Hospital Streamlines Healthcare Form Processes and Standardizes Documentation with FormFast
MidMichigan Health is a non-profit health system, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, affiliated with the University of Michigan Health System. It covers a 15-county region with medical centers in Midland, Alma, Clare and Gladwin, as well as urgent care centers, home care, nursing homes, physicians, medical offices and other specialty health services.
With a total of 481 hospital beds and 210 licensed nursing home beds, one can imagine the difficulties in maintaining standardization across the entire health system. As evidenced by MidMichigan’s implementation of the Cerner electronic health record system (EHR), there was a recognizable desire to make processes more efficient throughout the entire health organization.
A major part of their journey to a more efficient organization involved creating uniformity among the forms that were used in all four of MidMichigan’s medical centers. Looking for reliability in the creation of barcodes for indexing in the EHR and a better process for managing printed forms, MidMichigan opted for the help of FormFast, the leader in electronic forms management in healthcare and one of the top-ranked providers of electronic workflow solutions.
Beth Kay, Supervisor for Health Information Management at MidMichigan Health, understood the need for a more efficient process in preparing the electronic forms for the EHR.
“[MidMichigan Health] was moving forward with the EHR project, and what really drove us [to FormFast] was, for scanning purposes, we wanted all the forms to be barcoded and to be standardized across the system because we have the four separate hospitals,” said Kay.
FormFast was integral in MidMichigan’s transition from paper charts to an automated electronic health record system as they produced eForms that could be easily indexed into Cerner.
With FormFast’s solutions, MidMichigan was able to begin capturing patient data effortlessly from Cerner’s HIS system and imprint the necessary patient demographics and barcodes onto the form, eliminating the need for labels. FormFast gave them the ability to route forms and packets to the appropriate printers automatically via pre-defined criteria for output – minimizing the use of their copy center.
Once completed by patients or staff, the barcodes allow for forms to be scanned directly into the Cerner EHR for archival.
“FormFast was able to give us the ability to standardize [our] forms and make them accessible to the end-user, cutting out the copy center […] and giving us all of the barcoded information needed for scanning [into the EHR],” Kay explained.
Kay states that MidMichigan currently has 50 packets of eForms organized in Web FormImprint. In addition to these essential forms, MidMichigan utilizes FormFast to serve as a downtime solution to the Cerner system in the event of unscheduled or scheduled downtime, as in the case of upgrades.
“We have all of our downtime forms loaded into FormFast. That’s been great because everyone’s been trained to go [into FormFast] and find their forms in the same place,” Kay stated.
In addition to automation and downtime benefits, form creation also became unquestionably more manageable with the use of FormFast.
“The creation of the forms is much easier than it used to be. [Before], we used to have a two person committee that met bi-weekly, and [the staff] would make an appointment with us and they would have all their different forms that they were looking to alter or to implement. We would look over those forms for spelling and grammatical reasons and make sure that they all met our standard for formatting and things like that,” said Kay.
Along with improved standardization, FormFast was able to help the HIM department take control of the forms process. With form changes happening more frequently and tremendous costs associated
with the waste and management of preprinted forms, MidMichigan was able to recognize the value in adding FormFast to enhance their Cerner system.
“[We] make changes to forms daily. We [usually] find a misspelled word that got missed or a doctor wants to add a medication to order set. We’re now able to go right in and make the change. We send [the changes] to the owners of the forms and they’re approved and then put right into the FormFast system,” Kay explained.
With the ease of operability in using FormFast for the end-user, MidMichigan was able to eliminate unnecessary procedures and accelerate the process of generation of forms.
“[Before], we would approve the form and it would be kept on file in the purchasing department and whenever [an employee] wanted a copy, they would have to contact the purchasing department that would do all the copying for them,” said Kay.
By helping MidMichigan Health control forms processes, standardize documentation and assist in the transition to the EHR, FormFast proved to be a valuable enhancement to the Cerner system.
As Kay concluded, “FormFast has been a very helpful tool for us.”