Managing hospital rounding is completely different from seeing patients in the office. Outpatient medicine doesn’t have many moving parts. You have a schedule – you see your patients – the end. Inpatient medicine is a mess. There is no schedule. You and your partners need to figure out who is going to round and where. To make matters worse, patients are constantly being added and removed from the list, and sometimes multiple providers are needed to see everyone at one facility.
Hospital rounding is a logistic nightmare. It is an inefficient process that requires constant communication, and support staff to help keep it loosely organized. Clunky and expensive is not a good combo. Fixing these broken processes is hard. Surprisingly, everyone agrees it doesn’t work, yet no one can agree on the solution. The more facilities you cover, and the more providers in the mix, the more complex the problem becomes.
Workflow management software, often coupled with mobile charge capture, is one of those rare instances in healthcare where process improvement is dramatic. Even the most chaotic practices are immediately transformed. Providers become aware of each other’s work in real time, so those time-consuming “check-ins” throughout the day become a thing of the past. Office staff needed to support the workflow is also reduced and can focus on other areas of the practice operation.
Let’s go through a few real world examples, so you can see what I mean:
The Afternoon Rounder
I have office patients in the morning. By early afternoon, I am ready to leave the office and help round on inpatients. How do I figure out who has been seen? Well, I guess I could start calling my partners, asking them who is left to be seen. That’s going to take a lot of time and may require multiple phone calls. We have all experienced going to a hospital floor to see a patient, only to discover that one of your partners has already written a note. What a waste of time. Workflow and charge capture software fixes this problem on multiple levels. Let’s go back to me finishing my office patients and ready to round. All I need to do is open the app on my phone, and see which patients haven’t been seen. Having a centralized list, updated in real-time, allows me to quickly identify the gaps. I can structure my afternoon according to the need, without consuming valuable time to do so.
The New Consult
The hospital calls in a consult to the office. The office staff must take down the information, figure out which doctor is covering that facility, and let them know – usually by text or some other method that violates patient privacy laws. Everyone agrees this is not a good way to do it. Enter the workflow software, and the process is cleaned up. The office staff enters the patient information directly into the software, and with a few clicks, the providers get a secure message informing them about the new consult. Efficient, transparent, secure.
The Weekend Signout
On Friday afternoon and Sunday evening there are the dreaded signouts. At the onset of a call weekend, the person on call needs to connect with their partners, and compile the list of patients to be seen. And after a long weekend of call, nothing is more fun than making multiple phone calls signing the patients (old and new) to one’s partners. With workflow software? You guessed it. No more phone calls. The list is the list. With the ability to update locations and brief clinical history, the signouts are painless and efficient.
The 11 O’Clock Call From the ER
You are on call. The ER calls after hours with a new admission. Don’t worry, the patient doesn’t need to be seen until morning. So now you have to write down the info, and the next morning, figure out who is rounding (not always easy by the way), and pass the information on to that person. Or, you can open the app, enter the information, and go to sleep. Whomever happens to be rounding the next day (they know who they are), wakes up, opens the app and sees the new admission waiting for them. Voila, No hassle or wasted time.
Each example represents major time savings. When you add it up a practice is left with more than just more time. There is the wave of relief that the ship has righted itself. Staff appreciate the streamlined tasks. Providers can better plan their days, and there is less burnout. Practices now become scalable. It is conceivable to add more providers without creating more chaos.
If you are on the fence about workflow software and mobile charge capture, you are not alone. Changing processes in a practice takes a leap of faith, and it is sometime less painful than just leaving the broken process broken. In this case, the effort is worth it. You will be thankful once you realize the many benefits for years to come.
Smarter Rounding and Workflow Software for Doctors
At HybridChart, we provide technology that connects your healthcare team, increases efficiencies, AND improves your bottom line. HybridChart’s cloud-based software adapts to your practice’s unique workflow and will improve your profitability and patient outcomes by utilizing our 5 features: charge capture, census management, secure messaging, discharge planning, and data analytics.
NEVER miss another charge and get PAID for the work you do!
If you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level and want to employ the best hospital charge capture practice available in the industry, come visit our website at www.hybridchart.com, call us at 1-877-977-5544, or click here to schedule a demo today!
- More About Dr. Sanders
Dr. Gregory Sanders is a Harvard-trained, practicing cardiologist and founder and CEO of HybridChart. He has been coding since the 1980s and has spent his medical career focusing on improving processes. His patient care skills earned him recognition as one of Phoenix Magazine’s TOP DOCs. He lives in Scottsdale with his family.