VAR Relieves Paperwork Headaches Of Largest U.S. Pediatric Group
VAR's ability to integrate seemingly disparate ERP (enterprise resource planning) and document management systems eliminates paperwork bottlenecks for the nation's largest newborn pediatric physicians group.
Thanks to complex insurance and government regulatory burdens, applying efficient business principles to their practices is as critical to physicians today as is medical knowledge. This need is even more pronounced at large physicians groups, such as Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Pediatrix is the nation's largest provider of maternal-fetal-newborn care, with affiliated professional corporations employing more than 675 physicians in 30 states and Puerto Rico.
For several years, Pediatrix had been using imaging systems for document management across several business functions - human resources, accounts payable (AP), and insurance form processing. What it didn't have, however, was an integrated, comprehensive solution for imaging, archiving, and document retrieval and sharing across the enterprise in support of mission-critical functions. "Many users and IT staff were pushing for replacement of existing imaging systems," explains David Godiksen, president of Information Access Systems, an Orlando, FL content management integrator. Due to its familiarity with Pediatrix's installed imaging system and relationship with Hyland Software, Inc. (Westlake, OH), Information Access Systems was called upon to provide the solution.
Pediatrix's AP department relies heavily on document management systems to process and pay invoices. Paper documents are mailed to Pediatrix's centralized AP office from all company locations. "Based on a daily volume of up to 5,000 scans, AP was the greatest driver behind this upgrade," says Godiksen. To boost document throughput and retrievability, Godiksen's recommended solution included an M4097D image scanner from Fujitsu Computer Products of America (San Jose, CA). Captured data is indexed and sent to Hyland's OnBase document imaging, management, and workflow software.
"One challenge we encountered was that Pediatrix was in the process of migrating to an ERP [enterprise resource planning] solution from Lawson Software [St. Paul, MN]," Godiksen says. "Extending document accessibility to multiple users across the enterprise was one of the key factors for this application." To resolve the situation, Godiksen introduced Hyland's Application Enabler software. The module acts as an integration tool between the Pediatrix ERP and its document management repository in OnBase without any programming involvement.
"The result is an intuitive, Web-enabled user interface that any authorized person across the enterprise can use to quickly search and retrieve AP documents," Godiksen says. "Pediatrix has received a big productivity boost for accounts payable personnel in terms of a 25% increase in document throughput and much faster retrieval. But customers are benefiting too; because AP people can see invoices in one Web view, they're now able to deliver first-call resolution for customers."
Virtual Rescan Improves Accuracy
A similar solution was applied to processing explanation of benefits (EOB) forms. These forms, which have many different formats and layouts, are completed by patients and mailed to the central office. Operators use Fujitsu M4097D scanners to capture images of some 2,000 forms each day. These scanners also are equipped with Kofax virtual rescan (VRS) capability and OCR (optional character recognition) software. VRS instantaneously corrects paper skew caused by blurs, coloring, or shading. By adjusting for these problems, VRS frees operators from troubleshooting and rescanning defective images. "With VRS, the OCR reading accuracy has increased between 20% and 30%," says Godiksen.
Additional departments are also realizing benefits from the solution. The Pediatrix human resources department uses a low-volume Fujitsu scanner to capture data used in creating electronic personnel folders on all employees. The legal department is scanning physicians' contracts that can be distributed across the network. All told, the hardware and software solution is valued at $220,000.
Current plans call for rolling out EOB and other document capture applications at office locations throughout Pediatrix's 30-state footprint. Because most offices have limited bandwidth, the scanned documents will be collected, scheduled for end-of-day upload, and then transmitted over the wide area network (WAN) to the centralized document repository. Remote users can access all documents via Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Pediatrix also plans on utilizing OnBase in support of its recruiting and credentialing processes, supporting more than 900 physicians annually.
What's more, Pediatrix has positioned itself to apply document management to additional ERP applications, such as archiving transactional data, inbound data, outbound data, and reports. It's another example of how business information is becoming as important to doctors as medical information.