By Phil Sullivan
Dealing With Downtime
One of the greatest burdens with which any business contends is a disruption to the flow of information. When it comes to healthcare, the ramifications are even greater. When your information system’s software/hardware fails, patient care must continue. And, regardless of whether you face a scheduled downtime or an unanticipated failure, critical patient information must continue to be delivered to caregivers.
The question is not if your system will go down, but when.
What’s more, those who know the hospital’s revenue cycle, recognize that poor data collection at registration leads to decreased remittances and diminished patient care. When hospital systems shut down, the quality of data suffers even further.
According to Healthcare Informatics, every minute of HIS downtime costs more than $264 for an average 500-bed hospital. That means each incremental 1% of downtime per year could cost a 500-bed hospital more than $1.4 million.
How do you plan to collect data, register patients and complete critical forms – even when normal workflows are thrown out the window?
Fortunately, Ras customers can continue to register new patients and proceed with business as usual even when hospital registration systems go down, by simply adding new patient accounts through the Rasi interface.
Typically, this registration process is automated by the Ras HL7 interface. But, In downtime situations, this Ras function can prove integral to your contingency workflow process. Instead of recording new patient registration data on paper, Ras customers just type the data into customizable screens.
When information systems come back online, Ras can transmit the HL7 transactions back to your standard registration systems. The process is seamless and saves your organization both time and money by eliminating the need to record data both on paper and then again into systems when they come back online.
What About Registration Forms?
Many hospitals drive the creation of waivers and releases through HL7 transactions from their registration systems, but what happens when these same systems are down? How are critical forms created, and how is the data collected? The most common solution is to have registration staff write down the required patient data on blank forms.
Are you counting the manual procedures typical to a downtime? There are three.
The beauty of Ras as a downtime solution is that when staff registers patients into Ras, all patient data is merged with eForms. Forms are automatically printed with accurate patient data, barcodes are generated and electronic patient signature processes continue as normal.
But the challenge of a downtime isn’t just about recording NEW data; it’s also about accessing previously-collected data. Ras serves this need by storing and presenting critical patient clinical and financial data even when major Hospital Information Systems are down. This allows your staff access to patient history of orders, medication administration records and discharge summaries when Siemens, Meditech, McKesson or Epic are down.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on technology-driven solutions like real-time data redundancy and offsite data replication. Instead, look to a simple, inexpensive solution in dbtech Ras.
For more information on using Ras as a downtime solution, please contact us.