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Banner Health

Banner Health saves millions by switching to electronic forms

There’s no denying the benefits of switching from paper forms to electronic forms — just ask Banner Health. The 28 acute-care hospital system says Cerner’s document management technology has helped improve efficiency, reduce errors and save nearly $2 million over the last three years.

Prior to implementing Cerner Millennium® eForms and Content360™ Patient eSignature in 2012, Banner Health was spending an average of $1.7 million dollars a year on forms. In the first year after implementation, the seven-state health system cut costs by more than $1.2 million. By 2014, annual spending on forms dropped to $181,000.

“It has been rewarding to see the engagement between staff and patients, overall adoption of the solution and our project results come to fruition,” said Jason Bickford, department applications director for Banner HIMS Corporate.

Without these solutions, clinicians had to print each form, have the patient sign the hard copy, re-scan the signed form and manually store the file into the system. Banner Health recognized the inefficient workflow as an opportunity to reduce costs and enhance productivity by automating the process with Patient eSignature.

The technology allows patients to review forms on a display monitor and sign documents on an electronic signature pad or tablet. Clinicians are also able to leverage Patient eSignature at the bedside.

“Cerner Patient eSignature for our Patient Financial Services departments has been an innovative solution that allows for an integrated and seamless work-flow to allow real time capture of documents into our Cerner EMR,” said Bickford.

Within months, Banner Health saw drastic improvements in productivity. Data from 10 of its hospitals shows they collectively reduced the number of paper scans by nearly 320,000 forms.

By avoiding the process of printing, signing and rescanning, these hospitals reduced spending on labelling, avoided technical denials for missing documentation and saved space by reducing the number of file cabinets.

The cost savings and efficiency improvements are expected to increase even more in 2015 as Banner Health plans to implement these form management solutions in their ambulatory settings.

Banner Health’s transition to paperless environments has enabled 21 of its 28 hospitals to attain HIMSS Analytics Stage 7.

“Banner’s operating model and vision to execute a Care Transformation program across the continuum of our acute care hospitals allowed Banner to reach the pinnacle of EMR success in reaching Stage 7 designation,” said Bickford.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.