Unreliable faxing in healthcare is frustrating for any organization but, for a large health system like the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), that frustration could extend to 35 facilities. With these many providers and patients, reliable and real-time report delivery is essential for maintaining efficient clinical workflows, optimal care delivery, and a positive reputation.
Nobody understands the importance of reliable faxing more than Kelly Steffens, Senior Analyst at NSHA. Kelly’s role involves supporting various MEDITECH applications and third-party solutions like Forward Advantage’s Communication Director for automated report distribution. Communication Director’s built-in integration with MEDITECH made it easily extendable across nearly all NSHA facilities, and Kelly especially appreciates its reliability and ease of use. We were fortunate to have a recent sit-down with her to learn more about NSHA’s use case. Take advantage of what Kelly has to say below!
Q: Can you describe how Communication Director is used throughout the NSHA?
We have 35 sites using Communication Director, and 34 of these use SmartRoute to automate the electronic delivery of MEDITECH Client/Server diagnostic imaging (DI) and lab reports, and we hope to be adding a Cardiology SmartRoute soon. Our children’s hospital is on MEDITECH MAGIC and uses SmartRoute for Community Wide Scheduling and health record reports. The hospital also uses DesktopFax for on-demand delivery of Radiology reports.
Q: What are the benefits to Communication Director?
Communication Director minimizes the paper copies that the DI and lab departments must deal with. It also allows us to reduce paper copies that would have to be distributed and reconciled by admins at our provider offices. This creates a more efficient workflow, and providers appreciate that reports are delivered to their office how they want and in real time. As soon as a report is available, it gets faxed to the provider’s office or delivered electronically if they prefer. Timely results have a big impact on patient care.
Q: Do any key features stand out?
The dashboard in Communication Director makes it easy to run an audit trail and investigate report delivery issues. This saves valuable time tracking down a delivery and adds a level of accountability for our organization.
Q: Can you comment on the importance of reliable faxing in healthcare?
Reliable faxing is our bread and butter, especially for the DI department. Communication Director is so reliable that any issues are typically related to one of our end users. It all comes down to time savings and better patient care. If a patient is diagnosed with pneumonia after a chest x-ray, the doctor gets the report in real time and can treat them right away. Reliable, electronic faxing also helps on the back end by reducing paperwork. Without it, every DI department at our site would require a staff member at the printer to catch reports that come out. The provider’s address would then have to be located, and the reports would have to be stuffed in envelopes and mailed. The time and resources to do this are costly, and the provider’s office must go through the mail and reconcile the paper copy to the record in their office. It’s backwards for things to be set up that way, and provider offices are desperate to get rid of paper.
Q: What are your plans for Communication Director?
NSHA went through a Communication Director upgrade a few years ago for one of our facilities. It took a few weeks of testing and was minimal effort. We’ll be doing an upgrade soon for other facilities to increase the volume of results. We will add more fax channels and add another SmartRoute. We expect this to be a low-effort, medium resource project as we are making additions along with the upgrade.
Faxing remains one of healthcare’s most reliable and secure means of exchanging large quantities of clinical information. Modern faxing software has come a long way with EHR-integration, automated deliveries, and additional delivery options like email or secure text for real-time clinical alerts. Real-time clinical information has a powerful impact on provider workflow and, most importantly, patient care. As noted by Kelly, today’s providers want to eliminate paper wherever possible, and they value controlling how and when they receive reports.
Interested in learning more about Communication Director? It’s a great option for organizations wanting to maintain EHR connections and utilize advanced, automated faxing. Plus, it offers the flexibility of adding cloud-based deliveries to solve transmission issues or allow for increased demand without adding fax channels.