Saving time and money by digitizing internal processes

BreastScreen Victoria is trying to minimize the impact of breast cancer by offering free cancer screening on a timely basis. All Australian women from the age of 50 to 70 are automatically invited to have a mammogram every two years. Women in their forties can also receive the free service, but do not automatically receive an invitation.

Manual processes that got in the way of better patient service

BreastScreen Victoria planned to provide 246,000 free mammograms a year and this number was set to grow, considering that the proportion of Australian women aged 65 and over is only going to increase between now and 2040.

These women initially received invitations by mail and had to confirm by mail if they wanted to participate in the service. Then a new letter was sent to confirm the appointment and ask them for the information needed to start their file. Finally, a reminder had to be sent to the patient about the upcoming appointment. The reminders were repeated every two years for each woman who initially registered.

Keeping track of all the files was another important issue. Each time a new patient registered for the service, a patient file had to be created to facilitate the health professional’s work during consultation. Since the required information was on paper, employees had to manually enter all of the information by completing what was missing. However, if key information on the patient was lost or wrong, this complicated follow-up after the woman’s visit.

BreastScreen Victoria was overwhelmed by the paper and manual tasks. They were losing a lot of time managing the mailing and receipt of documents, which prevented them from offering the best service possible to women who came for a mammogram.

They were at risk of having to slow down the increase in mammograms, or even reduce them, which went against their primary mission: to continually provide more free services to women who need them.

BreastScreen Victoria wanted to be able to offer the option of electronic correspondence to women who preferred it. The organization also wanted to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks so that it could focus more on mammograms.

Personalized and multi-channel communications

Thanks to PlanetPress Connect, BreastScreen Victoria has considerably improved correspondence sent to patients throughout the process: invitation, appointment confirmation and results letter.

The letter confirming registration in the program includes a form for registering the new patient. This form is now pre-populated with the recipient’s personal information. It saves the patient time when completing the form, but it also saves time at the appointment because classification is faster.

Appointment reminders can also be sent by email if the patient chooses. Furthermore, it is now possible to register for the program directly on the website! Forty percent of women have chosen these electronic options and BreastScreen Victoria has been able to reduce its paper and postage costs.

Greg Maudsley explained: “Many women in our program have embraced the option to be contacted electronically and now enjoy more personalized correspondence. The success of the program has been beyond our expectations.”

PlanetPress Connect has allowed BreastScreen Victoria to make the digital shift at its own pace.

Incoming communications captured for better document management

Our partner Pitney Bowes helped BreastScreen Victoria go one step further in optimizing their processes. The ABBYY FlexiCapture solution allows them to capture data entered by the patient on the registration form. The key patient data is saved in the central patient management system.

A second process, ABBYY FlexiCapture, was then implemented and allows OCR to be used to automatically classify 200 types of paper forms.

As a result of both processes, 85% of the data from forms is extracted and classified without any human intervention. The employees only have to handle the exceptions.

The registration forms are then available electronically, which greatly facilitates the work of employees, who no longer have to track down hard-copy patient files and can access them with a simple click. This considerably reduces the risk of errors.

Henry Patishman, Director of Sales at ABBYY Australia, said: “Healthcare professionals at BreastScreen Victoria have saved a lot of time by doing fewer administrative tasks. The solution has given them greater flexibility and has enhanced knowledge sharing across the organization. These cost savings have directly impacted BreastScreen Victoria’s performance, and they are able to monitor more and more women as the program continues to expand.”

For more information about BreastScreen Victoria and its experience with PlanetPress, please refer to the original article.