When Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) was looking to digitalize and automate internal and public-facing processes, it turned to Laserfiche to help the organization save hundreds of hours of work and at least $250,000 per year.
The three year project enabled MCHD to increase access to services while employees worked from home and deploy e-forms and automated workflows for essential functions like tracking COVID-19 exposure, staff symptom tracking and automated case investigations, all while ensuring protection of patients’ privacy.
Shawn Henners, electronic business process manager for MCHD, explains MCHD had been using Laserfiche for records management for years before they realized all the automation options available.
In 2016, the organization’s HR department started working with their Laserfiche vendor to automate filing of all their personnel files–a mammoth undertaking.
“In 2019, we really started taking advantage of all the automation tools, including online forms and integrating with other systems to make our processes more efficient and resilient,” he says.
MCHD is a county-wide agency with over 400 employees spread across more than 20 locations, with a variety of shifts to provide 24-7-365 coverage.
“It is hard to find a single way to get the right information to the right people in a timely way, ensure follow-through on tasks, and close the loop at the end,” Henners says. “We had a lot of reports that were sent via email from one person to another person or group, but there was no outside visibility into what happened with those reports and no way to know if things were falling through the cracks.”
He explains there was also no way to ensure consistency in how forms were filled out, and they even had people filling out old versions of paper forms because they didn’t realize the form had been changed.
“We also wanted a way to capture and report on the data generated – to drive business decisions and track progress,” he adds.
Henners explains several key leaders, including several members of the organization’s executive team, attended Empower, the annual Laserfiche conference that provides training as well as a look into how new features can be used.
They realized that MCHD was already paying for a product that would help meet its goals, but that the Records Manager, the Laserfiche administrator at the time, was not the right role to lead the change, shared Henners.
“Our IT team and HR manager worked on the first step, automatically filing employee records as a kind of proof of concept, and then MCHD created a position to lead the change,” he says.
He says the key goals were to ensure compliance with policies and procedures and create resilient processes that were not dependent on a single person; for example, automated reminders and escalations and the ability to assign to a team.
“We also wanted to make data available for tracking performance, such as integrated Forms reports and the ability to write key data to SQL for our Data Analysis department to use, and enforce consistency through file naming conventions and locations,” Henners adds.
Grace Nam, strategic solutions manager for Laserfiche, says when MCHD started automating processes, they strategically began by improving some processes she calls “low-hanging fruit”.
“These included uncomplicated complicated processes where modernizing those processes was simple, but immediately resulted in a high ROI for staff,” she says. “This led to organization-wide enthusiasm for more automatons, and the adoption of new processes by the staff led to even more process improvements and greater efficiencies.”
She notes when the leadership of a healthcare organization implements new technology solutions with a strategic approach, it’s easier for them to drive success.
“There are core challenges healthcare leaders face, such as legal compliances, operational resilience and healthcare information exchange that used to require heavy paper trails and manual labor,” she says. “They no longer need to remain complicated, time consuming, inefficient and high cost.”
From her perspective, MCHD demonstrates that creating a clear automation roadmap, one which includes steps across the implementation process and flexibility in efforts, proves that a good healthcare digital transformation journey is possible.
“It doesn’t need to be overcomplicated to be successful,” Nam says.
This digital transformation story provides a pathway and valuable insights to other leaders in the medical industry looking to modernize various aspects of the business.