Practice Manager Touts CliniSync Results Delivery

For Orthopaedic Associates of Zanesville, ClliniSync’s results and report delivery saves time, streamlines workflow, and puts patient information exactly where it’s supposed to be – really fast.

Lab results, x-ray reports, narrative consults, op reports – all of these flow seamlessly from Genesis Health Care System in Zanesville through CliniSync into Orthopaedic Associates’ electronic health record EHR) system.

From lab to patient record
“These results route right to the patient level. The data flows from Genesis, directly into our patient’s record. We are notified via our document box in our EHR, which allows us to review the results before they are finalized,” says Deborah Apperson, R.N., M.S. the practice administrator. “And the beauty of it is we don’t have to handle each piece of paper, match it up to a paper chart and put it on the provider’s desk – the results go right into the patient’s chart electronically, with no human intervention. The process is so much more efficient and accurate.”

“We are able to take advantage of the technology even though our EHR is Medent and Genesis uses Epic. The two systems can still talk to each other; we don’t have to be using the same medical record system to make this work,” Apperson explains.

Orthopaedic Associates in Zanesville serves patients in a nine-county area, with six physicians and six physician assistants. The electronic delivery system is beneficial for all results and the practice relies on it daily for quick and accurate delivery of pre-surgery test results.

A smooth workflow

What’s nice, Apperson says, is that staff members direct the workflow, which allows the staff to make the computer and technology work for them, rather than the staff becoming a slave to the computer. “We built a schematic that determines what results and reports go to which OAZ/SMZ team member. The schematic is built in and allows the workflow to happen electronically,” she says.

“The doctors don’t have to handle everything.” For example, labs and x-rays go directly to the triage nurse, who then routes them appropriately. If the practice receives critical results, the triage nurse takes immediate action. If not, the provider will receive a flag to review their results and/or reports when they log into the EHR system. Reports the providers generate at Genesis, such as operative reports, are electronically linked to the OAZ/SMZ patient’s chart, but are routed to the coder before they are finalized.

Technology “talks”
As for technology, the practice has Medent as its electronic health record system while Genesis uses Epic, so CliniSync enables them to “talk” to one another. There’s definitely a matching and cross-referencing process that ensures the results are electronically matched to the correct patient. “This is a seamless process that leads to much greater accuracy and efficiency,” she says.

If a patient’s identifiers don’t match, results/reports kick out of the system as an “exception,” Apperson explains. The exceptions are routed to a clerical person to determine what’s wrong with the match, who rectifies the problem, and then routes it on in the system (Medent) or back to the originator (Epic).

If the staff members need data or information from another practice, they can use Direct, secure email messaging in a closed environment, which CliniSync also facilitates.

What’s amazing about the electronic transmission process is the sheer speed of it, Apperson says. “It comes over immediately, we handle it immediately, and we can complete the circle at much greater speed than in the paper world or even the earlier electronic world. We have definitely improved the turnaround time for the patients and their results.”

“It is at least two days faster than it used to be,” Apperson says. In the paper world, a person at the hospital would actually have to report the results, print them out, then fax them or courier them to the providers. This is much more efficient, cuts down on errors and definitely saves time,” she explains. “And we are no longer cutting down trees anymore with the paper shuffle.”

The electronic delivery also saves everyone from searching for the infamous “lost chart”, she says. “We used to spend hours pulling and looking for charts. We have totally eliminated that. We did not eliminate staff due to CliniSync, but we absolutely could not handle our current workload without the efficiencies we have gained with this technology.” she says.

It’s definitely easier on the patient to get their results quickly. After the doctor reviews the results, we can immediately contact the patient, put their results on the patient portal, and/or discuss the results at the patient’s pre-arranged follow up appointment. “Gone are the days when the patient showed up for their follow up appointment and their results were not available to the physician. We are dedicated to improving quality of care for our patients and CliniSync is helping us do just that,” she explains

Working with CliniSync

The practice relies on CliniSync for technical support. “We have worked very closely with Karen Bishop at CliniSync and she has been amazing. She has been available whenever we needed her at all hours of the day and night. She has guided us every step of the way, spoken the language to allow both EHR systems to communicate directly and served as our liaison and advocate. We would not have been successful in accomplishing this without her and the rest of the CliniSync team.”

Dottie Howe is the Communications Director at CliniSync/Ohio Health Information Partnership.

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