Have Questions? Contact Us, call Sales 844.365.9778 or Support 877.697.4696

American Family Care

American Family Care

Enjoys True Digital Workflow with Meaningful Use-certified DocuTAP

Clinic:
American Family Care Urgent Care
41 clinic locations – in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee
Opened in 1982

Staff:
900 staff members including 150 physicians and nurse practitioners
60 management staff

Current Patient Volume:
40-175 per day per clinic (across all locations)

Clinic Offerings:
Urgent Care
Primary Care
Family Medicine
Occupational Medicine
Workers’ Compensation Visits

Uses DocuTAP for:
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
Practice Management (PM)
Enterprise Dashboard

DocuTAP Customer Since:
2012

 

Summary & Challenge

Summary

American Family Care experienced latency problems with their former EMR vendor, forcing staff to document partially on paper. Repetitive workflow steps and the inability to attest for Meaningful Use were challenges eliminated with their switch to DocuTAP.

Background

American Family Care (AFC) is a four-state, physician-owned urgent care serving patients in the Southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Headquartered in Birmingham, AL, AFC provides a range of service offerings in its over 40 walk-in clinic locations—serving a range of 40-175 patients per day per location.

They opened their first clinic in 1982 in Hoover, AL and have grown to be a mainstay in the region. AFC treats patients from 6 months up to geriatric ages, with demographic breakdown of 25% pediatric, 60% adults, and 15% geriatric. Services also include a specialty clinic for general surgery, a weight loss program, and several in-clinic U-Save Pharmacies. In 2013, AFC became the second largest privately held urgent care operator in the United States with its acquisition of Doctors Express.

Challenge

American Family Care’s clinic growth brought to light the need to re-examine their EMR vendor. One issue was lack of IT support for the self-hosted, server-based software. Also, system lags and inflexibility meant staff had to document on paper while waiting for the system—or for another person to be out of the patient chart.

This resulted in duplicate workflow steps and cumulative hours of lost time across clinic locations. “We were using paper and an EMR,” said Dr. Glenn Harnett, Chief Medical Officer for AFC, “and doing a lot of double work, going from paper to EMR—and re-entering documentation.”

"We were using paper and an EMR."
 — Dr. Glenn Harnett, Chief Medical Officer 

AFC also wanted to help its physicians attest for Meaningful Use incentive programs—and their former EMR did not help them meet measures. Training was an additional challenge, making it difficult to teach staff how to maximize the EMR’s potential. These factors, along with unintuitive navigation, convinced their organization it was time to switch EMRs.

 

DocuTAP Solution

Solution

Leading the search for a new EMR was CMO, Dr. Glenn Harnett. A clinician with years of experience in emergency medicine, and with industry-leading EMRs, Dr. Harnett reviewed upwards of 30 EMRs for American Family Care. An urgent care-focused, cloud-based system that was Meaningful Use certified was at the top of his must-have list—along with a truly digital, mobile EMR.

“DocuTAP won out because of the chart room screen,” said Dr. Harnett. “I was able to look at that chart room and see how we could actually utilize it to manage patient flow, not just the physicians, but everybody in the facility—from an x-ray tech, to a lab tech, to a nurse, to a doctor, to the office manager. They’re all looking at the same screen in real time.” This bird’s eye view of the clinic in DocuTAP gave instant updates of what needed to be done next for each patient—and where bottlenecks were occurring.

DocuTAP’s software responsiveness made electronic documentation operate as it should. “I needed speed. We didn’t have to point, click, and wait. We could point, click, and go with DocuTAP,” Dr. Harnett noted. Providers can now document with multiple people in a chart—and aren’t tied to a desktop computer, using DocuTAP on tablets throughout the clinic. Plus, with DocuTAP, providers at AFC have attested for Meaningful Use.

Get started: Discover how DocuTAP can improve your urgent care today.

 

Results

American Family Care needed a mobile EMR that let them practice medicine efficiently. With DocuTAP, they’ve been able to reduce patient door-to-door times, improve documentation, increase revenue, and have providers attest for Meaningful Use. Here are a few areas where they have seen improvements:

Time Saved & Staffing Efficiencies

Since switching to DocuTAP, AFC has seen a dramatic improvement in patient turnaround times. Dr. Harnett estimates an average of 10 to 15 minutes have been saved on each patient visit—reducing total patient time from an average of 75 minutes to 60 minutes.

Staff no longer needs to document on paper first, and then enter that into the EMR. This time savings has allowed AFC to see more patients. “I needed a system a doctor could capably see and document patients—that would allow them to get the patients in and out in a timely fashion and safely,” says Dr. Harnett. Because documentation can be done more quickly with DocuTAP, Dr. Harnett notes that one provider can see one more patient per hour than they did before.

