Two departments at UNM Hospitals requested a custom system to fulfill needs that were hauntingly similar.
Their very busy Carrie Tingly Hospital needed a system that would be able manage patient intake by facilitating patient visit registration and by indicating to patients when it was their turn to be seen. Outsourced systems of this kind cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was thought that the hospital could build something custom that did just what was needed for less.
UNM Hosptials’ children’s resource center is a wonderful service that provides a place of respite and recreation for children and families while a child is in the hospital. But since their work is not seen as essential to the mission of the hospital, they don’t recieve the same kind of funding as other departments. As such, they have to keep statistics on the center’s use. They did so by filling out an intake form for incoming patients and family members, but keeping the records and reporting on them proved to be a laborious task for an already streched out staff.
A form system was designed that enabled an administrator to create forms of any kind, which could be either public facing or entered by authenticated staff.
Since their needs were simpler, the children’s resource center was used for our beta testing of the system. In less than a month they were using the system and loved it! They went from recording intake data on paper to entering into a form system on iPads, that then kept a searchable log of the data and automatically collected the statistics they needed. At any point the coordinator could report on usage of the center up to that moment.
The deployment for Carrie Tingly Hospital took much longer. The public facing intake form had to be built with privacy features for HIPAA compliance. Hardware had to be identified and purchased for an intake stand, a receipt printer (for printing out customer numbers), and a monitor to display a customer intake number. A simple iPad application was also developed to give the form system access to the hardware for printing.
Ultimately the deployment was a success despite all the limitations of the pandemic. Carrie Tingly Hospital got the system they needed at a fraction of the cost. The system also proved useful for many other departments, especially as social distancing became mandatory during the pandemic.