Primary health care providers implement automated sick leave across the State of Qatar
The paper problem
Prior to implementation of the automated sick leave process all of the PHCC, sick leave was recorded on paper and scanned into the medical record. This resulted in a saving of 300,000 paper sick leave forms. Access to earlier scanned sick leave documents was difficult for physicians in their busy practice. This made clinical decisions on patient management more time consuming.
The solution though automation
Now physicians complete the sick leave form within the Qatar CIS (Cerner Millennium®) system. This produces a print out for the patient to take to their employer, and logs the sick leave within the system. In addition, it calculates the number of days a patient has taken sick over a given time period, which facilitates closer physician review of acquired sick leave to improve clinical decision making. It also removes the need to scan in sick leave documents. Data on diagnosis, sick leave days, sick leave granted per physician and health center, age, and gender are also automatically collected and reported to PHCC operational management. Health center managers and regional executives have access to a real time sick leave reporting dashboard to track and benchmark their sick leaves. This supports data collection and monitoring for national outcomes.
Prior to the initiation of the project, four minutes per form were dedicated to scanning sick leave documentation and updating the patient EHR and index at a cost of QR1,000,000 ($274,730) per annum. A consequent result was the re-allocation in staffing of seven filing clerks.
An interface has been written between Cerner and the PHCC's human resource employee solution to automatically transfer sick leave, days and diagnosis to the ERP system, which minimizes manual application and approval process. This negates all paperwork associated with internal granting of sick leave.