Case Study: Gains Last Efficiency Switching EMRs to DocuTAP
6 clinic locations
Opened in 2006
Uses full DocuTAP platform, which includes:
DocuTAP Customer Since:
Lansing Urgent Care (UC) wanted to expand but was plagued by a slow EMR system. Their transition has resulted in saved time, saved money, and increased staff morale.
Lansing Urgent Care is a one-state, physician-owned urgent care serving patients in central Michigan. Providing urgent care and worker’s compensation services, Lansing UC offers three clinic locations and serves approximately 185 patients per day across all locations. They opened their first clinic in 2006 and has since added two more. Lansing UC’s patient mix is the following: 20% pediatric (ages 6 months — 18 years old), 65% for ages 18 — 65, and 15% geriatric patients (ages 65 and up). A large portion of their patients are relocated college and university students living in Lansing, Michigan.
Lansing Urgent Care opened its doors in August of 2006, knowing workflow would be key. Eventually, the clinic adopted an EMR system, hoping to gain some efficiencies. As the clinic grew, however, the system did not scale with them and the clinic found itself being bogged down by workflow inefficiencies and — because of those inefficiencies — significantly increased costs.
A steadily-growing patient volume and plans to open multiple locations meant the clinic wanted the efficiency issues resolved sooner than later.
Solution / Approach
In order to grow their practice in a way that allowed their bottom line to grow, Lansing Urgent Care knew it needed a new and efficient EMR solution. Lansing started a search of EMR products to switch to. After evaluating nearly every urgent care EMR on the market, Lansing UC narrowed their choice down to three emrs, one of which was DocuTAP.
Lansing switched their EMR to DocuTAP in 2009. What convinced them? Key reasons included DocuTAP’s paperless charting, templates and order sets, and clinic workflow customization—ensuring consistent, quality patient care. Instead of settling for other take-it-as-it-is EMRs, Lansing decided DocuTAP’s customization, user-friendly interface, and complete package of service offerings were the best fit for them. Lansing UC has been happy about their decision ever since.
With DocuTAP, Lansing Urgent Care has experienced lasting efficiencies. Here are a few areas in which they have seen dramatic improvements:
From the day they went live, Lansing UC immediately noticed gains in speed and efficiency. Using their prior system, providers could document a chart note in approximately 6 minutes. However, the chart note did not include some key items—such as electronic prescriptions or discharge instructions—that required further manual processes by the provider. With DocuTAP, Lansing UC’s providers have been able to reduce the time required to generate a chart note to 2 minutes, including the writing of prescriptions and the provision of discharge instructions.
Additionally, the clinic was able to reduce patient door-to-door times. The prior system’s inefficiencies resulted in unnecessarily high door-to-door times. With DocuTAP, Lansing UC cut their door-to-door times by 15 minutes per patient to an average of 57 minutes. Not only did Lansing UC reduce their door-to-door times, but they did so while seeing record numbers for their clinic (averaging 185 patients per day). Despite these record numbers, medical director and clinic owner Terry Matthews, DO was able to cut his chart review time in half.
Lansing UC loves the streamlined procedure ordering with real-time status update buttons in the EMR chart room. This allows providers to instantly know when a lab or test is completed—without the confusion of asking x-ray techs or assistants. Auto coding and up-front insurance verification cuts down on patient form completion times—cutting valuable minutes off each patient visit.
Ease of Scalability
Lansing UC switched to DocuTAP because their previous EMR didn’t scale with their growth and changing needs. Instead of boxing the clinic in, DocuTAP allows Lansing UC to modify processes and documentation to fit their workflow. Plus, DocuTAP handled their growth from a handful of patients a day to hundreds a day without missing a beat. When Lansing UC was ready to open additional locations—DocuTAP made it simple. It took only one hour for Lansing UC to setup DocuTAP for its third clinic location.
No matter how many patients they add, Lansing UC doesn’t have to worry about servers or server maintenance to meet data needs. With DocuTAP’s hosted environment, Lansing can rest easy knowing all their technology is in one place, data is backed up, and the environment is SOC-1 certified. More importantly, they can have the reliability of servers that can grow with their database—and the peace of mind of 24/7 support services.
Staffing Efficiencies & Cost Savings
Because of the continued increase in patient volume, Lansing UC knew its staff would have to grow, as well. However, with the efficiencies gained from using DocuTAP’s EMR and practice management system, their staff growth has been controlled. Based on the increased volumes, the clinic estimates the transition to DocuTAP has saved it from having to spend an additional $250,000 a year in personnel costs, including medical assistants, receptionists, and medical director chart review time—for multiple clinic locations.
Reduced Accounts Receivable: Insurance Aging
The clinic has seen gains not only on the clinical side, but also in the billing and collections process. Because of the integrated coding, claim scrubbing, and electronic claim submission functionality, Lansing UC has significantly cut down on its accounts receivable. The clinic currently holds an amazing 92% collections rate from insurance payers within 60 days, including 70% within the first 30 days.
One of the benefits of implementing a truly electronic system has been the near elimination of the use of paper within the clinic. The clinic has test results faxed directly into the system, allowing lab and radiology reports to be visible from each patient chart without having to track down faxes or scan pages into the system. DocuTAP’s EMR and instant messaging functionality has allowed the clinic to document all patient phone calls and staff messaging, rather than keeping tabs on a constant stream of sticky notes.
Lansing UC also doesn’t have to worry that a patient’s chart might get lost. Once documented, the electronic patient record is accessible immediately throughout the system (per the clinic’s designated security requirements) and staff members no longer need to track charts from the front desk through lab, radiology, to billing, and back again. This has allowed the clinic to remove nearly all of its filing cabinets and other chart storage, freeing up significant space within the clinic.
Improved Staff Morale
Dr. Matthews notes that he “loves the templates and order sets” within DocuTAP. Not only do these items significantly cut down documentation time, but they still allow Dr. Matthews to create thorough notes unique to each patient—and not simply a regurgitated note that applies to every patient. The functionality has resulted in other benefits, as well—Lansing UC’s providers don’t finish long shifts with hands cramping.
And most of all, the speed of the system has allowed the clinic to focus on what they do best—patient care. The staff spends its time actively seeing and engaging the patient, rather than having to concentrate solely on documenting the chart note as quickly as possible.
“The staff wouldn’t go back to the old system.”
— Catherine Matthews, Owner
Lansing UC saw a patient who turned out to be a medical malpractice attorney. While the clinic did not know the patient’s identity or occupation at the time, at the conclusion of the visit, he told Dr. Matthews that the visit that was performed was “very thorough” and that he wasn’t “used to seeing that level of detail.” While Dr. Matthews is committed to providing an excellent level of care to his patients, he also stated that another system would not have allowed him to document charts in such a thorough and efficient manner.
Because Lansing UC sees a fairly large volume of Medicare patients, Medicare has chosen to audit the clinic’s records for compliance on a number of occasions. Throughout each audit, Medicare has found Lansing’s documentation to be accurate and compliant.
Co-owner Catherine Matthews says that, after using DocuTAP, the staff “wouldn’t go back to the old system.” Also, with so many staff members who have access to patient charts, on another system, it would be easy to lose the consistency of documentation. With customizable (yet standardized) provider lists, templates, and order sets, Lansing UC is able to maintain a consistent and detailed level of documentation. As Matthews says, “Consistency is key for giving good care. DocuTAP provides us with that consistency.”
“Consistency is key for giving good care. DocuTAP provides us with that consistency.”
— Catherine Matthews, Owner
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