Experience

Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine (LG Health/Penn Medicine) is a 689-bed not-for-profit health system in Lancaster, PA that includes the 533-bed Lancaster General Hospital, the 97-bed Women & Babies Hospital, 14 outpatient locations and 48 physician practices.

In 2015, Charlotte Walton-Sweeney, RHIT, Director of Health Information Management (HIM) for LG Health/Penn Medicine, led the organization in implementing MRO’s Release of Information (ROI) services and technology to accurately and efficiently fulfill 50,000 ROI requests annually. Prior to MRO, LG Health/Penn Medicine engaged HealthPort for ROI.

By transitioning to MRO’s ROI Online® solution, LG Health/Penn Medicine has been able to address its evolving challenges, including a need to fully integrate its ROI solution with the ROI module in its Epic electronic medical record (EMR) to automate multiple workflow steps and avoid time-consuming dual-logging of ROI requests.

“As a HIMSS7 organization, our health system prides itself in staying on top of technology,” said Walton-Sweeney. “We found an opportunity to be a part of something new and great by partnering with MRO and saw immediate improvements. By eliminating dual data entry and automating so many steps of the ROI workflow with our MRO and Epic integration, the whole process is more efficient and there is a decrease in errors.”

Solution

LG Health/Penn Medicine was one of the first health systems to implement MROeLink®, a suite of integrations between the MRO’s cloud-based ROI Online solution and the hospital’s health information technology systems.

At the core of the integration is a direct synchronization between ROI Online and Epic’s ROI module that eliminates the need for dual data entry in both systems and also automates the process of transferring Protected Health Information (PHI) from one system to the other. MROeLink also includes a Master Patient Index (MPI) patient lookup feature— an integration with LG Health/Penn Medicine’s MPI that enables HIM staff to search for patients and log requests without the need to re-key patient demographics, identifiers and encounter information, saving time and decreasing error risk.

Additional risk mitigation comes from MRO’s IdentiScan® feature within ROI Online which uses optical character recognition technology to scan every page of medical documentation to identify and correct comingled patient records. Errors are flagged and documented by MRO’s Quality Assurance experts for audits and process improvement.

Results

LG Health/Penn Medicine saw immediate improvements after implementing MRO’s technology and service. The MROeLink integration eliminates the need to dual-log requests in the Epic and ROI systems and automates a number of typically manual workflow steps, cutting logging and processing times in half.

Additional time savings and efficiencies are created with the MPI patient lookup tool. MRO has calculated that for every 60,000 requests, MPI patient lookup allows HIM leaders to redirect one full-time equivalent staff member to other priorities. With 50,000 requests annually, LG Health/Penn Medicine may see similar labor cost improvements.

Further time savings are experienced thanks to the average of 716 requester calls each month that are directed to MRO’s National Service Center instead of LG Health/Penn Medicine, allowing onsite facility staff to concentrate on other duties.

Additionally, in the six months since go-live, LG Health/Penn Medicine prevented 11 PHI breaches by catching comingled records using IdentiScan. This application, combined with human intervention, helps drive LG Health/Penn Medicine’s ROI accuracy to 99.99 percent.

Other improvements include vastly improved service from the MRO management and staff, as well as greater efficiency from state-of-the-art technology, resulting in improved morale among the LG Health/Penn Medicine HIM staff. Walton-Sweeney adds that she and her team are also pleased that ROI requesters, such as patients and family, are receiving courteous, more prompt service.