University of Utah Health’s Transplant Center
- With the eHealth Connect solution, the University of Utah’s Transplant Center streamlines workflows and opened it’s doors to more patients.
- After implementing the solutions, the Center was able to effectively mange 67% increase in referrals.
- With 60% of patients coming from outside the Utah area, many patients’ records come from small hospitals and towns that don’t have EMR systems – compounding delays in retrieving medical records, which are needed before an initial evaluation can be scheduled.
Customer Solution: eHealth Connect Record Retrieval, eHealth Connect Intelligent Clinical Record and eHealth Connect Streamlined Integrations
How the University of Utah Health’s Transplant Center removed bottlenecks in care and opened its doors to more patients.
Utah Health’s Transplant Center has aided those facing organ failure since 1965 when their kidney transplant center first opened. The Salt Lake City-based Center performed the world’s first permanent artificial heart replacement in 1982. In addition to leading edge kidney care, the Center performs lung, pancreas, and heart transplants, drawing regional patients from multiple neighboring states.
Like many transplant centers, the care team at University of Utah Health’s Transplant Center fights daily battles against time.
“With chronically ill patients dealing with the challenges of end-stage disease and transplantation, there’s a very long list of medical records we need to gather before their first evaluation,” explains Kim Phillips, Senior Director, Transplant Service Line at University of Utah Health’s Transplant Center.
Sixty percent of patients at Utah Health’s Transplant Center are from outside of Utah. “Out-of-state patients are often five to seven hours away, and many are from small towns with small hospitals that do not have electronic medical record systems, compounding delays in document retrieval even more.”
“Historically the bottleneck in our process occurred before the patient could even arrive for an evaluation. We would get stuck for months and months waiting for records to come in. It was a major barrier to efficiently moving people through the process,” Phillips adds.
“eHealth Technologies enabled us to open the door wider and see more patients, particularly for our kidney transplant program, where we have the largest volumes.”
Kim Phillips, Senior Director, Transplant Service Line,
University of Utah Health’s Transplant Center
eHealth Connect® Record Retrieval Enabled Patient Volume Growth
After implementing eHealth Connect Record Retrieval in 2018, Phillips shared that the Center was able to effectively manage a significant increase in referrals (67%), resulting in more patients moving to evaluation, waitlist, and ultimately transplant.
“The results were instantaneous. eHealth Technologies enabled us to open the door wider and see more patients,” says Phillips, “particularly for our kidney transplant program, where we have the largest volumes.”
“When your patient needs an organ transplant, we understand that time is everything,” says Jeff Markin, CEO at eHealth Technologies. “We’re here to help you overcome paperwork barriers so that you can get patients into the operating room faster.”
A Positive Return on Investment
“I was aware of eHealth Technologies’ capabilities for several years, but we thought the expense might be a barrier for us initially,” Phillips recalls, “Once we determined our true barrier was getting people through our process, we decided to take the leap to move forward with eHealth Technologies. And I have nothing but positive things to say about the gains that eHealth has helped us make.”
Organized Records Result in Even More Time Savings
In addition to time savings in record retrieval, providers cited significant time savings in record review. Using eHealth Technologies’ Intelligent Clinical Record service, all records for a patient are compiled into a searchable document, sorted into categories, and put in chronological order with key terms highlighted. “The ability to review records in a clinically-organized, searchable format based on ‘organ-specific’ keywords makes our doctors happy,” states Phillips.
Accessing Records in the EMR
To save even more time, University of Utah Health is taking the automation process one step further by implementing Streamlined Integrations. This will eliminate the manual transfer of PDFs into the EMR and allow the Center to feed records directly into their Epic system.
Phillips says he only envisioned the eHealth Connect solution as something that moved the referral process along. But the Center also realized unanticipated benefits. “We are so far away from most other hospitals, and now with eHealth Technologies’ services, we have the ability to get records quickly into our system from post-transplant hospital admissions to ensure we don’t miss critical information from areas as widespread as Idaho, Montana or Colorado. This unexpected benefit to our post-transplant programs was a nice surprise to us. It’s one more reason we are pleased with our decision to engage eHealth Technologies’ services.”