DocuTAP’s discharge instructions, provided by Exit-Writer, save providers and staff from creating patient education materials—and helps with legality requirements. Staff select instructions, modify them if desired, and give them to the patient for reference. Dr. Harnett notes the discharge instructions’ robust detail “is similar to what I would write myself.”

Flexibility & Customization

Before, clinical staff was bound to desktop computers for documenting patient visits. “In the beginning, I envisioned staff walking around the clinic with tablets,” shares Dr. Harnett—his vision is now reality with DocuTAP. “The staff loves it. They love having the tablets. They can access and use DocuTAP from anywhere in the clinic. They can sit in the break room and finish a note. They aren’t tied to one spot.” The tablet-based format of DocuTAP gives patients a sense of comfort, observes Dr. Harnett. “It impresses people. Electronically prescribing, using software on a screen, and never pulling a pencil out of your pocket, that impresses people. It gives the patients the sense we are on the cutting-edge of medicine and technology.”

Flexibility doesn’t end with DocuTAP’s mobility. “I like the fact we can design our own templates,” adds Dr. Harnett. “I can build them in a way that I wanted them; to customize them was important to me.” DocuTAP comes with a set of pre-made templates based on the most common urgent care scenarios that can easily be altered for a provider’s preference. 

“It’s so intuitive out of the box. DocuTAP looks like what a doctor thinks an EMR should look like.”
— Dr. Glenn Harnett, Chief Medical Officer 

DocuTAP also offers interface flexibility. “All our lab results are brought electronically into the system. None of that is done on a piece of paper. It’s all directly downloaded into the patient chart,” Dr. Harnett said. AFC plans on building more interfaces in the future to make workflow even faster.

Ease of Implementation & Scalability

AFC, as a large-scale urgent care operator, launched 26 of their clinics on DocuTAP within nine weeks. To achieve this, AFC started DocuTAP in several beta clinic locations for a range of one to three months—and adjusted their workflow so their staff could maximize use of DocuTAP. With DocuTAP and AFC’s own training team in place, they implemented DocuTAP in a phased approach across their other clinic locations.

AFC also took implementation time as an opportunity to make organizational changes to procedures in order to improve efficiency. “We just didn’t implement DocuTAP. We made sure policies were being followed, and came up with ideas to make us more efficient that made the patient experience even better,” Dr. Harnett says.

“The nice thing for us was having that support and having the [DocuTAP] people on the implementation process, understanding the stresses and challenges,” Dr. Harnett added. “DocuTAP made it pretty simple. I knew after the staff got used to it, they wouldn’t want to go back to the old system.” True to his prediction, clinical staff says their favorite feature about DocuTAP is its ease of use over their former EMR. Other most-liked items include DocuTAP’s chartroom, patient status globes—which note patient progress—and the ability to truly chart without using a paper stop-gap.

In a study completed by graduate students at the University of Alabama – Birmingham, 91% of AFC’s staff (physicians, clinical staff, and billers) said DocuTAP enhances their ability to do their job. Additionally, 95% agree DocuTAP decreases the time it takes them to complete a chart. And 90% strongly agree they received proper training to use DocuTAP effectively.

Dr. Harnett said he needed an EMR that all staff could easily learn. “It’s so intuitive out of the box. DocuTAP looks like what a doctor thinks an EMR should look like,” Dr. Harnett notes. To train staff, AFC created their own Learning Management System (LMS) by combining DocuTAP training with their own training methods and policies.

Meaningful Use Attestation

Another major reason AFC wanted to switch their EMR was so they’d have the ability to attest for Meaningful Use. Pertinent data, because of operations and their old software, was unable to be captured—making attestation impossible. DocuTAP’s fully integrated EMR and PM system is Drummond Group Certified for Meaningful Use. 

Dr. Harnett shares that 95% of their full-time physicians successfully attested for Meaningful Use in 2012 using DocuTAP. “Meaningful Use is not even something we have to work at [with DocuTAP],” said Dr. Harnett. AFC has been audited twice by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding their physicians’ participation in Meaningful Use—and has passed the audits both times.

“Meaningful Use is not even something we have to work at [with DocuTAP]."
— Dr. Glenn Harnett, Chief Medical Officer 

 

Final Thoughts

“I can truly say that I couldn’t be happier with our decision to utilize the DocuTAP system. The experience, the support, and the relationships we have made with the DocuTAP people have far exceeded my expectations,” Dr. Harnett shares. 

“The experience, the support, and the relationships we have made with the DocuTAP people have far
exceeded my expectations.”
— Dr. Glenn Harnett, Chief Medical Officer 

The future is bright for American Family Care with DocuTAP as their EMR provider. With their acquisition of Doctors Express, American Family Care projects to have a total of 140 clinics in nearly 30 states by the end of 2014.  Dr. Harnett concludes, “I feel comfortable as American Family Care grows that DocuTAP will continue to grow—and provide newer and better developments in software to help us serve our patients.”

Read Next Case Study