CMH Regional Health System reduces costs and improves physician satisfaction with Optio Healthcare solutions

Alpharetta 25 February 2008CMH Regional Health System has reduced manual scanning of patient documentation by 80 percent and reduced costs annually by $5000 to $25.000 per ancillary system with Optio's Imaging Integration solution. In October 2006, CMH Regional Health System (CMH), a 95-bed hospital in Wilmington, Ohio, kicked off phase one of a three-year, $18 million patient-safety initiative that included a transformation to an electronic health record (EHR) system.


"Our physicians love it", stated Linda Keifer, CMH's Senior Electronic Imaging and Forms Analyst. "Optio's solution finally gives them the seamless integration they were looking forward to when we implemented our EHR system. Prior to Optio they had to go to several systems to read and interpret patient test results. Now they can just go into the EHR tab and everything is in the same location in its original format."

After selecting McKesson's EHR solution, the hospital recognized that forms automation was necessary to deploy a complete, legal EHR system and to optimize forms management throughout the continuum of care. As part of the phase one project, CMH implemented Optio's forms automation solutions, MedEx and MedForms, as well as Optio's DesignStudio solution to further extend the capabilities of their technology investment.

Once the hospital's EHR solution was implemented, the physicians found that there was a technology gap that kept them from realizing the full potential of their McKesson system. The EHR solution only accepted ASCII or postscript documents to be coldfed, or imported, directly into the electronic medical record. When the files were imported into the EHR record the formatting was lost. The data was there, but the original format was missing.

For example, an echocardiogram that displayed a patient's heart rhythm would appear to be jagged on the page with the loss of formatting. The physicians found it easier to look back at the sending system to find the results, rather than looking at the patient folder in the new system. This created a problem that kept CMH from getting information into the patient record quickly and prohibited their initiative to eliminate manual scanning of patient documents throughout the hospital.

"We were experiencing delays in getting the information scanned and into the patient's electronic record and delays in getting the information coded properly for billing", stated Linda Keifer. "We needed to get that information into the patient folder more quickly, so we looked to Optio."

In response to CMH's need to accelerate EHR processes, Optio developed an imaging integration solution that allowed patient documents from various ancillary systems to be viewed by physicians within the patient's folder, in its original format. Now, when a physician opens a patient's electronic folder, the documents appear exactly as they did originally and don't require any additional interpretation.

CMH has been using Optio's imaging integration solution with McKesson's EHR system for three months. "We initially imported our cardiology results, including our echocardiograms. Within the next three to six months we will also be importing radiology and pathology results", stated Linda Keifer.

According to CMH, Optio's solution has saved their medical records staff approximately 10 to 20 hours per week for just the cardiology application alone. "It has definitely improved patient care for our hospital due to the fact that the physicians can read the documents and make their diagnoses faster than ever before", she added. "With Optio, our physicians have everything they need at their fingertips to make the safest, most accurate decision about patient care."

CMH has also realized cost savings due to Optio's imaging integration tool. "With our initial HeartLab system, we've saved close to $7000, which we would have paid a third-party vendor to reformat the ancillary documents. The EKG system reformatting costs would have cost us close to $25.000 prior to Optio. If you add that up across cardiology, radiology and pathology alone, the savings potential could be close to $75.000 per year. For a small hospital like CMH, this is a significant savings", stated Linda Keifer. "But, our patients will receive the most significant benefit - they will receive accurate treatment faster than ever before."

With 95 staffed beds, more than 900 employees, and a medical staff of more than 150 in 30 specialities, CMH offers a full range of medical services, including emergency, cardiology, acute care, oncology, women's and children's services, sub-acute care, rehabilitation services, surgical services, corporate health, home care, and a family medicine residency programme affiliated with the University of Cincinnati.

Optio Software, with 25 years of experience and more than 5500 clients, worldwide, provides software solutions dedicated to improving, managing and controlling the complete lifecycle of document-intensive processes, while extending the value of their Enterprise Resource Planning and Hospital Information Systems. More than 5500 organisations rely on Optio Software for innovative solutions that allow them to improve business processes, reduce transactional activities and focus on core responsibilities. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Optio Software maintains European, Middle Eastern and African (E.M.E.A.) headquarters in the United Kingdom and sales offices in the United States, France, Germany and The Netherlands.

More than 700 health care organisations use Optio's affordable, legal electronic health record (EHR), forms automation, clinical document management and advanced labeling solutions to capture, format, scan, view, sign, and archive patient information. Optio's technology delivers real-time access to patient information throughout the continuum of care, while improving patient safety and ensuring compliance with industry requirements. More company news is available in the VMW October 2007 article Five United States hospitals and DTE Consulting select Optio's comprehensive EHR, forms automation and document management solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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