Surgery Scheduling Process Creating Unnecessary Risk

Is Your Surgery Scheduling Process Creating Unnecessary Risk? 3 Areas to Watch

Running a hospital operating room, an ASC or any medical practice comes with a host of complex challenges. Staying on top of information management is a constant exercise in multitasking—from capturing and maintaining up-to-date patient records, to ensuring accurate documentation to maintaining compliance with regulations around secure communications.

Given the many pieces and high stakes involved in day-to-day operations, it’s crucial to minimize risks. However, effective risk management requires that you have a very clear idea of where those risks lie.

Here, we look at the three most common areas of vulnerability we have seen working with several surgical practices.

1. The risk of failing to comply with HIPAA regulations

The 1996 Health Insurance Policy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) exists to protect patients’ medical records and personal health information (PHI). All HIPAA-covered organizations have a duty to collect and store that information safely.

That’s a challenge for any healthcare organization, but if your scheduler is working with a paper-based system, it’s even more daunting. Although at this point everyone has adopted electronic medical records, administrators are often surprised to learn how much of the surgery scheduling process still takes place with paper and pencil—outside the electronic record. This is often exacerbated when practices and surgical facilities have separate disconnected electronic record systems. You need to make sure that everything is captured, recorded, and disseminated accurately, and that all the required surgical support—all those admission documents and anesthesia plans, clearance instructions and preoperative orders—are retained securely for the required period and then properly disposed of.

To be compliant with HIPAA, it’s not enough to simply avoid data breaches. Organizations can be penalized for not having the required technical, physical and administrative safeguards in place. And those penalties are not to be taken lightly — providers can be fined $100 to $50,000 per violation depending on the situation.

An internal registry can be difficult to track and impossible to share among a distributed remote work force. Online shared spreadsheets (e.g. Excel/Office Online can present a significant vulnerability and may not have the necessary authentication, auditing, and backup safeguards for HIPAA compliance. CaseCTRL’s HIPAA-compliant cloud-based repository provides a centralized location for essential forms, including pre-authorizations, doctor preference cards (DPCs), and patient surgical assessment forms. This system means surgeons and schedulers can access data from anywhere securely, and they don’t need to worry about updating software or syncing data across different devices and sites.

2. Risks caused by errors in patient information or surgery documentation

Accurate patient records are essential for identifying and tracking patients as they move through the stages of their care and to make sure patients are billed correctly.

Surgical teams need to communicate as many as 150 data points for one surgery. They also need to coordinate information from multiple stakeholders, track potential conflicts and identify and reserve equipment—all on schedule. Relying on paper-based systems for capturing and tracking patient details and records leaves the clinician vulnerable to inefficiency, error and non-compliance. Hard-to-decipher hand-written notes and amendments on posting forms can be a minefield, and even minor errors can result in case mismanagement.

Even if you manage surgery scheduling with an email or tasked-based system, there is still considerable manual transcription required, with the potential for missing or incorrect data. Poor data handling hampers the efficiency, and therefore profitability, of the OR—not to mention raising the possibility of litigation.

By investing in advanced surgery scheduling software, automate notifications, documentation of patient records, and eliminate legibility issues that can precipitate costly of errors at the ASC or hospital.

3. Risks caused by over-reliance on your surgery schedulers and slow, paper-based scheduling systems

Information silos are another top concern. Paper-based scheduling before cases are confirmed in the electronic medical record makes it harder for practice administrators and surgeons to access the information they need. When scheduling information is siloed in paper posting forms, schedulers cannot collaborate or share their work. Not having the right information on hand at the right time can cause unnecessary delays, cancellations or inaccuracies. And, whenever records or processes are updated, it’s a time-consuming mission to make sure everyone is up to speed.

Slowed down by those old paper-based systems, it can take schedulers about an hour to schedule just one surgery – and last-minute changes can derail the whole schedule. More worryingly, individual schedulers often carry information about schedules and operational procedures in their working memory. So, if the scheduler is unexpectedly absent (for instance, due to illness), the whole OR scheduling system can grind to a halt.

At some level, paper-based systems can even hurt the business at large by limiting opportunities to grow, hampering information exchange with additional locations or surgeons.

