American University’s Health Center Improves Patient Service with NueMD
In 2007, American University health center staff began a search for a Practice Management (PM) system with online scheduling and advanced reporting capabilities. Health Center Director Daniel Bruey headed the software selection process. Because of varied backgrounds of his staff, ease of training was important to Bruey. But the team also wanted technology to enhance the experience for students, and get a holistic view of its operations.
American’s objectives were to find a solution for the health center that would:
- Eliminate wait times and decrease no-shows
- Provide insights to help justify budget and resource requests to the university’s administration office.
Small Investment, Big Results
After a short search, American identified NueMD (then called Nuesoft Xpress™), a cloud-based PM which included an appointment scheduler, advanced reporting and Patient Portal. Because it runs in the cloud, they eliminated the need for extensive IT resources and large investments in hardware. There were no costs for ongoing maintenance, backups or upgrades. American pays a low monthly subscription fee, so variable costs are minimized and Bruey can easily budget for monthly expenses. In addition to staying within its allocated software budget, the health center team at American began to see results almost immediatly.
A Smoother Appointment Machine
Prior to implementation, Bruey’s team struggled with patient flow, particularly during the beginning of the semester. Research showed students who couldn’t get through on the phone were frustrated, and some were opting not to be treated - not to mention staff trying to juggle taking calls and seeing students.
But with the addition of NueMD, students were able to search online for convenient appointments without calling or going into the health center – all within a secure, HIPAA compliant environment. Because the portal operates in real time with NueMD, all changes are instantly updated, eliminating hours of work for staff.
The number of callers put on hold dropped by almost 5%. The no-show rate decreased by 2% immediately, and has continued to fall as students embrace online appointments. American found that students who booked appointments online were more likely to show up. Bruey and his team used NueMDs appointment discrepancy reports to help resolve problems and get access to important data. Patient flow has improved due to patient status alerts for providers (checked in, late, ready, checked out, etc.)
A Clearer Picture of Performance
NueMD also helped American to find key performance metrics, and use that information to improve service and justify requests with university administrators.
For example, financial reports (e.g. - daily log, deposit report, payment report, etc.) helped American to manage its daily receipts so all encounters are appropriately coded, transactions are entered on time and all payments are accounted for and deposited.
“We can now determine students that owe a large amount of money and begin discussions with them on paying their balances. We work with students and try to understand their financial realities, but ultimately decrease our accounts receivable.”
Patient volume reports give staff a clear picture of the health center’s activity, and ticket discrepancy reports provide a snapshot of all of the services performed and encourage their documentation in the system.
“We’ve been able to use data from these reports to justify the need to bring on additional staff to accommodate students’ needs
All in all, Bruey and his team feel that Nuesoft was the right choice for their health center.
“Nuesoft has been a very big asset to our team. We now have our scheduling under control and students are more satisfied, and we also now have access to important data so that we can be more efficient, responsive, and valuable to our various campus constituencies.”