Case Study: Consult Manager™ for Hospitals

When a large hospital group in the Tampa Bay, Florida area wanted to solve their consult dispatching headaches, Answer Excellence was there with the solution. The following table shows information about the client and their own estimates about how much time and money was being expended when they were dispatching the orders themselves prior to the service inception in 2004.
General Information

Number of Hospitals 4
Number of consult orders annually 98,000
Hospital estimated average time per order dispatch 17 minutes
Hospital staff time annually 27,767 hours
Calculated cost if RN dispatches orders $ 763,583 ($ 7.79 per consult)
Calculated cost if unit secretary dispatches orders $ 569,217 ($ 5.81 per consult)

The problems were apparent: patient care staff were spending lots of time on the phone, and they make very expensive operators. This was compounded by the fact that tracking and documentation of the dispatch process was lacking. When hospital staff had difficulty delivering an order for any reason, there was no reliable system in place to remind them of the need for follow-up handling. It’s no wonder that orders sometimes failed to reach the consulting doctor.
Not apparent from the table, but very much a daily problem, was the inability to generate any performance reports or audit logs for implementing quality-control measures. The consult dispatch process was a constant source of stress, had serious flaws, and cried out for a major improvement.

The Solution

The breakthrough they needed was Answer Excellence’s Consult ManagerTM service. According to glowing reports from the hospitals, it has completely solved every problem – with very substantial cost savings. The table below illustrates their cost savings.
Demonstrated Annual Savings

Cost of nurse dispatch $ 763,583 from first table
Cost of unit secretary dispatch $ 569,217 from first table
Cost of Consult ManagerTM dispatch $ 196,000 74% savings over nurse dispatch
65% savings over unit secretary dispatch

While these numbers are impressive, they don’t tell the full story. A hidden cost of hospital-based order dispatch arose when orders were delayed or mishandled. Consult ManagerTM can help eliminate this source of patient overstays to keep hospital throughput at optimal levels.

Our combination of best-practice hiring, training, and quality control in conjunction with our proprietary application software is the breakthrough your facility has been looking for. Testimonials from our clients help underscore the point:

“Physicians and team members have been thrilled with this process change. Answer Excellence has expedited calls to the physicians, therefore improving response time to patient needs.” – V.P. of Patient Services
“The consult process is much easier. I just enter it in the computer, don’t have to call the physician and wait for his or her return call. It saves a lot of time and reduces the chance of error.” – Gloria, Unit Secretary
“My consults are more timely, which makes my life a lot easier.” – Dr. T
“Working with Answer Excellence has really improved the consult process. It is much more efficient and a real time saver.” – C.J., Nurse Manager

With 20 years of experience, a staff that knows your environment, and a track record of satisfied consult customers, Answer Excellence is ready to solve your problems while helping you realize substantial cost savings.
Contact us and let our staff dispatch, track, and monitor consult orders for you.

“I feel like we’ve really made the right decision by working with Answer Excellence. It's just the kind of support we need.”

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