This is where shifting to surgery scheduling software can really make a difference. Digital tools allow the surgical team to seamlessly collaborate on a case schedule even when the scheduler is absent or offsite. An integrated dashboard that tracks pending, scheduled, completed, held and canceled surgical cases with their supporting information in one central, accessible location, improves workflows across the board and preserves business continuity. The entire care team can view patient records and have an understanding of progress and needs to date when and where needed.

Surgery scheduling software limits your information management risk

It’s vital to look at how you are managing information and take stock of areas where manual or paper-based processes might be exposing you to avoidable risk. Many EMRs are exceptional at storing patient information, but fall short in the coordination and management of surgical care.

Sophisticated graphic designers do not rely on the included Microsoft Paint to get their job done. They use advanced tools like Adobe Photoshop to deliver the best product. Likewise, why settle for an EMR’s basic suite of surgical scheduling tools?

Automation is often the best way to improve security and workflows in situations where schedules and notifications are done by email or manually, scheduling considerations depend heavily on the institutional knowledge of one individual or where paper documents are part of important workflows.

Advances in digital technologies and machine learning can empower healthcare providers to transform and optimize their surgery scheduling, data management and OR procedures. CaseCTRL’s adaptive, AI-powered, HIPAA-compliant software lifts administrative burden and improves accuracy and efficiency of surgical scheduling processes. Learn more about ways CaseCTRL can improve your surgical scheduling and document management process by talking with us or requesting a demo.

Download the eBook: How to Improve Your Surgery Scheduling Process: A Comprehensive Guide

Supercharge your surgical scheduling. See how caseCTRL can work for you. Show me a demo.

