Optimization efforts help CMH decrease registration redundancy

To improve patient satisfaction and staff efficiencies, leaders at CMH’s Primary Care Clinic optimized the patient registration process, which has reduced duplicate registrations by more than 95 percent. 

“One of the main reasons we made this change was to handle the challenge of having multiple encounters, and also the challenge of our staff placing orders and dropping charges on the wrong Cerner Logoencounters,” said Nicole Perez, IT applications manager.

Previously, the staff registered multiple encounters for additional services that occurred during a patient’s clinic visit. If a patient had lab work done during his visit, for example, he received one bill for the clinic visit and a separate bill for the lab. 

In a collaboration with Community Works and Application Management Services, CMH Primary Care Clinic staff implemented a new registration process that allows for a single encounter to be registered for the patient’s care for that day. The process involved designing Charge Services and Patient Accounting to allow for a single encounter, claim and statement. 

“Creating fewer patient statements is a big satisfaction,” said Liz Pilgrim, revenue and reimbursement analyst. “They’re not getting a statement from a hospital encounter and one from a clinic encounter.”

CMH staff implemented the new process in January 2017, which helped staff drop the number of patients registered more than once during a single visit to the CMH Primary Care Clinic by 96.44 percent. This freed up time to focus on other responsibilities, such as returning phone calls and sharing lab results with patients. 

“From the back office point of view, for medical assistants, when you’re working with a provider who can see 25 patients a day, you’re responsible for logging medications, making sure anything that happened is appropriately documented and more,” said Tamera Gann, IT ancillary analyst. “Not having to create extra encounters per patient provides the medical assistant more time to review what they’re doing and make sure it’s accurate.”

Now that CMH Primary Care Clinic staff have more time, they can focus on enhancing the patient experience by confirming appointments, pre-registering encounters and refilling prescription requests. 

“The time savings improves the quality of our employees’ day-to-day experience, as well as improving patients’ experience, since they receive follow-ups and results quicker,” Gann said. 

Reprinted with permission from Cerner