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Specialty Hospital and Research Center

Large Multi Location Physician Group

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Case Study - Specialty Hospital and Research Center

Clinical Trial Development and Management
Medical Record Systems Integration

Situation

An internationally known specialty hospital and Cancer Research Center receives patients and conducts cancer clinical trials over a wide geographical area. To conduct trials it relies on patient referrals from specialized physicians over a broad geographical area.

 
Problem

Highly targeted and specialized clinical trials required communicating with new physicians treating specific types of cancer in order to build populations of patients sufficient to support a trial. Information about these referring physicians had to be developed and maintained over lengthy periods of time because of the duration of trials and the evaluation of outcomes. At the same time referring provider information was maintained in separate hospital systems for clinical and billing purposes.
The Center was experiencing increasing difficulty and cost in forming clinical trials, particularly for rarer forms of the disease. At the same time, given the length of time for both trials and inpatient treatments, changing referring physician information would not be captured and updated consistently to maintain the accuracy of medical records.

 
Folio Problem Solving

Folio was initially asked to help in the recruitment of clinical trials.
Because Folio’s proprietary database consisted of over 270 specific physician medical specialties, together with the ability to identify primary, secondary and tertiary specialties of the physician, the center was able to focus communications on only those physicians specializing in treating patients that would be eligible for specific trials. Because up-to-date information was required, the Folio solution was to provide a monthly electronic file to the center each month that focused only on those specialties appropriate to a particular clinical trial.

In order to match the clinical trials to the patient care and payment systems, Folio data was directly loaded into the Center’s patient care and financial systems using Folio’s database structure. This improved scheduling, patient registration, and billing operations. However since these systems were not integrated with the medical records and transcription systems, a multi user Folio IS (internet) application was employed to maintain provider data for medical records, consultation requests and transcription.

The Center decided to utilize the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and transcription system of a joint venture partner, a tremendous cost saving advantage. However, this required an integrated central provider database. Folio’s solution consisted of the following:

  • Utilizing Folio’s software tools, Folio’s database was matched to the Center’s provider database eliminating all redundant, duplicate, inactive and out of area records. Because the Center relied on fax numbers as a preferred method of communicating patient progress with referring physicians, Folio manually reconciled all fax number discrepancies.
  • Folio’s reference, census database thus became the facility wide source for provider data for all non-credentialed physicians.
  • To maintain an up-to-date provider file, encrypted files of all provider database changes by the Center are electronically transferred to Folio on a bi-weekly basis. Folio then verifies all Center changes and together with provider changes initiated by Folio an encrypted file is transferred back to the Center in a reciprocal scheduled exchange.

 
Benefits

Folio’s solutions enabled the Center to substantially lower clinical trial development and management costs. Enhanced and more effective communications strengthened their relationship with referring physicians. Folio’s provider data solution also allowed the Center to avoid the cost and the implementation of a separate dedicated EMR. In testimonials the Center complimented Folio saying that “ Folio was helping to save lives” because of the increased ability to form clinical trials through use of the Folio database.

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