Related Posts

Post Topics

Recent caseCTRL News

May 16, 2022
Keeping your surgical practice operating effectively and efficiently is a constant challenge, and a vital one ...
May 3, 2022
An efficiently run surgical practice is vital for a positive patient experience and profitability. The ...
April 21, 2022
For hospitals and ASCs, operating rooms are an important source of revenue. But if your OR is not operating ...
April 11, 2022
CaseCTRL welcomes Frank Wisniewski to the team as a Senior Software Engineer! ...
April 7, 2022
Let’s face it: if you’re running a hospital operating room or an ASC, delays and cancellations are going to ...
March 24, 2022
If you’re not worried about losing a valued scheduler, you should be. Less than half of surgery schedulers ...
February 28, 2022
CaseCTRL has been selected as a presenting company at the 2022 Texas Life Science Forum. The Texas Life ...
February 11, 2022
CaseCTRL welcomes Mike Criollo to the team as a Junior Software Engineer!...
February 11, 2022
Our Co-founder & Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ashvin Dewan was recently interviewed by ShoutOut HTX, where ...
February 3, 2022
Whether you’re a large hospital or a small ASC team, you no doubt have suffered your share of surgery ...
January 31, 2022
CaseCTRL welcomes Nathan Rogers, our newest Business Development Intern! ...
January 18, 2022
CaseCTRL SELECTED AS FINALIST FOR 2022 SXSW PITCH...
December 20, 2021
Surgery scheduling is uniquely challenging – emergency cases may arise, surgeons are not always able to ...
December 13, 2021
If you’re responsible for running an operating room, you probably already know that you need surgery ...
December 6, 2021
It has been an exciting year for CaseCTRL. Our expansion continues with the introduction of our first ...
December 1, 2021
Another day at the OR ended with a canceled surgery. Why? The first case didn’t start on time. Patient 2 was ...
November 2, 2021
Communication is not a “soft skill” for operating rooms. Every surgery has to go through a complex scheduling ...
October 22, 2021
CaseCTRL will be exhibiting at the 2021 American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE) Annual Conference ...
October 21, 2021
A lot is at stake when planning procedures in hospital operating rooms (ORs) or ambulatory surgery centers ...
September 28, 2021
Have you ever watched a sports team that had all the right players but underachieved? In operating rooms, the ...
August 16, 2021
CaseCTRL is honored to be showcasing at the 2021 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting! This ...
August 2, 2021
Block scheduling has become the de facto gold standard method of surgery scheduling. Hospitals and ASCs ...
July 28, 2021
CaseCTRL would like to highlight one of summer interns, Archana Revanur, in the 'Intern Spotlight' Series!...
July 20, 2021
CaseCTRL is thrilled to join The Techstars Worldwide Network for Entrepreneurs. In addition to helping ...
July 14, 2021
Anyone who works in an ambulatory surgery center is familiar with how challenging and frustrating the process ...
July 5, 2021
CaseCTRL is thrilled to be featured on the Downtown Houston Summer 2021 Final Issue....
June 29, 2021
Outpatient surgery in the U.S. is projected to grow to 144 million cases (or $1 trillion of the market) by ...
June 25, 2021
CaseCTRL is excited to announce a victory at the 2021 NRLC Alumni Championship!...
June 22, 2021
Block scheduling is a part of many operating rooms’ regular administrative business. Many surgeons work best ...
June 21, 2021
CaseCTRL is honored to be selected as a Finalist in the 2021 Napier Rice Launch Challenge (NRLC) Alumni ...
June 8, 2021
Planning is in full swing for the upcoming OrthoForum Annual Conference and Physician Entrepreneurs Exhibit ...
June 4, 2021
Operating room resources are the most valuable in a hospital setting. Estimates show that the cost of an ...
May 19, 2021
Did the pandemic highlight challenges in your operating room (OR) planning and scheduling process? Though ...
May 3, 2021
For healthcare practices, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and hospitals, the operating room (OR) can be a ...
April 26, 2021
While the average cost of operating facilities and surgical care varies widely, research has shown it can be ...
April 9, 2021
For most hospitals, the operating room is like a double-edged sword. It accounts for a large portion of the ...
March 15, 2021
CaseCTRL CEO & Co-founder, Pamela Singh, is among the Texas-based female founders chosen by Project ...
March 15, 2021
CaseCTRL is honored to be selected as a semi-finalist at Venture Houston 2021, out of 260+ applicants! ...
March 4, 2021
A 2016 estimate showed that the U.S. healthcare system loses $150 billion to missed patient clinic ...
February 18, 2021
A successful surgical procedure is a chain of well-coordinated activities, personnel, and requirements that ...
February 4, 2021
An interesting study - Introducing a reserve waiting list initiative for elective general surgery at a ...
January 31, 2021
When it comes to surgery scheduling, efficiency can make all the difference in improving patient outcomes and ...
January 29, 2021
Did you know that the average physician spends over 15 hours per week on paperwork, and a surgeon needs to ...
December 9, 2020
Ask anyone today how they manage their grocery list and, chances are, they will show you an app that keeps it ...
December 2, 2020
Did you know that 35% of surgical candidates do not make it to the operating room as planned?   While many ...
November 25, 2020
Could you be leaving $500k a year on the table just because of antiquated surgical scheduling processes that ...
November 23, 2020
HOUSTON – CaseCTRL was recognized as one of the 10 Most Promising Companies at the 2020 Texas Life Science ...
November 3, 2020
CaseCTRL is proud to announce that we will be presenting our modern surgical scheduling and management ...
October 30, 2020
Do you know what the biggest threat to operating room efficiency is? It probably comes as no surprise to ...
October 26, 2020
Has business as usual at your ASC or hospital been more difficult during the pandemic? For many, the ...
October 22, 2020
At first glance, surgical preference cards may seem to simply supply a list of preferences for instruments ...
October 20, 2020
While surgery cases are primarily handled by a scheduler, it really involves everyone at your ambulatory ...
October 14, 2020
CaseCTRL is thrilled to announce that we have been selected as a Top 100 startup out of 1000+ companies that ...
October 10, 2020
This month CaseCTRL began the gBETA startup accelerator. We are one of five companies invited to participate ...
October 8, 2020
Complex doesn’t even begin to describe the surgery scheduling process. Did you know there is a minimum of 150 ...
October 2, 2020
With the CaseCTRL platform, surgeons schedule more cases while decreasing the administrative workload for ...
September 12, 2020
We are excited to report CaseCTRL has been invited to present at Plug and Play's University Pitch Session! ...
August 28, 2020
Artificial intelligence is all the rage these days. In the recent MIT Technology Review Insights Survey, ...
August 20, 2020
The theme of 2020 has been emergency preparedness. Surgical practices across the country have had to navigate ...
July 21, 2020
It has been an exciting month at CaseCtrl with the launch of the 3rd generation of Case Builder! Appalled by ...
July 1, 2020
What is your business continuity plan? If your scheduler contracts COVID, how do you ensure that your revenue ...
June 2, 2020
In the last few weeks elective surgery has resumed virtually everywhere. A recurring challenge is ...
April 1, 2020
At CaseCtrl, we are committed to helping our partners get through these challenging times. We are grateful ...