictive measures have been launched to combat the anticipated deceleration of the coding process.  If your organization is aiming to identify areas where anticipatory improvements can be made, you will want to consider the following:

Are you currently using a Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) module?  Can charts be dual-coded in ICD-9 and ICD-10?

How can you improve your Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) program? What impact will this have on your Discharged Not Final Bill (DNFB) rate?

Have you analyzed your current coding staffing levels?  Are there areas lacking efficiency? How can you combat this?

Is your facility correctly preparing its coders for ICD-10?  What training and education styles can you initiate to ready your coders?

Through the use of natural language processing (NLP), computer assisted coding software identifies key words in records, and in turn produces the associated ICD-9/10 code(s).  Training your coders to review these codes and correct any mistakes will speed up the process and ensure efficiency.  A good way to prepare for the effects of ICD-10 is to practice dual-coding, or to have the charts reviewed in both ICD-9 and ICD-10, to leverage the gap between the current coding structure and its impact on the future structure.

A well-rounded CDI program stresses physician involvement, and hiring Clinical Documentation Specialists (CDSs) who have good communication skills will help to promote that collaboration.  Many hospitals across America are also hiring a physician (possibly retired) to lead the CDI team. Actions like this will allow your facility to drop bills quicker, possibly even when the patient is still in-house, and result in a lower DNFB and positive revenue impact.  

Analyzing your coding staffing levels may bring to the surface areas lacking efficiency or productivity due to insufficient amounts of staff or processes with room for improvement. To see increases in speed and efficiency, you may want to outsource a portion of your coding to contract coders or reconstruct the workflow of your coding department.

Finally, it is crucial that your facility is educating and training its coders for ICD-10.  One idea to accomplish this is to offer overtime, during which classes are taught and hands-on learning can be conducted.  Also, this is another area where dual-coding will produce sufficient levels of speed and efficiency in ICD-10.

ICD-10 will be a substantial change for the healthcare industry, but with proper preparations and arrangements, facilities can minimize the negative impacts it could have on operations. To learn more about how our patient chart scanning services have helped other healthcare facilities to streamline their revenue cycle management, click the button below.

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