Serving Kindness Through Ameliorated Workflows

Date:   Monday , February 06, 2017

At CityMD, our vision is to serve kindness. Our workflows are geared towards enabling all our staff to serve kindness in everything they do. As the IT leader, my job is to scan the technology landscape continuously. I see what innovative technologies are available and how they will enable us to automate the workflow processes further and enhance the patient experience.

At CityMD, our care starts with the front desk (patient care representatives) and ends with aftercare and referrals, but there are many moving parts in between. From X-Ray techs to lab techs to physicians and MAs, CityMD teams and staff work in unison to ensure a smooth and high-quality patient experience with seamless handling of tests, referrals, labs, images, and anything else needed.

The objective of workflow automation is to make the work of our teams easier and more efficient while causing the least amount of disruption to the information process.

Every solution that we consider has to be top-tier and innovative. Some of the key considerations in evaluating any new solutions include:
- Does it enhance the patient experience?
- Does it automate a manual process?
- Does it integrate with our existing solutions?
- Is it innovative?
- Is the impact on downstream processes minimal?
- Is it transparent and auditable?

We decided to introduce electronic kiosks for patient registration as a way to make our workflow better and faster. We assembled a small team of operations, marketing, trainers, and IT professionals to discuss what the kiosk experience is and what would best improve patient satisfaction. We gained immediate feedback with our small target audiences so that we could make the adjustments quickly before we propagate the change throughout the enterprise. We used the principles of design thinking in implementing any process changes so that we can study the impact in an agile manner.

We applied the considerations outlined above:

- Patient experience: The kiosk login allows the patient to scan their driver\'s license and register in a very short period. The patient can view their data and make edits if need be. They can sign all the consent forms electronically, no more paper.

- Automation: The information is all captured electronically. It automates a process that was once manual and paper based.

- Integration: The information from the kiosk flows seamlessly into the electronic health record solution.

- Innovation: The electronic kiosk is a disruptive solution that allows the patient to self-serve.

- Impact on downstream processes: The impact on downstream systems is positive. The front desk personnel are relieved of the mundane task of keying in data from paper. The patient electronically enters the data captured via the kiosk. Thus, the data is more accurate and less subject to transcription errors. This is of great benefit to the physicians, scribes, care coordination, and billing teams.

- Transparency and record keeping: We can now accurately track when a patient starts the registration process and how long it takes. We can also track how long they wait in the lobby. We can compare the efficiencies and accuracy of a kiosk-based registration versus a paper-based registration.

We applied design-thinking methodologies to customize the patient kiosk experience. We selected a site to pilot the kiosk. We are always collecting feedback from the patient as well as the staff to learn how we can improve the workflow and the patient experience.

The above is one example of how we evaluate any solution that helps us standardize our processes as well as enhance the patient experience.