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Rehabilitation hospital optimizes workflow and patient experience with electronic self-service registration

by Shirley Ryan Ability Lab

Published on 4/4/2018

With the opening of its state-of-the-art research hospital in Chicago, staff at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) are using new health information technology designed to help streamline the registration and check-in experience for their patients.

The 242-bed post-acute rehabilitation hospital began using Cerner Patient Kiosk and eSignature in March 2017. Now, patients can use the kiosk to easily check in, verify personal data and electronically sign forms when they enter the facility.

The new workflow is a win-win for patients and staff alike. Patients have greater visibility to their health information, it speeds up the registration process, and it helps staff collect and verify patient data to facilitate accurate billing. It also provides a boost to patient and staff satisfaction.

“eSignature gives our patients the ability to sign their forms in an electronic format on an iPad,” said Maxine Doolittle, director of information systems program management. “It presents the forms that are applicable to them, and then they sign electronically. It eliminates the need to hand them a piece of paper that we have to scan into the system and then destroy, so there's a savings for us as well.”

Switching to an electronic format for insurance and address verification, patient consent, billing and more helped the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab reduce costs and paper waste.

“In terms of the revenue cycle, it does help with cost,” said Elizabeth Garcia, senior clinical applications analyst. “We don’t have to print reams of paper that we present to patients when they come in. The process is now more seamless.”

Meanwhile, it creates efficiency for registration staff who previously had to scan and, later, destroy paper forms.

“Patient Kiosk frees up staff to do other work, because patients can check in themselves and complete the updates they need,” said Doolittle.

The new workflow also alleviates some of the everyday complexities that come with managing the registration process for a diverse, high-volume patient population.

“I like that eSignature is available in multiple languages, so patients who speak Arabic or Spanish are able to actually see it in their own language,” said Garcia.

Another important benefit for the hospital’s leaders is the reaction they have seen from their staff.

“My favorite thing is that we’re now able to provide even better customer service to our patients,” said Garcia.

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.