Optio Healthcare introduces solution to accelerate chart completion

San Diego 17 October 2005At the 2005 American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Annual Convention and Exhibit Optio Software Inc. has introduced its new Optio QuickRecord Chart Completion solution to help health information management (HIM) departments automate and accelerate the resolution of chart deficiencies to comply with hospital quality standards and regulatory requirements. Elaine O'Bleness, a director of health information services for Banner Health, detailed her experience with electronic health records beginning with the initial implementation of subscription-based Optio QuickRecord Suite in 1998.


Optio is demonstrating for the first time the new QuickRecord Chart Completion solution at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention in San Diego. At the same event, the company is also introducing its new Optio Patient Signature Capture solution.

"Optio QuickRecord Chart Completion enables HIM staff to electronically manage record deficiencies much faster and more effectively than traditional manual methods", stated Faye Olson, manager of Health Information Management at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta. Part of Optio's integrated suite of QuickRecord electronic health record (EHR) solutions, Chart Completion enables HIM departments to streamline the processing of charts prior to or in parallel with coding.

The Chart Completion solution enables the assignment of charts to analysts; automatically recognizes chart deficiencies; monitors timeframes as dictated by JCAHO regulatory requirements and hospital quality assurance policies; allows parallel processing of chart documents by coding and chart analysts prior to the completion of the entire chart; sends status notifications of pending delinquent charts to physicians; and produces a full set of status reports, including delinquent charts sorted by physician, activity report by analyst and assignment of charts to quality assurance (QA).

Optio is also unveiling a new solution that enables patients to electronically sign documents using an e-signature tablet at the point of registration. Patients can view and immediately receive their printed copy of the signed documents. When the patient electronically signs a form, Optio Patient Signature Capture securely binds the signature to an electronic copy of the document and automatically passes the signed document to the hospital's document management system, eliminating the scanning process and the need to store paper forms.

The Optio Patient Signature Capture solution enables hospitals to capture patient signatures and securely bond them with electronic documents; seamlessly deliver signed documents to document management and EHR/EMR systems; utilize portable e-signature capture clipboard tablets that can accommodate up to 16 pages of documents requiring signature; provide patients with the ability to view and receive the full document requiring signature, and eliminating concerns about signing a document without full review.

"Optio Patient Signature Capture is another significant step toward achieving a more efficient, paperless and patient-friendly registration process and a totally electronic health record", stated Elaine O'Bleness, director of a four-hospital health information services department for Banner Health in Colorado. Elaine O'Bleness is giving her presentation, "Meeting Health Information Management Challenges in a Community Health Environment", at this year's National AHIMA Conference.

Specifically, she is exploring challenges faced during the process of gradually moving toward digital records; the importance of providing shared access to a composite patient view across the continuum of care; and the importance of gaining acceptance for electronic health record initiatives from the medical community.

"Since 2001, the Colorado facilities of Banner Health have been working toward implementing what is evolving into an electronic health record system serving the regional community", stated Elaine O'Bleness. "QuickRecord brings together scanned documents and discrete data from our HIS and ancillary systems. We've eliminated approximately 60 percent of requests for physical medical records and wiped out HIM backlogs. Now, the distance between the information clinicians' need and the information they want is measured by a single mouse-click."

For many health care facilities - especially those with 100 or fewer beds - subscription-based systems offer an affordable alternative to the multimillion-dollar health systems on the market for large facilities. Similar to an application service provider approach, these solutions require minimal capital expense, offer accelerated ROI and can be remotely installed, maintained and monitored, according to Elaine O'Bleness. As an added bonus, QuickRecord integrates smoothly with Banner's Siemens MedSeries4 and other leading HIS and clinical systems.

Elaine O'Bleness is a recognized authority on health information management with 25 years of experience directing medical records, information services and related services in hospital settings. Among other honours, she served as president of the Colorado Health Information Management Association from 2002 to 2003 and has been an adjunct professor with Regis University in Denver since 1999.

Elaine O'Bleness holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Texas at Tyler and a bachelor of science degree from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. She is also the author of "When Paper Kills", published in a June 2005 issue of ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals and "From Electronic Document Management to EHR", published in the January 2005 issue of Health Management Technology magazine.

Based in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, non-profit health care systems in the country with 20 facilities offering hospital care, home care, hospice care, nursing registries, surgery centres, laboratories and rehabilitation services. Its Western Region facilities include North Colorado Medical Center, with 326 beds, in Greeley; East Morgan Count Hospital, with 15 beds, in Brush; McKee Medical Center, with 126 beds, in Loveland; and Sterling Regional MedCenter, with 36 beds, in Sterling.

More than 700 health care organisations use Optio forms automation and electronic health record solutions to reduce costs, streamline document-driven processes and improve patient safety. More than 5000 companies use Optio solutions to achieve unprecedented speed, accuracy, functionality and quality in their inbound and outbound document processes and extend their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and hospital information systems (HIS) applications. Founded in 1981, Optio Software maintains world headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, with Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Paris and sales offices in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Both articles written by Elaine O'Bleness can be downloaded at the Optio Software Web site as well as the AHIMA technical paper, presented by Elaine O'Bleness. More news on Optio Software is available in the VMW May 2005 article Wray Community Hospital selects Optio software to provide Electronic Health Record solution.

Leslie Versweyveld

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