5 Tips for Taming the Chaos of Physician Order Management
In many hospitals, the process for physician order management is still manual and, at times, chaotic. Paper faxes are received from referring providers. Copies are made and then distributed to the appropriate service areas. Calls are made for scheduling confirmations. It all amounts to a tedious series of manual processes fraught with gaps that, in the end, can impede patient care and elevate tensions with referring providers.
How can organizations ensure that physician order information is not lost or miscommunicated, provide a better patient experience and boost physician satisfaction?
Ditch the paper! Lost orders are no fun for anyone and can often lead to service delays. Utilize electronic queues for orders that are faxed and use a system that not only provides time and date stamps for tracking, but one that also indexes those faxes to the respective patient in your electronic health record (EHR) so that they can be easily retrieved.
Implement a system that makes faxes available to all necessary departments throughout the hospital or healthcare system. One example of the savings this can deliver can be found at Lowell General Hospital (LGH) in Massachusetts. Order management teams at Lowell General receive orders through an electronic queue. Orders are then indexed to the patient account and filtered by department so that each area can access its own faxes. Faxes are no longer misdirected but instead are immediately accessible when patients arrive for service, reducing unnecessary delays. As a result, Lowell General has seen a rise in customer service and physician satisfaction.
Automate order scheduling confirmations with referring physicians via electronic fax rather than phone calls. This one change can save hours of time by freeing up team members to handle other tasks; plus, there is the added benefit of being able to track exactly when and what information was sent for each patient.
Record and index verbal physician orders that are received via phone. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in Florida has improved working relationships with physician offices as a result of taking this approach. Since they record all scheduling calls, the hospital has documentation of verbal orders placed by physicians. If, for example, an office calls and says that an MRI was ordered but a CT was scheduled, the hospital can retrieve the recording, listen to the order and address the situation accordingly.
Create worklists to streamline workflows using custom fields like date of service, physician name, etc. If your current software doesn’t support this ability to create worklists, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to streamline your order management process. The Trace® platform enables departments to view and sort orders by these fields so they can see the orders they are responsible for and work ahead to be sure the orders are complete and accurate prior to service. They can also receive alerts, reserve items or move them off their lists based on the criteria they set.
Contact Vyne Medical® today to schedule a call with one of our solution experts and learn more about how your organization can improve both patient and physician satisfaction through a streamlined order management process.