Case Study

University of Louisville – Dr Bressoud

Phillip F. Bressoud MD, FACP University of Louisville Physicians

University of Louisville (UofL) Physicians is the largest, multi-specialty physician practice in Louisville with more than 78 subspecialties, 1,200 dedicated staff professionals and over 700 primary care and specialist physicians. They realized that manually entering test results was very time consuming and wanted a solution.

We teamed up with Phillip F. Bressoud, MD, FCAP the Associate Professor of Medicine and Executive Director Campus Health Services at the University of Louisville Physicians, Kentucky — one of our longest-standing clients — to gain an understanding of exactly how beneficial Relaymed has been in saving time and increasing satisfaction. What did we discover?

Success: at a glance

  • 39,738 test results saved directly to their EHR!
  • 2,980 hours of staff time saved
  • $47,680 saved in staffing costs
  • $85,437 saved in provider costs

For something so simple and affordable to implement, these are astronomical numbers!

But why did University of Louisville (UofL) Physicians select Relaymed? And how did it help them make these savings?

University of Louisville — POCT problems

Managing point-of-care testing (POCT) into the EHR had long been a frustrating aspect of Dr. Bressoud’s day-to-day workflow. They’ve been with Allscripts TouchWorks for the past seven years and while the likes of strep or mono tests are fairly straightforward to handle, more complex tests (i.e. urinalysis) were found to be extremely time-consuming. With 10+ parameters to enter, results couldn’t always be logged immediately and consultations were being advanced using paper printouts. This posed a series of problems:

  • Time-consuming to get digital results into the EHR through manual entry and scanning
  • Additional workflow steps in their POCT process
  • The chaos and mess of handling numerous paper printouts
  • As the printouts from instruments were on thermal paper they were often difficult to read, particularly if they had been left lying around as degrades quickly
  • Stacks of lab results would be left to be scanned in at the end of each day

Very early on we realized that scanning or entering Urinalysis results was very, very time-consuming. If you don’t scan them soon enough they fade, they’re hard to read. It’s a nuisance. We were interested in looking for solutions.

This manual method of running POC testing was becoming a strain on the providers and staff within the group. The whole procedure was adding so much inefficiency through additional admin to the practice workflow.

“The nurse received urine specimen, ran it, then they took print-out and stuck it in a folder to give it to us. We would see the patient, make our decision, chart it, then they would scan it in afterward. And then I would have to sign off on it again, even though I’d already seen it. It created a lot of steps for the providers as well as the opportunity to mismatch the results to the wrong patients or enter wrong results.”

The conclusion: this was an unfathomable amount of hassle for something that should be simple. A solution was required and was available to them on the Allscripts Application Store.

The search for solutions

Like many others, Dr. Bressoud initially looked to a laboratory information system (LIS) for salvation from his point-of-care nightmare. Fortunately, he quickly surmised that this was not going to be a reasonable option for his outpatient multi-specialty group. As LIS are predominantly utilized in acute care settings, for which they were designed, adopting one in an outpatient setting was going to be overkill.

“We initially started looking for LIS options but since we’re an outpatient multi-specialty group we don’t actually have our own lab, have pockets of instruments. It’d be a whole other computer system to manage and our IT staff are already overwhelmed. It’s overkill for what we needed.”

An LIS has too many features, most of which have no place outside of acute care. Therefore, with no centralized lab, the use of an LIS wasn’t going to be feasible. It would become a strain on the practice — particularly those in IT.

They were struggling with how much it was going to take to solve this problem. The search continued in earnest as a solution was desperately required. That’s when they found Relaymed — the true POC connectivity solution.

How Relaymed transformed their workflow

Implementing Relaymed has automated the point-of-care testing process at UofL Physicians, ensuring results flow from instruments automatically and instantly into the EHR.

Staff now run a test and they walk away. It’s sitting there ready for the provider to review. It really is seamless, it’s seconds for it to appear. Easy to get multiparameter tests in now, that’s huge for us.

What’s more, Relaymed also ensures that there are no transcription errors as manual data entry into the EHR has been eliminated and all results go to the correct patient, plus it’s not going to enter a result for somebody with no reason to have a result:

“Relaymed matches results to an order, so that’s another double check mechanism.”

One thing Dr. Bressoud pointed out, which is close to his heart, is that Relaymed made his staff happier. They were no longer required to spend additional, unproductive labor documenting POC results. Before onboarding with Relaymed, these stacks of printouts had become a constant hassle.

“Staff are happier now than they’ve ever been. They’re not sitting, at the end of the day, with a stack of labs to scan in. It’s gotten much easier.”

However, when you think about this in time and dollars, Relaymed comes into its own. Since rolling out in August 2016, Relaymed has saved 39,738 test results to Allscripts TouchWorks EHR for the University of Louisville. Documenting results manually is a needlessly laborious process which required the following steps:

  1. Look up patient
  2. Open lab order
  3. Enter individual UA result
  4. Flag abnormalities
  5. Submit

This accounted for an average of 3.5 minutes to document each test result manually. Scanning the result at a later date then accounted for a further 1 minute, following these steps:

  1. Open scan module
  2. Find patient
  3. Scan paper printout

So, just 13 UA tests was using 1 hour of staff time to process. At an average staff cost of $16/hour, Relaymed has saved them 2,980 hours and $47,680 in staff labor.

Time for staff

As staff can now run the test and walk away, they have time to spend on productive tasks. They can be busy checking in patients, checking out patients, doing referrals — which is a hugely important task that needs time dedicated to it. Plus they don’t have a stack of labs to scan at the end of the day. That’s been a big change.

Time for providers

The time and cost savings for staff is only part of the picture — the provider time savings make up the rest. Before implementing Relaymed, they had to sign-off each test again in the EHR, even though they’d already seen the printout in the appointment. This additional admin from extra steps in the workflow was costing at least 1 minute of their time per test — which seems little but when you consider the 39,738 tests, accounts for 662 hours. Using an average provider salary, that’s $85,437 in provider costs that they have saved by introducing Relaymed to their workflow.

For something that is easy and inexpensive to onboard, over $130k sure is a lot of value!

Relaymed has brought huge results to various aspects of UofL’s business. So, would Dr. Bressoud recommend it?

Sure, I’d recommend Relaymed. As it’s priced per provider, per month, it’s inexpensive to roll out. It’s made a big difference.

Schedule a 1:1 demo today

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Bressoud and UofL, and countless others who are experiencing similar upturns with Relaymed, then why not start with a 15-minute live online demo? Our specialists will talk you through the benefits Relaymed can bring your business. We know that you’re busy, but just 15 minutes could save you hours.

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