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Cornerstone Health Care

Cornerstone Health Care Increases Patient Safety and Empowers Doctors With New Electronic Health Record (EHR) System

Cornerstone Health Care Increases Patient Safety and Empowers Doctors With New Electronic Health Record (EHR) System

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems have demonstrated their ability to improve the quality of patient care and safety. Healthcare institutions, both small and large, that have implemented an EHR system have also experienced the financial benefits that come along with it. Additionally, recent developments, including President Bush's public support for a National Health Information Infrastructure, are supporting a shift by medical groups towards the widespread use of information technology to improve care and reduce costs. It’s no wonder that more and more organizations are looking to Electronic Health Records to automate and streamline the clinician's workflow.

Moreover, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), an industry organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare, is working to achieve the goal of EHRs in use in 80 percent of healthcare organizations and 50 percent of physician practices by 2010.

Cornerstone Health Care P.A. is one of those organizations that has already taken the necessary steps to adopt an EHR solution and take advantage of its promised benefits to meet the needs of its patients, physicians and bottom line.

Cornerstone Health Care was formed in 1995 and is now a 125 doctor multi-specialty physician group specializing in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, behavioral medicine, cardiology, ENT, audiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology, neurology, Ob/Gyn, oncology, ophthalmology, podiatry, pulmonary, general surgery, vascular surgery, urology, and hospitalists. They operate out of 41 offices in the Triad region of North Carolina, with headquarters in High Point, NC, and generated more than $100 million in revenue in 2006. Cornerstone strives to be the best physician group possible for patients, be a great place to work for employees, and be a strong contributor to the community in which they live and work – all contributing factors in their decision to implement an EHR system.

Prior to adopting its EHR solution, Cornerstone was searching for new ways to increase office efficiencies to continue to deliver on its promise to be the best physician group possible for patients and employees. One challenge they looked to solve was the sharing of patient documents within their distributed environment. Cornerstone’s advantage as a multi-specialty group should have been its ability to coordinate patient care across all of its offices better than other groups, however, their patients have separate paper charts located at each specialty office making it difficult for all of the doctors to access this information. Therefore, Cornerstone began an extensive three-year search for the best EHR solution to help solve these challenges.

Fujitsu and Allscripts Help Cornerstone Hit EHR Milestones

Cornerstone selected Fujitsu document imaging scanners and TouchWorks™ Electronic Health Record software from Allscripts, a provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians and other healthcare professionals use to improve patient care, to support its goal of higher quality care and increase efficiencies across its 41 locations. Today, Cornerstone uses 32 Fujitsu fi-4120C and 21 Fujitsu fi-5120C color duplex workgroup scanners to electronically capture paper medical charts, medical correspondence from non-Cornerstone entities such as hospitals and laboratories, insurance cards, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) consent forms, which has created “one electronic, paperless medical office.” These scanned documents are then viewable on tablet computers that run the TouchWorks EHR. TouchWorks EHR helps Cornerstone simplify the art, science, and process of caring for its patients. It was designed from the physician’s perspective, helping make the practice of medicine more seamless, less demanding, and more rewarding for the physicians.

Scanning these medical charts has many benefits for Cornerstone, including reduction in printing costs, personnel required to manage medical records, the cost of medical records materials (file folders, chart tabs, and paper), personnel time spent searching for paper charts that are not on the shelf, and the ability to access medical records from many locations such as employees homes, multiple hospitals or at an off-location conference. The Fujitsu scanning solutions were also a key factor in Cornerstone’s rapid adoption of TouchWorks EHR as it allowed the doctors a way to access all the medical and patient information electronically from wherever they were located.

“We’ve received tremendous value from TouchWorks and the Fujitsu scanners have been reliable workhorses in every sense of the word,” said Tim Terrell, Chief Information Officer. “We scan more than 10,000 documents per day and the ability of multi-specialty clinics across multiple sites to have a single chart for each patient is a powerful thing. It allows our doctors at different sites to both view the chart while discussing a patient over the phone, to avoid duplication of services, and to have more accurate information to make each decision. We have been recognized as a leader in the industry with our ability to coordinate the care of our patients because of this solution.”

As stated above, prior to obtaining the Fujitsu scanners and implementing EHR from Allscripts, Cornerstone had to physically pull and re-file charts every day. Needless to say, this is a very labor intensive process that can waste valuable time and money. Now, they only have to scan a chart once and never have to access a storage filing cabinet again. In fact, the new system allowed Cornerstone to reduce the amount of physical storage space they once needed to retain documents. Once the charts are scanned, they don’t need to go back to storage.

Cornerstone estimates they save more than $60,000 in charting supplies and material each year using TouchWorks. There are also significant personnel savings that come along with an EHR implementation. The efficiency of electronic charting is allowing Cornerstone to reduce staffing levels by as many as two full-time employees in each office. That will be a savings of over $50,000 per year, per office – more than $2 million combined once all the offices are fully implemented. These efficiencies also extend to Cornerstone ancillary units, such as lab and imaging, which are now able to deliver reports quicker for more doctors to view.

“The flexibility of TouchWorks EHR, reliability of Fujitsu scanners and the great support we get from the Allscripts team not only made our EHR implementation a complete success, but it has also enticed us to implement EHR across every single one of our sites by the end of 2007,” said Terrell. “Additionally, we are planning to build patient call centers made possible by having access to the patient’s data through EHR.”


Cornerstone Health Care

Industries:

  • Healthcare

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions

Regions:

  • United States

Challenges:

  • Implement an Electronic Health Records solution to automate the clinician's workflow to better support and benefit its patients, physicians and bottom line.
  • Deliver higher quality care by streamlining the sharing of patient documents within their distributed environment of 41 office locations.

Benefits:

  • Able to electronically capture and access paper medical charts, medical correspondence from non-Cornerstone entities such as hospitals and laboratories, insurance cards, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) consent forms, which has created “one electronic, paperless medical office.”
  • Reduction in printing costs, personnel required to manage medical records, the cost of medical records materials (file folders, chart tabs, and paper), physical storage space and personnel time spent searching for paper charts.
  • Cornerstone estimates they save more than $60,000 in charting supplies and material each year and has reduced staffing levels by as many as two full-time employees in each office -- a savings of over $50,000 per year, per office -- more than $2 million combined once all the offices are fully implemented.
  • Enabled doctors to access medical records from many locations such as employees homes, multiple hospitals or at an off-location conference.