Online Program

Brave new world: The story of one hospital's transition to a new and improved electronic scheduling system and how this change will lead to more patient-centered care

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Ethan Jacobi, BA, Ambulatory Care Services, Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York, NY
Marcie Sara Rubin, MPH, MBA, Business Development/Ambulatory Care Services, Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York, NY
Background: In 2011, The Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) of New York City began what would end up being a three-year-plus implementation plan of a new scheduling and billing system. Partnered with the global information technology juggernaut, Siemens, HHC began its plan to roll out a brand new system in two phases across 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, and six large diagnostic and treatment centers. During the first phase, HHC would roll out the scheduling portion of the new software, while in the second phase, they would roll out the financial portion. Metropolitan Hospital Center was one of the first hospitals to successfully implement what became known as Soarian Scheduling. Methods: This presentation will focus on the experience of Metropolitan Hospital Center as it prepared for the transition and went live on January 14th, 2013. Data was collected via both the old scheduling system, known as Unity, and the new system. In addition, qualitative accounts of the experience will shed light on the process, its successes, potential pitfalls, and areas for improvement. Results: Provider templates are designed as follows: Resource codes are used to represent providers and each provider has several activity codes associated with him/her. Activity codes signify a type of visit (i.e. new, re-visit, follow-up, annual, etc.). In addition, departments and locations further classify different providers Metropolitan Hospital Center (MHC) has 14 unique departments, over 100 unique activities, and over 400 unique resources. During the conversion, all of the old codes were updated to reflect a more stream-lined and user friendly system. MHC converted all of the appointments from the old system to the new system during one full day when the clinics were not in session. A number of template modifications were implemented to make the practice more patient centered. Among these, same day slots were added to care teams to allow patients to schedule urgent appointments with their assigned providers. Conclusion: Throughout the transition, Metropolitan Hospital Center (MHC), Corporate Level, and Siemens staff all worked closely together to ensure continuity and consistency. Less than a month after the official conversion, MHC is fully operational within the new system and is eagerly awaiting the implementation of phase two. In the meantime, Soarian Scheduling has afforded them the opportunity to utilize electronic templates to maximize their delivery of patient-centered care in many new and exciting ways.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of transitioning from an antiquated scheduling system to a modern one; Demonstrate how this transition was achieved smoothly and efficiently; Discuss the impact of this transition on patient-centered care

Keyword(s): Information Technology, Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work for the outpatient department at a large municipal hospital which is part of New York City's public hospital network. In my role, I provide data and analytical support to the department and I assist with health informatics and information technology as it relates to initiatives like Patient Centered Medical Home.
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.