As COVID-19 started to spread across the United States, David Fleming knew he needed to help. Having previously owned a company that provided ancillary geriatric care to nursing homes, he saw the need for nursing homes to have a turnkey solution to COVID-19 testing. Nursing homes needed a service that would test residents and staff and quickly report back the results, but especially, they needed data that was dependable and easy to understand. So, Fleming launched VistaLink Health Group, LLC.
While demand for COVID-19 testing was high, VistaLink couldn’t grow their company and keep pace with that demand. Manual paper processes completely bogged down their staff. They could not take on new clients when they had to coordinate patient testing, monitor lab portals for results, download results, and send those results to the nursing homes. Printing and scanning paper forms took up valuable patient care time. Tracking which patients needed testing was a logistical headache.
Because everything was paper based, they had to limit the number of samples they could send to a lab. The labs backed up while staff re-keyed patient information prior to running the tests. And with any manual keying activity, left room for potential inaccuracies. This process slowed down testing and reporting the results.
“Managing the data is essential to our business,” Fleming says. “It’s paramount. Our services are all about having data available and having it available in ways that are digestible for our clients and our partners.”
It was clear they had to automate tasks and increase their efficiency to provide better service to their customers and to enable them to grow the company.
Finding the Right Data Management Partner and Solution
After researching and speaking with multiple companies, VistaLink chose Datamation to assist with their data management. Based on VistaLink’s needs, Datamation suggested using Laserfiche and their full suite of process automation tools to help streamline the company’s data gathering, sharing, and management.
The first step was to create a Laserfiche customer portal. The portal provided prompt reporting for all their clients in an easy-to-navigate interface that required minimal training. Nursing home administrators simply needed to log into the system to see the results of their site’s tests. However, as over 40% of all COVID-19-related deaths occur in long-term care facilities, it was clear that more was needed.
The next step was providing immediate email notifications to the facility’s Administrator, Director of Nursing, and others. If a test result comes back positive for COVID-19, a Laserfiche Workflow gathers the information and generates an email notification. This notification is sent to the recipients as soon as it arrives and directs the recipient, using a HIPAA-compliant link, to view the result. This allows VistaLink’s clients to quickly react and control the spread of the virus.
Nurse practitioners now use electronic forms on tablets for the COVID-19 testing and symptom data collection. This information is gathered, the barcodes are scanned, and the data is validated. All this information is then automatically pushed to the labs so they can prepare for the tests they need to process. Instead of manually keying in patient information, the labs scan the vial and the data is pre-filled, expediting the process.
Once tests are processed, the data is pushed to a hosted Laserfiche solution. Laserfiche’s workflow automation kicks in to send the proper data to the proper nursing home. At the same time, it delivers those instant email alerts for positive results.
Automating as many processes as they can is critical because it allows VistaLink to scale at exponential rates without diminishing the service they provide for their clients, or the care that their clients provide their patients.
Providing Timely Data, Keeping Customers Happy, and Saving Money
What’s best about this data management solution isn’t just that it’s making VistaLink Health’s processes and business more efficient. It’s also making day-to-day operations for their clients more efficient. COVID-19 demands top care and quick decisions to keep nursing home residents and staff safe and healthy.
By using the Laserfiche portal and electronic forms, the information gathering and sharing processes have been streamlined. With all results in a centralized location, everyone from a specific nursing home—each nursing home can only see their patient data—can work off the same data to make their decisions. By having immediate alerts, nursing home staff don’t have to spend the time to log in to check if there is a positive case.
Additionally, by providing quick, useful data, VistaLink doesn’t have any customer churn. The timely and dependable reporting strengthens the relationship with their customers, which gives them access to referrals and other services. Fleming explains, “This solution has allowed us to provide a lot more care with the same operational capacity. We can actually add more services and clients and not increase our cost of doing business.” VistaLink estimates that their operational savings in direct staffing costs is over 30%.
Every year, Laserfiche “recognizes organizations that use Laserfiche to improve productivity, innovate processes and achieve exceptional business results.” This solution for VistaLink won a Laserfiche Run Smarter Award in the category of COVID-19 response.
Continuous Process Improvement
As a next step, VistaLink and Datamation plan to install Laserfiche RPA bots to serve as a connector between VistaLink’s Laserfiche Portal and nursing home care applications. Instead of a nursing home staff member logging into their system to get specific patient data, the bot will extract it from VistaLink’s system and push it into that patient’s file.
VistaLink and Datamation have even more automation projects slated for deployment. For each project, they will look to the Laserfiche suite of automation tools to streamline as many processes as possible. Whether it is adding more nursing homes to their clientele or administering vaccines, VistaLink Health will be able to provide the best possible service to their clients.
“Our business is constantly morphing in ways that grow our services to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Fleming explains. “Because if we’re not making a difference in their lives, what’s the point?”
About VistaLink Health, LLC
VistaLink Health, LLC is a private company with a public mission. They are responding to the CDC mandate for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing. They are a practice management and consulting enterprise engineered to provide leading-edge solutions and clinical deliverables to long-term care facilities, senior living communities, and other test sites.
About Datamation Imaging Services
Since 1995, Datamation Imaging Services has provided document and data management consulting and imaging services for numerous clients across the country. Datamation has helped hundreds of businesses implement cost-effective, time-efficient document imaging solutions. They offer an array of imaging options, including document scanning, data entry, OCR, business process automation, online document management software, and backlog conversions of existing files.