"Health care delivery today involves scores of paperwork. At TOH, we make use of 2500 official hospital forms plus an unknown number of unofficial ones. We're dealing with that reality by reducing the amount of paper forms dramatically", stated Susan Berezny, an IT project manager at TOH. "We developed and are executing an eForms strategy that will yield consequential benefits. Crucial to making this strategy effective is the application of Verity LiquidOffice on the hospital's intranet. In a serious way, this initiative saves trees, one click at a time."
Through the use of Verity LiquidOffice, which will allow most of the hospital's forms to be put on-line, TOH can remove the costly duplication process, making paper copies of paper forms. Among the forms now implemented are an internal transfer request for a new position, change of address form, supply requisition and IT hardware/software requests. The overall time involving form completion, submission and approval has been reduced dramatically. For example, Susan Berezny noted employees at the multi-campus health care centre saw the turnaround process for one of the on-line forms reduced by one week over the prior paper version.
Logic built into the LiquidOffice-based eForms has helped eliminate errors. An employee cannot move the form along the process without complete, accurate information entered on the eForm. The system won't allow it to advance. Several of the eForms, such as the internal transfer request, will pre-populate fields based on the user's ID, further expediting the process.
During the pilot test of this eForms initiative, LiquidOffice regularly demonstrated its ability to conform to TOH's unique work flow. Built-in programming scripts allowed adaptation to the hospital's business work flow process to be done simply and easily. Digital signature control was another LiquidOffice feature that performed well according to Susan Berezny. Today the LiquidOffice-powered eForms system is deployed across the entire health care centre. Training is occurring without taxing the teachers or the employees learning the system, which will eventually have 11.000 users. Response to the eForms method has been uniformly positive at TOH.
"The swift, successful shift from off-line, paper-based forms processing by TOH, a hospital with more than 1000 in-patient beds, nearly 630.000 out-patient visits annually and a staff of more than 10.000, is a compelling example of why and how even the largest hospitals can make that operational change with confidence, especially with partners like Verity and MedSeek", stated Anthony J. Bettencourt, Verity's president and chief executive officer.
Other benefits TOH expects to realize with its Verity-Medseek solution are:
- Less time to locate forms with the creation of an on-line central repository
- Use of always-up-to-date forms achieved through an eForm update process
- Reduced cost for forms printing, distribution and shipping
- Decreased turnaround time throughout process, from start to finish
- Knowledge-sharing on status of requests via forms tracking mechanism
- Easier compliance with reporting requirements with an on-line repository of completed forms