Document management technology enables City of Hope to streamline accounting and accelerate insurance billing
City of Hope National Medical Center is located northeast of Los Angles in Duarte, California. It provides innovative biomedical research, treatment, and education dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Growing problem: paper records
Like most hospitals, City of Hope had a growing problem keeping up with all of their paper records in the accounting department. Several years ago, they installed a document management system to manage these records but it was taking too much time to process and index the information. Consequently, they were always 8 to 12 hours behind with current information. The old system also had a second major problem: it was too hard to maintain document security. With the enactment of HIPAA, security had become even more critical.
The search for a solution
To address these issues, Ravi Sandhu, IT Manager for City of Hope, was charged with finding a new solution. After reviewing several document management systems, he selected Document Locator from ColumbiaSoft. Ravi stated, “While Document Locator has many powerful features, the two that got my attention were the rapid indexing of documents as they were saved into the system and the powerful security model, which was easy to administer and ensured absolute confidentiality.”
From paper to on-line billing—and more
Ravi initially deployed Document Locator to scan and manage Explanation of Benefit (EOB) forms, billing correspondence, and insurance provider checks. He set up a business process to scan these paper documents as they are received and to notify the appropriate people to process the information. Because the documents are full-text indexed as they are scanned, any document can be found by searching on its actual content. After the information was brought online, the accounting department gained rapid access to quickly find patient name, correspondence, check numbers, and amounts paid in case of an inquiry. HIPAA-required security is maintained because all the information is kept in a secure repository and access is restricted to those information workers who need it.
Once the billing process was up and running, the hospital began scanning doctors’ financial records and securely made them available online through Document Locator’s Web interface. Ravi continues to expand the uses of Document Locator. The hospital is now scanning and storing all charge tickets, which has allowed them to go paperless in that area. Finally, the accounting department has begun expanding the use of Document Locator to scan all accounts payable information.
Prior to using Document Locator, it took Ravi three to four days each month to post the doctors’ financial record information for access. Using Document Locator’s zone OCR and some custom coding, Ravi is now able to do the same thing in about one hour. In summary Ravi said, “Rapid indexing and tight security were my prerequisites when I selected Document Locator. Document Locator’s deep integration with the Microsoft architecture has made it very easy to train new users. We are continuing to find new ways to use the product to make City of Hope Hospital more productive.”
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