Valley Regional Imaging (VRI) is an independent outpatient imaging center in North Carolina, USA, that was wasting a lot of time and money on inefficient, paper-based patient registration systems. Switching to a paperless solution using Wacom pen displays has produced real, beneficial change for VRI and its patients.
VRI’s legacy workflow was inefficient, hampered by the traditional paper-based model and the time-consuming tasks of document scanning, shredding, and storage. Under the leadership of Executive Director Rhonda Mayorga, VRI wanted to implement a new Radiology Information System (RIS) and patient registration process. The goal was to have not only a ‘filmless’ work environment, but also a robust RIS which would facilitate paperless processes.
After reviewing several hardware and software vendors, VRI selected MedInformatix to fulfill its RIS needs and Wacom interactive pen displays for its patient-facing hardware. This combination was expected to generate long-term cost and time savings increase productivity, drive profitability and enhance customer satisfaction.
Five Wacom interactive pen displays were deployed at VRI’s facility in Fayetteville. Patients and staff found the pen-on-screen experience to be natural and intuitive, and all patients, regardless of age, quickly adapted to the new technology. They were able to clearly see and read the large screen display, and found the pressure-sensitive pen easy to use when signing documents. Many patients commented on new system ease-of-use and none felt insecure about completing documents electronically. Additionally, filling forms electronically reduced the time staff need to review and confirm patient records.
Key ROI indicators were tracked to compare the previous paper-based workflow with that of the new system. The following data illustrate the efficiency and effectiveness of VRI’s Wacom pen display platform:
1. Patient Registration Process The Wacom-supported process reduced the per-patient registration processing time from 20 to 5 minutes. In six months, the old system processed 19,694 patients at an administrative cost of $66,959.60. With the implementation of the electronic workflow, VRI processed 31,504 patients at an administrative cost of $26,778.40 in the same timeframe. Following implementation, the average cost per patient registration dropped from $3.40 to just $0.85.
2. Scanning Labor Costs: Prior to implementation, VRI required 430 hours of document scanning labor at a cost of $5,160. After implementation, no document scanning labor was needed; a 100% cost reduction.
3. Paper Costs VRI reduced its monthly paper costs from $195.27 to $94.98. While not a huge corporate expense, the reduction in paper usage also contributed to VRI’s environmental improvement initiatives.
4. Shredding Costs Costs for shredding services were reduced by 73%. In fact, postimplementation, VRI was able to move to just one outside shredding service pickup per month, saving approximately $1,300.