173590 Improving health services delivery through technology: EQuest a web-based health referral system

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:30 PM

Nick Macchione, MS, MPH, FACHE , Director of Health and Human Services, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego, CA
John Fontanesi, PhD , General Internal Medicine, Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
Dennis H. Cutler , North Regions, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego, CA
Improving access to medical care through Business Processing Re-engineering (BPR) and health information technology puts the County of San Diego in the forefront of achieving secure electronic health records.

County of San Diego California Children Services (CCS) processes over 46,000 requests annually to determine medical and financial eligibility for approximately 12,000 children with severe medical problems. Prior to the BPR the referral process was very complex, requiring coordination with multiple health care service providers within and across organizational boundaries. Nurses were handling caseloads 65% over State benchmarks resulting in excessive time for approval of needed medical care.

BPR principles were used to analyze the CCS health information referral process to increase timely, accurate and appropriate requests for services requested by external health care service providers. Technology was used to enhance the process changes to implement a web-based referral system while ensuring confidentiality of health information.

Once implemented, the redesigned process achieved a 100% accuracy rate in required information from medical providers and a 40% reduction in time required for approval of medical services. Accounts receivable for medical health care providers were reduced by 58% and a secure web-based health referral system was established eliminating paper referrals.

Using BPR principles and applying health information technology to the process enabled the County of San Diego to manage medical information and its secure exchange between health care consumers and health care service providers while achieving increased efficiency of CCS case management and referral procedures.

Learning Objectives:
Understand concept of business process reengineering Apply technological enhancements to process reengineering Demonstrate transferability of web based electronic referral system for health referrals and comply with HIPAA requirements for electronic health referrals

Keywords: Technology, Service Delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed the development and implementation of this project as Deputy Director for San Diego County Health and Human Services.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.